Certificate of Insurance (COI) Management

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Any organization that has contractors performing work at their facilities understands the importance of ensuring that contractors have insurance in place.  Utilizing properly insured contractors is vital to an organization’s risk and liability management because of the varying levels of inherent risk they bring to a facility.  The primary method used to verify a contractor’s insurance is through the collection of a Certificate of Insurance (COI).  The lack of a formal and thorough COI management process causes serious problems for an organization and can have significant consequences.

A COI is a document issued by an insurance carrier or agent that verifies a company has insurance.  The COI contains key aspects of the insurance that can include:

  • Policyholder information
  • Insurance agent and insurance carrier information
  • Types of coverage
  • Policy limits
  • Waiver of subrogation
  • Endorsements
  • Effective and expiration dates
  • Additional insureds

While confirming that contractors have the proper insurance is vitally important, the collection, verification, and management of COIs is one of the most time-consuming and burdensome processes an organization can take on.  When trying to conduct this process in-house, a company can struggle to keep up with the high level of attention the process demands.  As a result, contractors may be performing work while being inadequately insured.

What does the COI management process look like?

Collection

A COI must first be collected.  This requires the implementation of a formal system to communicate the organization’s insurance requirements and facilitate the timely and orderly collection, review, tracking, and storage of contractor COIs.

Review

Once received, COIs must be thoroughly reviewed to ensure they meet the organization’s minimum policy limits, they contain the proper language and endorsements, and that there are no errors or omissions.  Common issues found with COIs can include expired policies, incorrect contractor company information, inadequate insurance amounts, missing or incorrect language in various aspects of the COI, and missing endorsements.

Notification and Correction

After an initial review, it is common to find that a COI is incorrect.  In some cases, most COIs are found to be incorrect.  This requires discrepancies to be properly identified, documented, and communicated to the contractor or their insurance agent, along with a request for a new document.

Follow Up

Once any discrepancies have been communicated and a new document has been requested, there must be follow up action to ensure the new COI is received.  If there is no response from the contractor or insurance agent, additional follow up attempts will be necessary.  Once a new COI is received, another review process must be completed to verify the previous discrepancies were corrected.  It is not uncommon for there to be multiple submission attempts before the correct COI is finally received.

Renewal

Because insurance policies expire and renew on an annual basis, a new COI must be collected every year.  To manage renewals correctly and ensure a new COI is received before the existing one expires, a tracking and notification system must be utilized.  An organization must be aware of upcoming expiring COIs and notify the contractor or insurance agent of the need for a new one.  This requires a great amount of attention and a reliable system.  Continuity within this system must be maintained, which can be difficult with constant changes in personnel assigned to the process.

What are the challenges of managing COIs in-house?

Managing COIs in-house is demanding and burdensome and can be a drain on internal resources.  Some problems associated with an in-house process include:

  • Lack of standardized process across the organization
  • Inadequate internal resources
  • High cost
  • Administrative burden
  • Improper management
  • Lack of knowledge
  • Lack of access to information across the organization
  • Lack of consistency and continuity in the management process
  • Internal training
  • Employee turnover
  • Project disruption

What is an alternative option?

Appruv’s certificate of insurance management process and cloud-based platform provide the perfect solution for an organization’s COI management process.  It addresses every problem of the in-house approach by collecting, reviewing, tracking, and storing contractor COIs.  Appruv provides automated reminders for renewals and conducts the time consuming back and forth communication with contractors and insurance agents.

Outsourcing the important COI management process not only provides a cost savings and reduction of burden, but provides consistency and accuracy, increased efficiency, allows users across the entire organization to access information in one central cloud-based location, provides dedicated customer support, and reduces exposure to risk and liability.

In addition to managing the COI process, Appruv provides a full suite of other contractor management tools to manage items such as bonding, financials, contracts/agreements, safety statistics, and EMRs, to name a few.

Contact Appruv today to learn more.

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