September 20, 2019
Certificates of Insurance: What they are and How they Protect your Business
With the myriad of responsibilities that business owners deal with, sometimes items like certificates of insurance fall lower down on the priority list. Their importance, however, shouldn’t be overlooked. These certificates protect your business from any damages or injuries sustained by third-party vendors working onsite.
Simplified, a certificate of insurance is a document prepared by the vendor’s insurance agent or carrier, confirming that they do have coverage. The certificate includes start and end dates of the policy, details on the type of insurance provided and its limits. Why is a certificate such an important document? If your business brings vendors onsite for anything from catering to pest control to snow removal, it is essential that vendors possess their own insurance coverage so that you are not responsible for liability.
You should not be liable for any injuries, damage or loss incurred by an outside company. If their certificates and coverage are in place and current - and if they provide documentation to prove that - then your business and your assets are protected. This still holds true if you have worked with the vendor many times in the past, if the vendor is a personal friend or even a relative. No matter how close the business relationship is, if an accident should happen or if equipment is damaged or lost, the vendor’s certificate of insurance, and their insurance carrier, will be vital in handling any subsequent costs.
Don’t forget to examine the actual certificate when it is presented. You will want to verify that the policy is current and that the named on the coverage is the same as the vendor. If neither detail is accurate, that vendor will need to update the policy before starting work onsite.
For more important details about certificates of insurance, review this blog from West Bend Insurance. Contact the Valeri Agency with questions and to insurance that all of your business’s coverage is adequate.