From tens to hundreds of certificates of insurance that your company receives each year, it can be difficult to track which ones are authentic and which ones are fake. It pays to know that even a trusted contractor or subcontractor may pass on a fraudulent insurance certificate without you knowing. Identifying this type of certificate is less difficult than dealing with the aftermath of liabilities not being insured.
Make inspections a habit
Conducting inspections of every COI you receive is an important part of making sure your project is insured. No matter how trustworthy a business may be, the possibility of them passing on a fake COI is still likely. The same goes for your subcontractors. Under any circumstances, you must be able to check the details on every COI you receive regardless of who it’s from. Some may even commit forgery just to let your company assume that any of the stated liabilities are insured, so it’s best to inspect every single certificate you receive.
Learn to spot the red flags
Creating a falsified certificate is very easy to do today due to modern technology and ease in access to tools that allow the act. Luckily, for us, spotting a fake COI is still very much achievable through several authentication steps. All you have to do is to watch out for the red flags that signify them such as the following:
- All fonts must match from beginning to end. For every certificate, each automated system will generate the same font all throughout each document. Should you find any mismatched fonts, it can be a sign of forgery.
- The insurance provider’s contact information must be included on the certificate. An easy spot for a forged contract is one where the contact information is missing. Authentic certificates will always include the contact details of the insurance company such as their name, phone number, and address.
- If the certificate you receive has details that are whited out in some areas or seems like it’s been recopied several times, then it might be a forged version.
Verify the authenticity of the insurance company
Contacting the insurance company that provided you with the COI is a very important task to do each time you receive one. Going online to check the company’s website or mentions from online forums that prove the company’s authenticity as well as customer reviews with regard to their services. Call the insurance company to become aware of their legitimacy as well to verify your COI’s authenticity. If the company is not able to answer your questions, then it’s a good idea to find a new subcontractor.
Make use of a systematized tracking system
Nothing beats good preparation when faced with crucial potential issues surrounding insurance documents. Because of this, functional systems have been developed to help companies manage the authentication and storage of their COIs. These systems allow for simple reviewing, making it easy to find errors and red flags across every document that you receive. This way, your company will be able to detect insurance fraud before the subcontractors even start working.
Having a state-of-the-art COI tracker can help you avoid receiving fraudulent certificates of insurance that not only affects your company and its employees but your subcontractors as well. Schedule a demo and discover what COI Tracker can do for your business today!