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The never-ending problems with certificates of insurance

Purple monster peeking outRidiculous requests and tough situations regarding certificates of insurance (COI) NEVER go away.

Every week the Big "I" Virtual University gets multiple questions about the proper use of COIs. Many are common questions, but on occasion, we get a question that hasn't been asked before.

Agents can never become complacent or lazy when dealing with COI issues, and although you are probably tempted, never give up or give in to the stupidity – stand and fight!

In this session, we will review the purpose of certificates (old information), answer the 21 (probably more) most common questions we receive, and will explore some of the more unusual questions we've heard as well.

Webinar: The Never-Ending Problems with Certificates of Insurance

Registration: $49

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Instructor: Christopher J. Boggs, CPCU, ARM, ALCM, LPCS, AAI, APA, CWCA, CRIS, AINS​​

CE will NOT be offered for this webinar.

All 90-minute Big “I" Virtual University webinars include access to the live session, a link to the post-event on-demand recording available to you 24/7, and a transcript, a valuable and value-added reference tool.​

Webinar transcript will be emailed to all registrants four to six weeks after the live event.

Beware: The Crazy Things People Do with Certificates of Insurance

Man crossing fingers behind back image

I recently got a call from a member agent in the Dayton area concerning certificates of insurance. In my 11 years with OIA, I have received many calls about certificates. But never one like this…

Not Your Everyday Call

The agency was contacted by a consumer in Wapakoneta who received a certificate of insurance from a business soliciting work in the area. The consumer was trying to reach the agency to get their insurance questions answered.

It turns out the wrong agency phone number was listed on the cert, so the consumer did some digging and found the right number (yes, they really put some effort into this!). After finding the right number, the consumer was confident he was going to get his questions answered.

The only problem? The agency did not issue the cert and had never worked with this particular business. In addition, they were never even appointed with the carrier listed on the cert.

Fortunately, the consumer sent a copy of the cert to the insurance agency and also provided information on the business that was the culprit.

Upon hearing all of this, I immediately called the head of the Fraud and Enforcement unit at ODI and advised our member to work with her on the matter to open an investigation.

Protect Your Agency

Did you know: Approximately 1 in 25 errors and omissions (E&O) claims involve a certificate of insurance?

According to TrustedChoice.com, 21 percent of these cases involve situations where the cert holder misrepresented coverage or claimed to have coverage that does not exist.

As these stats highlight, IAs need to protect their agency because certificates of insurance can result in liability lawsuits.

Approximately 1 in 25 errors and omissions (E&O) claims involve a certificate of insurance

For a refresher on the certificates of insurance law (which OIA spearheaded) that took effect last year, visit our Certificates of Insurance resource page.

Big “I” Virtual University has an array of information about certs and topics such as additional insureds, whether or not to send copies of certs to your carrier, primary and noncontributory language, and much more. OIA members have access to this free resource through their OIA membership. Learn more.

While I am hopeful the above situation was a rarity (fingers crossed!), don’t ever hesitate to reach out to OIA with questions. We are here to help you and your agency!

Contact OIA

How to respond to unfair requests for certificates

Tired of Unfair Certificates of Insurance Requests?

Over the years, we have heard of many instances where general contractors, banks, government entities and other clients are unfairly demanding agents to list coverage information on the certificate of insurance that is not part of the insurance policy.

We now have a statutory solution to curb these unreasonable requests in Ohio. The next time a business or your client demands falsified or deceptive language to be included on a certificate of insurance, you should remind them that under Ohio’s new law, the “Certificates of Insurance Act,” it is expressly illegal for them to demand, and for you or any other agent to provide a certificate of insurance that attempts to amend, extend or alter coverage that is not provided in the insurance policy.

OIA has prepared an implementation toolkit for members to utilize in their interactions with certificate requestors. The kit includes:

  • A letter for clients about the “Certificate of Insurance Act”

  • ODI’s press release on protocols and oversight for certificates of insurance

  • A summary of the law

  • A copy of the law

  • FAQs

  • IIABA’s Virtual University section on certificates of insurance

Visit OIA's resource page on Certificates of Insurance for more information.

View resources