What Does “Certificate of Insurance” Mean to Me?

When a homeowner agrees to have any work performed at their home and

property, most would not think to ask that company or individual about a

certificate of insurance. Contracting work with uninsured or underinsured

companies or individuals can be a very costly error. A certificate of insurance

is often demanded in situations where liability and large losses are a concern.

Verification of workers’ compensation coverage is considered even more critical

than verification of coverage for property damage. A contractor may have one

carrier or two different carriers for both forms of coverage. One or two documents

will be issued by an insurance company or broker to verify the existence of

insurance coverage under specific conditions granted to listed individuals.

Documents provide evidence of workers’ compensation coverage and

property damage coverage. More specifically, the documents must list the

effective date of the policy, the type of insurance coverage purchased, and

the types and dollar amounts of the applicable liability. How do you know

the certificate of insurance is valid?

Remember these key points:

– Certificates must list agent, known as producer.

– Name of company or individual you hire must be listed as insured.

– Must show insurance company who provides the coverage, and there

may be more than one.

– Homeowners name and address should be listed as certificate holder.

– Policy effective date and policy expiration date must appear on the form.

Duration is typically one year.

– Watch carefully for the issuance date – located in the top right corner.

It is the best indicator of validity. Certificate should be less than 30 days old.

If the contractor has not made monthly insurance payments, the certificate

may not be valid.

– Certificate of insurance must show the insurance coverage amounts/limits.

Workers’ compensation rates for the tree care industry are higher than

those for ironworkers. Pause and reflect on the possible monetary

damages that could become a homeowner’s liability if you contract with an

uninsured company. Protect yourself from lawsuits by uninsured

contractors on your property. These general guidelines for certificates of

insurance provide you with criteria to evaluate potential companies.

K.C. Arborist Tree Care Specialists is happy to provide current certificates

of insurance upon request.