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CERTIFICATES OF INSURANCE - Explained

Every business owner, at some point, needs to understand when to provide proof that they are currently insured or ask for proof of insurance from someone with whom they have a business relationship.  Most typically those relationships are either statutory, like auto liability requirements or contractual, like loans with lenders, lease contracts or contracts for services provided by your business. 

COI-Blank

What are Certificates of Insurance? 
Certificates of Insurance (COI) are standardized insurance forms issued by the insurance company or their agent that briefly describe an insurance policy’s coverage and limits in order to provide evidence of insurance to a third party on behalf of the Named Insured. There are two basic types – Certificates of Liability Insurance (for the liability of operations and complete operations) and Property Insurance Certificates (for real and business personal property and vehicles), but a COI can list any number of insurance coverage forms and limits insured under multiple policies. For practical reasons, a COI is provided as a short form substitute for the actual insurance policy coverage documents that could be 300 or 400 pages long. 

How to request a Certificates of Insurance?
You must request a Certificate of Insurance from your insurance agent or if direct, the insurance company issuing your policy.  There is generally no extra premium charge for Certificates issued by admitted insurers but specialty or brokerage policies may charge a fee for certificates. 

Get answers to these other important questions about Certificates of Insurance:

  • Why are Certificates of Insurance required?
  • When should a business owner provide a Certificate of Insurance?
  • When should a business owner require a Certicate of Insurance from others?
  • What common endorsements are requested on a Certificate of Insurance?

American Insurance routinely receives requests from our business clients to issue Certificates of Insurance. We handle each request as a priority and complete “Proof Only” requests within four (4) business hours.  Our agents will review the insurance requirements in our client’s contract and provide advice as to the basic compliance of the current insurance policy and limits.

You are invited to Contact Us or your American Insurance agent for more information about Certificates of Insurance.

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FAQ Disclaimer

The content of FAQ articles are general in nature and are not intended as a substitute for professional legal, financial, or insurance counsel for individuals. Insurance coverage forms vary by issuing company and by state. For specific advice contact us.

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Lewiston, ID 83501

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