If you’re wondering, “What is a Certificate of Liability Insurance?” or “What is a COI?” which is short for Certificate of Insurance, it’s a document that proves you purchased an insurance policy that protects you from business liability.
Also sometimes referred to as a liability insurance certificate or certificate of liability insurance form, it typically includes:
A Certificate of Liability Insurance may also indicate any additional insureds on the policy. These are other organizations or people who are covered under the policy in addition to the policyholder.
In order to understand liability insurance (like general liability insurance or professional liability insurance) and the function of Certificates of Liability Insurance, you need to understand liability. Legal liability refers to your business’s responsibility under law for any injuries or losses your business causes to others.
For example, if you’re a contractor and you damage a customer’s property, you may be liable for the cost to repair or replace it. Or, if you provide incorrect professional advice to a client and their business suffers a financial loss as a direct result of that advice, you may be financially responsible for that loss.
The Certificates of Liability Insurance that you have for your business insurance policies prove that you have coverage.
A Certificate of Liability Insurance may be required for multiple reasons, including:
Collecting Certificates of Liability Insurance from companies you partner with is important in many industries. It’s crucial for contractors, in particular.
It’s common to think of liability in terms of property damage and to hope that it’s likely to amount to a few thousand dollars at most. However, liability for injuries can easily be in the tens of thousands of dollars or more.
For example, if a subcontractor leaves a tool on the floor at a worksite and a client trips over it, falls, and breaks their arm, the medical costs associated with the incident can be very high. If, as a GC, you haven’t obtained a Certificate of Liability Insurance for the subcontractor that is responsible, that claim can go against your insurance.
And, even if your insurance company pays the cost, the incident becomes part of your claims history and can affect your insurance rates down the road.
With biBERK small business liability insurance policies, there’s no additional cost—beyond the cost of your insurance—for a Certificate of Liability Insurance. The COI is simply available to you should you need to prove you have coverage.
Getting a Certificate of Liability Insurance for a biBERK small business policy is simple. All you have to do is visit the Certificate of Insurance (COI) page of our website, click Get a Certificate, and follow the instructions.
On the same page is a link for getting a quote on other policies if you need additional types of coverage.
If you obtain Certificate of Liability Insurance forms from other businesses or individuals you work with, like subcontractors, there are three things you should check:
It’s a smart business practice to get liability insurance certificates for your biBERK liability insurance policies and those of the companies or individuals you partner with. That way, you can be confident that your business is fully protected should an incident occur.