Monthly Archives: October 2015

Importance of Certificates of Insurance

In both the residential and commercial worlds, many customers ask for what is known as a ‘certificate of insurance.’ This certificate basically shows your customer that you have current insurance, the different types of insurance, and how much coverage you have.

When you hire a subcontractor or use any other businesses in conjunction with your own, you should obtain an up-to-date insurance certificate from them and keep it on file. (This will also be highly beneficial around audit time.)

It may seem like a simple piece of paper, but these certificates hold a specific value. As a homeowner or business owner, they can help you choose who to hire and may also open doors for you as well. Many large contracting groups will only work with subcontractors who maintain specific amounts of insurance, which can give you the edge over bidding competitors.

Many home owners are being more and more selective about who they hire and how much money they are willing to spend on home projects. Let’s say your company maintains high limits of insurance, but your bid comes in a little higher than another company who has lower limits or no proof of insurance at all. Home owners will be more inclined to hire a reputable company, whom they can trust and not have to worry about on the job accident liabilities. Now that you’ve been hired, you are now the trusted go-to business to work around the home. You will certainly have the upper hand on their next home project. Not to mention the oldest, yet best form of advertising out there – word of mouth!

This simple certificate can not only attract business, but it can also save your business (metaphorically speaking). Having higher limits of insurance can save you from financial devastation and ruin in the event of a property or liability claim.

You will find that many customers want one of these certificates, and want it as of yesterday. You need an agent who makes YOUR business an absolute priority and can deliver on these last-minute requests. If you’re looking for an agent such as this, look no further! At Joy Insurance, you will have your own private agent who is responsible for your account. Whether you have a question, are in need of advice or education, have a request, have a billing matter that needs attending to, or you simply need an advocate in your corner, there is no other agent who will be more dedicated to your business than one of our own. Contact us today to experience this first class service at incredibly reasonable and competitive prices.

Definitions.

Certificate or certificate of insurance – any document, instrument, or addendum that was prepared or issued by an insurer or insurance producer as evidence of property/casualty insurance coverage.

Certificate holder – any person or entity that is identified on the certificate as a certificate holder (the person requesting the proof of insurance).

Insurance producer – is the company/agent who wrote and services the account.

Insurer – is the insurance company for which the policyholder is specifically covered under. Insurance companies write different forms of or classes of businesses within subsectioned insurance entities. This is done to benefit both the client and insurance company.

Person – any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other entity,

Excluding the following: any governmental entity/ agency, or board, bureau, commission, department, division, institution, office, or public authority of a state, federal or foreign government.

Governmental entity – any state or federal/international authority, public authorities law, any local or public authority and any individual acting in his or her capacity as an employee, officer, or elected official of any such governmental entity.

Policyholder – an individual or business who has contracted for a specific term with an insurer for property/casualty insurance coverage by offering payment in return for coverage.

Property/casualty insurance – protects against property losses to your business, home or car and/or against legal liability that may result from injury or damage to the property of others.

Prohibitions in New York

(a) With respect to a certificate of insurance evidencing that a policy provides personal injury liability insurance or property damage  liability insurance, no person or governmental entity shall willfully require, as a condition of awarding a contract for work, or if a contract has already been awarded as a condition for work to commence or continue under the contract, or if the contract has been performed or partially performed as a condition for payment to be made under the contract, the issuance of a certificate of insurance unless the certificate is: (1) a form promoted by the insurer issuing the policy referenced in the certificate of insurance; or (2) a standard certificate of insurance form issued by an industry standard-setting organization and approved for use by the superintendent or any other form approved for use by the superintendent.

(b) No person or governmental entity shall willfully require the inclusion of terms, conditions or language of any kind, including warranties or guarantees, that the insurance policy provides coverage or otherwise sets forth terms and conditions in a certificate of insurance, if the insurance policy referenced by such certificate of insurance does not expressly include such terms, conditions, or language. This subsection shall not prohibit any person or governmental entity from including minimum insurance requirements, coverage limits, terms, or other conditions in the solicitation of bids as part of a competitive process, and it shall not prohibit any person or governmental entity from requesting, or an insurer or insurance producer from responding to such a request with, clarification regarding the terms of the policy, or endorsement thereto.

(c) A certificate of insurance shall not amend, extend, or alter the coverage provided by the insurance policy to which the certificate of insurance makes reference. A certificate of insurance shall further not confer to any person any rights beyond those expressly provided by the policy of insurance referenced therein.

Enforcement. 

If the superintendent finds, after notice and hearing, that any person, other than a governmental entity, has willfully violated this article, then the superintendent may order the person to pay to the people of this state a penalty in a sum of one thousand dollars for the first violation and two thousand dollars for each subsequent violation.

Rules and regulations.

The superintendent may adopt rules or regulations as the superintendent considers appropriate to carry out the provisions of this article.