FAQ - Certificates of Insurance
Throughout the years of providing professional liability brokerage to professional services firms nationwide, we have expanded our services to include a number of features that provide our clients more benefits than just a policy with coverages. One of the services we do not toot our own horn enough about is our certificates of insurance.
Hall & Company provides specifically trained and dedicated staff to respond to our customer’s certificate requests. We know that providing prompt and accurate certificates of insurance is critical to your business operations and we strive to produce certificates within 24 hours of your request. Our goal is to understand your certificate requirements, provide you with the necessary certificate and endorsements for your project, and be available to help you contend with questions or areas or concerns.
From time to time we provide you with important information regarding the challenges or changes involved with the issuance of certificates of insurance. The following is designed to provide you with answers to some frequently asked questions when requesting certificates for your clients.
A: A certificate of insurance is a document that we, as your insurance agent, provide you and your clients that verifies the existence of your insurance coverage. The certificate of insurance summarizes information about your in-force insurance policies. It lists the types of insurance, limits, deductibles, effective dates and the retroactive dates of your insurance policies, if applicable.
The need for a certificate typically is generated by a client or project owner, who wants documentation that certain insurance requirements are being met by the consultants who are working for them. As noted on the certificate itself, it is issued for informational purposes only and assigns no rights to the certificate holder. The certificate does not amend, extend or alter coverage and does not constitute a contract.
When we issue an insurance certificate it reflects the coverage that you currently have in-force. If you need to make changes to your coverage to satisfy the requirements of a contract, please notify your agent as these changes must be endorsed to your policies prior to issuing a certificate for the project.
A: Certificates are not issued automatically when a policy is purchased or renewed. They are issued by us at your request. If your client contacts us to request a certificate, we will contact you to ask your approval.
You will need to request an insurance certificate whenever your clients ask you to provide confirmation of your coverage as proof that you meet the obligations of your agreement with them. You may also have a standing list of certificate holders, generally clients for whom you provide ongoing services, which require renewal certificates. Or, you may ask for an informational certificate for your files.
A: Submit your certificate request at our website. Simply complete the form. If attaching a contract, please include only the pages pertaining to the insurance requirements.
- Complete the Client Information
- Complete the certificate holder information including name and mailing address
- Please be aware that we cannot issue a certificate without this information.
- The certificate holder is the person/company requesting the certificate.
- Additional Insured status is only available on General Liability & Auto Liability coverage.
- The Additional Insured status is NOT available on Professional Liability policies.
- Primary and Non-contributory status and Waiver of Subrogation can be specified on the certificate. They are coverage features provided in our standard general liability policy that are triggered when required by a written contract between you and your client.
A: Hall & Company provides specifically trained, dedicated staff to respond to our customer’s certificate requests. We know that providing prompt and accurate certificates of insurance is critical to your business operations and we strive to issue certificates with 24 hours of your request. About 95% of the certificates are issued within our 24 hour service standard. However, in some instances, the insurance policies themselves need to be endorsed in order to issue the certificate as requested. In these situations it can take several days to issue the insurance certificate.
A: The Property/Casualty insurance policies we provide are specifically designed for A/E professionals and as such, automatically include the most common amendments required by contract. Built directly into the policy language, these amendments are provided on a “blanket basis” and are engaged when required by written contract between you and your client. The discussion below applies to our Property/Casualty insurance policies issued through Travelers and Hartford including General Liability, Auto Liability and Workman’s Compensation. The discussion below does not apply to the professional liability insurance policies we provide or to Property/Casualty insurance policies not issued through Travelers or Hartford.
- Additional Insured
This is an agreement to name your client as an insured under your General Liability & Auto Liability coverages. With this endorsement, the insurance company agrees to provide coverage for defense and indemnity if a claim is made against your client with respect to the premises you rent, or work that you do on their behalf. The blanket additional insured wording on our Property/Casualty policies provides additional insured status automatically when required by written contract.
Some certificate holders will request to be “specifically” named as an additional insured. This results in the same coverage but specifically lists the additional insured’s name on an endorsement to the policy. This is one of the special situations that requires a custom endorsement and will cause a delay in our issuing the certificate. An Additional Premium may apply.
- Primary and Non-Contributory Additional Insured status
When a client is added as an additional insured to your General Liability Policy, they have two potential General Liability policies in place, theirs and yours. The Primary and Non-Contributory wording clarifies the order in which each of these two policies will respond in the event of a claim. When you have contractually agreed to grant Primary and Non-Contributory status to an additional insured; they will have primary coverage under your policy and your insurance company agrees that the other policy will not be expected to contribute until your “primary” policy limits have been exhausted. In other words, you are agreeing in your contract that your client can use up all of your insurance before they use any of their own.
- Waiver of Subrogation
When this is included as part of the General Liability coverage, the waiver of subrogation clause provides further clarification that the General Liability insurance company will waive their right to subrogate a claim. This means the insurance company will not attempt to get reimbursement from another responsible party, such as the additional insured, for defense and indemnity expenses that it has paid. The Waiver of Subrogation is engaged when required by written contract between you and your client prior to the loss.
A: The Certificate of Insurance states the following:
“Should any of the above-described policies be cancelled before the expiration date thereof, notice will be delivered in accordance with the policy provisions.”
Each State has its own specific regulatory provisions regarding the reasons a policy can be cancelled, and what length of notice is required. Most commonly, the length of notice is 10 days for non-payment of premium. Any other reason, such as material change in operations of an insured, or non-compliance with insurance company requests/requirements, usually requires longer notice periods.
Insurance companies generally will not broaden the States' regulatory notice provisions. Any exceptions must be specifically approved by underwriters and the policy endorsed accordingly.
The Industry standard is that Notice of Cancellation will be provided to the first named insured on the policy only. No other parties are notified of cancellation.
A: There is no cross-liability exclusion in our model Property/Casualty policies that would prevent an insured versus insured claims scenario. To the contrary, most of our Property/Casualty policies include a Separation of Insureds provision that states each insured under the policy (named insured’s and additional insured’s) will be treated separately and individually. This is commonly referred to as Severability of Interest. Essentially, with separation language in place and cross-liability absent, the policy is applied to every insured in the same manner as if separate policies had been issued except with respect to limits.
A: These exclusions, which stand for Explosion, Collapse, and Underground are NOT standard exclusions in the current General Liability contract. As such, the standard contract for our model policies does provide X,C,U coverage.
A: Our model policies include completed operations. This means that completed operations coverage is in place AFTER completion of the work, but only for claims that occur during the covered policy period.
A: Additional insured and Waiver of Subrogation, as described below, are the most commonly requested amendments for Workers Compensation policies.
- Additional Insured – these are not approved with our existing carriers, because this would indicate that you are agreeing to cover other entities employees on your workers compensation policy.
- Waiver of Subrogation – these are available on either a blanket basis or a specific basis. There is often an additional premium associated adding Waiver of Subrogation and the endorsement must be approved by the insurance company. (Waivers are not permitted in all States).
A: Additional Insured Status and Waivers of Subrogation are generally included on a blanket basis via an auto enhancement endorsement which is standard for our model policies.