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Certificates of Insurance Resources

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We have published a white paper and a number of articles that address many of the problems faced by agents when dealing with certificates. Formerly only available to Big "I" member agencies and paid VU subscribers, this paper and many of the related resources are now being made available to everyone with an interest in issues involving certificates of insurance.
 
On this page you will find links, pages and downloads for Certificate of Insurance related information, including an excellent "best practices" white paper from our Texas association.
 

Official Policy and White Paper


Quick Links (member/subscribers only material)


Also in the VU 


 

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You will find more certificate-related articles by logging in the VU and searching for "certificates."
 
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ACORD has at least two documents on their web site that state or imply that a certificate of insurance 'may be used to copy verbatim information in the policy such as the specific number of days of written notice.' We are aware of at least two instances where certificate holders have cited these documents in demanding certain language on the certificate. We STRONGLY encourage you NOT to do this.
A certificate of insurance is an informational document issued by or on behalf of an insurance company. Insurance agents are sometimes asked to provide a certificate of insurance that cannot comply with the contract you may have already signed. In fact, you may have completed the job and need the certificate in order to get paid. The purpose of this article is to illustrate how such problems can arise and what solutions are available, if any, to address the most common problems.
The processing of requests for certificates of insurance is arguably the most troublesome task performed by insurance agencies today. The task can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. If not handled properly, the process can create significant E&O exposures for the agency. And in most agencies, even those that issue thousands of certificates each year, the job is done without additional compensation to the agency. This document provides a look at best practices for certificates of insurance.
An agency buys a smaller agency and learns that many of their auto accounts are written at minimum limits. The agency’s minimum limits standard requires higher limits, so on renewal, they increase the limits and notify customers that they will roll them back if requested. Is this legal? Is it ethical?
Some certificate holders are refusing to accept the September 2009 ACORD 25 form because it no longer includes a notice of cancellation, but rather refers them to the policy. They want you to use an earlier edition, modify the current form, or use a proprietary certificate. This article explains why you should not or can not comply with this demand. Also included is a 'one-pager' you can give to your customers or third parties that explains this.
Courts have generally held that certificates of insurance are not contracts and, therefore, not enforceable. However, this doesn't mean that agents are insulated from lawsuits involving certificates of insurance under several legal premises. This article explores a number of court cases dealing with certificates of insurance.
The foundation for this document is a series of Virtual University website articles written by Big 'I' staff and members of the 50-person volunteer faculty and published in our free bi-weekly email newsletter, The VUpoint.
A number of states have enacted laws, regulations, or regulatory directives governing certificates of insurance and similar forms. On this page, we provide a state by state listing of the laws, regulations, and directives that we're aware of. As they change and new states come on board, we'll be updating this page.
This program was developed as part of a comprehensive education and public relations initiative that has evolved from our original January 2007 white paper “Certificates of Insurance: Issues and Answers” and the position statement adopted by our board of state national directors in the fall of 2007. This initiative begins with carrying the message of certificates of insurance issues to our member agencies.
Insurance agents have become increasingly burdened with third-party requests for certificates of insurance, additional insured status, agent coverage “affidavits” or compliance checklists, and other sometimes onerous demands. Those that are cost accounting these demands are learning that they are operating at a loss for many insureds. In addition, regulators are imposing constraints on what agents can legally do in fulfilling these requests. As a result, agents are having to increasingly decline many of them. This article examines the nature of these increasing costs and identifies four basic reasons why agents may be unable to comply with requests from third parties.
If you issue a fair number of certificates of insurance, no doubt you have been asked by some customers to give them a “blank” or “sample” certificate they can show for prospective jobs. Is there a problem doing this?
On November 14, 2013, we held our first full COI webinar in three years, “Certificates of Insurance Issues & Answers – 2013 Edition” presented by Bill Wilson, Stuart Powell, and Bill Perkins. Below are some Q&A from that webinar, along with link to the archived webinar, and some links to ACORD resources.
Largely in response to regulatory pressure from several states, ACORD has expedited the publication of new versions of its ACORD 24 and ACORD 25 certficates of insurance forms. The changes to these forms could comprise the single most dramatic revision in over 30 years. This article outlines all 39 changes and details five of the more significant ones.
Certificates of insurance, evidences of insurance, and other documents developed to accomplish the same purpose (collectively “Certificates”) play a critical role in business transactions to provide information to third parties about the existence and amount of insurance issued to a named insured. The need for Certificates often arises from a contract between a named insured and another party which requires that the named insured have and maintain a particular amount and type of insurance for a specified period of time. Certificates also are sometimes requested by third parties seeking to confirm some interest in an insurance policy of a named insured.
This is neither an advertisement nor an endorsement, but rather an informational piece about what one agent-led group is trying to accomplish. Anyone who deals daily with certificate of insurance requests may want to read how one initiative is trying to automate this process as much as possible so that insurance information is obtainable quickly, efficiently, and accurately.
An insurer recently sent its agency force a 'Good News!' bulletin advising that it was no longer necessary to send it copies of most certificates of insurance. The bulletin also pointed out that it was the responsibility of the agent to notify the certificate holder of cancellation. What should agencies do when told by a carrier not to send copies of certificates?
Agents are often asked to place specific wording (frequently verbatim from a contract) in the “Description of Operations” field of the ACORD 25. Should/can you do this and, if so, what exactly can/should you include?