Published April 14, 2020 • 4 minute read
That’s why most businesses that work with third party vendors explore partnering with a company that specializes in certificate of insurance (COI) tracking solutions. Several companies attempt to handle the process of certificate of insurance tracking and vendor compliance, but the service offerings vary greatly. Finding the right COI tracking solution that is best suited for you and your company can be tricky, so we have come up with this article to help you know what to look for.
Below are five questions to ask when searching for a COI tracking solution:
- Do I need a Software-Only or a Full-Service Solution?
- What does “Full-service” include?
- Will this process be managed by professional COI analysts with insurance expertise?
- Does this solution have international capabilities?
- Can this solution scale with my business?
Do I need a Software-Only or a Full-Service Solution?
The decision to partner with a full-service provider vs a software-only provider will come down to the level of service you’d like to receive. Are you looking for a software or platform that would let you manage this entire process and just provide you with a centralized place to track and monitor everything? If so, software-only is for you! This is a viable option if you are looking for a cheaper solution and your volume of vendors is low and manageable and whoever is managing it has sufficient insurance knowledge. With these types of solutions the clients have to do the time-consuming work of collecting, correcting, and managing such documentation themselves.
Full-service solutions are typically a blend of software and service to manage the whole COI tracking process for their clients. This is often a costlier solution than software-only, but it tremendously relieves administrative burden and saves your company time. Beware, not all “full-service” solutions offer the same scope of service.
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What does “Full-service” include?
Not all “full-service” solutions offer the same level of service. Be sure to ask specifics about what this will include from all the different COI Tracking companies you are considering. For example, ask about caps and limits to communications. Some companies will only reach out a few times to try to get the correct wording or documentation then it falls right back into your hands even if it is still deficient. Also ask about how the COI tracking company will be supporting you, are they outsourcing any processes overseas, are they going to provide you with a dedicated team of analysts and an account manager, etc.?
Will this process be managed by professional COI analysts with insurance expertise?
How well you’re able to protect your company from third party liability will depend on the reviewer’s grasp of insurance and their ability to interpret certificates of insurance. This is especially the case if you are also reviewing endorsement pages such as the Additional Insured, Waiver of Subrogation, Third Party over Action, etc. Many certificate of insurance tracking companies simply just check boxes and provide data entry, but do they really know the nuances in insurance?
Does this solution have international capabilities?
Many businesses work with third party vendors based outside of the United States. If your company has such needs, you’ll need to work with an insurance tracking service that has equal ability. Be sure to ask potential solution providers of their experience working across borders, languages and time zones to effectively manage insurance documentation wherever your vendors are.
Can this solution scale with my business?
Two main aspects to look at here are the sizes of a COI tracking company’s current clients and its integration capabilities. You want to make sure this is the right solution to handle your continually expanding business, so ask if the company has experience with a client similar in size to your company. Look at the number of vendors, tenants, subcontractors, etc. they are capable of managing for you.
Also, check integration capabilities to make sure you an tie this in with other programs you are currently using. This will help centralize this data and allow you to streamline all aspects of compliance!
Certificate of Insurance Tracking is a vastly advancing industry. There are many different options out there and as your company expands and grows a solution that has worked for you in the past may not be as effective in the future. It is important to weigh all of your options when looking for any type of solution to help with the process of COI tracking.
You should revisit your process every year or so to make sure everything is still running smoothly and there are not better solutions out there. Whether you go through a classic “make or buy” evaluation process to assess whether it might make sense to partner with a COI tracking company for the first time or simply subjecting your current service provider to a competitive process against other alternative providers, you can ensure you’ve got a best in-class solution.