What do Insurance Certificates Need to Include?
There are a few essential pieces of information that need to be included in a Certificate of Insurance for it to be valid.
Name of the policyholder
Validity of the insurance policy
Level of coverage offered
Terms and conditions of the insurance policy
When is a Certificate of Insurance Required?
A company needs to provide a certificate of insurance whenever a client asks for proof of insurance. It is also important to keep your certificate of insurance updated whenever there are any changes made in the insurance policy so that all new points are reflected accurately. A company may also be asked to present a certificate of insurance when dealing with a government agency to prove that they are complying with all insurance requirements as mandated by the relevant governmental authority. A certificate of insurance gives assurance to clients that your business is secure and safe to make trades with. Individuals may also be required to present a certificate of health insurance in certain cases, like travelling to a different country or attending some special events, etc.
How Long Does it Take to Issue a Certificate of Insurance?
Certificates of insurance are issued by insurance companies to their policyholders. An electronic or e-certificate of insurance can be issued soon after the activation of the policy. However, it may take a few days for the insurer to ship out a physical certificate of insurance to the policyholder’s address. The number of days it may take depends on the location of the policyholder, how fast the insurance company ships the certificate and the type of courier/delivery service used by the company. Depending on the above-listed factors, it may take anywhere between a couple of days to a few weeks for a certificate of insurance to be issued and delivered.
How Long Should the Certificate of Insurance be Stored?
As recommended by legal experts, a certificate of insurance must be stored at least for a period of 5 years at the absolute minimum. However, it is a good idea to check your local government rules about the minimum requirements for storing the certificate of insurance as it may be higher than 5 years. It is also a good practice for companies to have physical backup copies of the certificate as well as digital ones in case the original goes missing or is misplaced.
What Security Concerns are Involved with Certificates of Insurance?
While the chances are low, some businesses that do not have a legitimate certificate of insurance may choose to present a duplicate or forged certificate to their potential clients in order to secure business transactions. In case the local government bodies have introduced new regulations regarding insurance for businesses, some may choose to keep using their old certificates that do not comply with the new rules. Moreover, some businesses may also use expired or outdated certificates of insurance. It is the responsibility of clients who are dealing with businesses to ensure that their certificates are legal and up to date.
A certificate of insurance is a valuable business tool that corporations and small firms need to have in order to conduct business with potential clients and governmental agencies. It provides assurance to clients that the business is protected against liabilities and thus, is reliable. Businesses also need to ensure that their certificate of insurance is up to date as per their latest insurance rules and is also compliant with the local governmental regulations. However, clients must confirm the validity of certificates provided by businesses to make sure that they are not being scammed.