What Is a Certificate of Insurance For Contractors?

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Having the right insurance is only half of the equation.

Here’s why having a Certificate of Insurance for contractors can make or break your business.


As a contractor, you know what it takes to complete a job successfully. You know when you need a screwdriver and when to pick up a hammer. You know which occasions call for a jigsaw and which can only be completed with a miter box.

But when it comes to insurance, you are likely pretty mystified.

This is understandable, as there is a lot to consider when it comes to having the proper coverage. However, getting good insurance coverage is one of the most important things you will do as a contractor.

The second most important is proving you have it.

In this article, we’ll delve into one of the most crucial aspects of insurance: the Certificate of Insurance (COI).


What is a Certificate of Insurance (COI)?

Understanding your Certificate of Insurance is a vital part of doing business as a contractor.

Your COI is not the same as your insurance policy. Rather, it’s a form that lists the relevant information about your insurance coverage at the point in time at which it was generated.

A Certificate of Insurance for contractors will include:

Your business’ name and address
Your insurance agent or broker’s contact information
The name of the insurance companies providing coverage
The type of coverage
The amount of coverage
The policy number(s)
The policy’s expiration date
Contact information for the person or entity requesting the COI

Your Certificate of Insurance can also be used to show the presence of an Additional Insured or a Waiver of Subrogation, if applicable.

As a business owner, it is a good idea to keep a record of your current and past COIs. Occasionally, you may be notified of an incident that happened years in the past, and having the appropriate COI can help you prove that you carried the right coverage.


When Is a Certificate of Insurance For Contractors Necessary?

If you’re just starting out as a contractor, you might not have been asked to provide a Certificate of Insurance yet. But soon enough, COIs will become a typical part of your job.

Because they serve as proof of insurance, COIs are often required if you’re being considered by a government organization. In such cases, lacking a COI could cause you to lose out on a job entirely.

Anyone who is hiring you could potentially ask for a Certificate of Insurance. If you are being hired as a subcontractor, or even working for a savvy homeowner, you should always be prepared to provide a COI.

However, it isn’t just the person or entity hiring you that may request a COI. You may be asked to provide one by a landlord, your equipment supplier, or a bank lender.


Contractor Insurance

Of course, your Certificate of Insurance is only as good as the insurance you carry.

Any type of construction work carries a lot of risk, so having the right contractor insurance policies is essential to keeping your business protected while on the job.

Here are some of the insurance policies and coverages you should consider:

General Liability Coverage
Property Damage
Business Interruption Insurance
Commercial Auto
Workers’ Compensation
Professional Liability Insurance
Builder’s Risk Insurance
Employment Practices Liability Insurance
Commercial Bonds

Whether you’re hard at work construction subdivisions or a handyman renovating a client’s kitchen, having the proper insurance is crucial to ensuring that you stay in business for years to come.

Why Insurance For Contractors Matters

Insurance coverage is not just about ticking a box. It’s a safeguard against potential financial hardship and legal trouble that can result from accidents, damage, or disputes.

Insurance can literally be the difference between the success and failure of your contracting business.

Having adequate insurance coverage doesn’t just help protect your bottom line; it puts your customers’ minds at ease.

If you’re interested in protecting your business for the long-run, Harry Levine Insurance can help. As an independent insurance agent, we’re not tied to a single company, which means we can shop the market to find the policies that are right for you.

Get a free quote today!

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