How Do I Send a Certificate of Insurance?

The steps to send a certificate of insurance depend on your carrier and recipient, though traditionally required a broker and most recently involve an online form.

woman signing documents in office

Published February 16, 2021   •   2 minute read

You’ve signed on to work with a new client, but they require a certificate of insurance (COI) as proof of coverage. If you haven’t needed to furnish this documentation before, the request may seem confusing and overwhelming. However, sending a certificate of insurance isn’t difficult. Procedures vary based on your insurance carrier and the recipient’s requirements, but the process is straightforward.

Here’s what you should know about how to send a certificate of insurance. 

 

The Process Depends on Your Carrier

Ultimately, how you send a COI will depend largely on your carrier. Most have procedures in place through which you can request this important documentation.

Traditional Process

The standard, multi-step process to send a COI typically encompasses: 

  • Contacting your broker and explaining your contractual coverage requirements. 
  • The broker will verify whether your existing policy meets these requirements. If not, they will suggest revisions or additional endorsements. 
  • Once the broker verifies your coverage complies with the contract, they will produce a COI and send it to you.
  • You will likely be responsible for sending the COI to your client.

Since this traditional process can be quite time-consuming, some insurers have developed simpler methods that can enable insurance customers to procure COIs in minutes rather than days or weeks. 

Simplified Approach

Carriers that employ online request forms have streamlined the process to attain a COI through the following simple steps:

  • Log in to your account.
  • Go to the certificates section.
  • Input coverage requirements.
  • Receive your certificate.

At times, clients may ask to receive the COI directly from the carrier or broker, since it cuts down on the risk of fraudulent paperwork. This is typically possible with both the traditional and simplified processes, though you will have to supply the broker or carrier with relevant information on the company. Some carriers with online request forms even allow clients to solicit your COI directly. 

 

What Information Will I Need to Provide?

While the required information may vary depending on your carrier or client, certain details will likely be convenient to have on hand. This includes the following.  

When Requesting a COI:

  • Your name and policy number
  • The client’s name and contact information
  • The contractual coverage requirements

When Sending a COI:

Refer to your client’s requirements for what information to include with your COI. Typically, it should contain all the information they need, so you can just send it to the designated mailing or email address.

 

Will I Have To Pay for a COI?

Carriers and brokers do not typically charge for COIs. Occasionally, the policyholder may be assessed a nominal fee or issuance may be included in an annual service fee. Some issuers also permit policyholders to download the COIs online and print them themselves, which rarely carries a charge. 

How Do I Submit a COI To a Client?

The requesting party should provide you with information on how to submit your COI. Some clients may ask that you mail the documentation to them, have your carrier mail it directly, upload the documents into a tracking platform, or email them a PDF file. 


BCS simplifies the process of both sending and receiving COIs. Contractors can upload their documents directly into the BCS App for clients to review and maintain. If you hire contractors, contact us to learn how we can make COI tracking easier for you and your vendors.

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