A certificate of insurance, or COI, is an especially appealing piece of information if you’re a small business owner, but it can be beneficial for any business. A COI is basically just a summary of the types of insurance you currently have for your business and the related coverage amounts, with a focus on liability coverage. Getting a COI could cost nothing at all or up to $50, according to NerdWallet. Here’s what you need to know about possible certificate of insurance costs and related factors.
Fees May Apply
Some insurance providers or brokers charge an extra fee if a COI is requested, although this isn’t always the case. If they’re not sure what applies with their business insurance, San Diego business owners should talk to their insurance agents to clarify what applies with COI requests. There may also be additional fees if you need multiple COIs or copies of your COI.
A COI May Cost You Nothing at All
It’s possible that a certificate of insurance may already be included with your insurance-related paperwork if you already have your commercial liability policy. Also, some states prohibit insurance companies from charging a fee for COIs.
Learn How Long It Takes to Get a COI
It may take only a matter of minutes to access a certificate of insurance for your business if your insurance company provides such information digitally. Other times, it may take up to 24 hours or so to receive it. In some cases, it could take several weeks if a COI needs to be prepared first and physically sent to you or the party requesting it.
Make Sure Your COI Is Up to Date
If you already have a certificate of insurance with your paperwork, check to see if it includes all relevant coverage details. This is especially important if you’ve had your policy for a while or if you made recent policy or coverage changes. Otherwise, any vendors or other parties who view your COI may not get an accurate assessment of your insurance information.
Understand Reasons to Obtain a COI
You don’t absolutely need a certificate of insurance as long as you have the required coverage for your business. However, as we mentioned above, it’s something that can be helpful. For example, if you’re looking to partner with a new vendor, a COI provides quick and easy proof you have sufficient coverage for your business. You may also need to obtain a certificate of insurance under the following circumstances:
• The holder of your business property lease needs to have one on file
• You’re looking to partner with another business that wants to mitigate risks and confirm your coverage
• You prefer to establish some added trustworthiness and credibility when dealing with various vendors
• You want a convenient way to keep track of what types of insurance you have and related details
If you’re a business owner, make sure to protect your business by purchasing the right insurance coverage. For affordable, reliable business insurance as well as homeowners, renters, motorcycle, and auto insurance, San Diego residents call on the trustworthy professionals at Altra Insurance Services. Reach out to us today at (800) 719-9972 to learn how we can satisfy all your insurance needs.