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  • Writer's picturejoseph retcho

What Is COI?

certificate of insurance

Small business owners are quickly learning that proper documentation is required to ensure their company's success. The certificate of insurance (COI) is one document that most business owners overlook.

Recognize that the COI is an essential document for any organization that works with outside contractors and vendors. Most business owners, however, are still unsure why they are required to show their certificate of insurance. In this article, we'll go over what COIs are and why you might be asked to show them.

What is a Certificate of Insurance(COI)?

A Certificate of Insurance is proof that your company has an operational insurance policy. It includes the coverage's expiration date, the insurance's limits, and the type of insurance. You obtain the COI from an insurance company, thereby confirming that your company is covered and the policy is in force.

Reasons Why a Client Might Request a COI

There are several reasons why you might need to show your certificate of insurance, regardless of the industry. Here's a quick rundown of some of these reasons.

1. Customer seeking to safeguard their financial interests

Most customers will require proof that you have adequate insurance coverage. As a result, these customers can be confident that they will not be held liable in the event of a claim. Recognize that we live in a time when everyone is looking to protect their financial interests. Customers simply want to avoid the hassles that come with insurance claims.

2. Bidding on a State or Municipal Government Job

You must present your certificate of insurance when bidding on a job at any state or municipal agency. Only compliant companies will be assigned tasks by municipalities or state agencies. Having the proper insurance policies in place is the first step in ensuring that your company is in compliance with state and federal law. Without a certificate of insurance, it is impossible to bid on any municipal or state job.

3. Contract Signing

At some point, every business will be required to sign a contract. However, did you know that without the COI, your company cannot sign a binding agreement? Only legally compliant establishments can sign a legally binding contract, according to the law. Any signed contract within your organization will be legally binding if you have a certificate of insurance.

4. Professional Certification or Licensing

When applying for a professional license or certification, you must present your certificate of insurance. Understand that these documents demonstrate a company's dedication to continuous learning, adherence to industry standards, and superior professionalism.

How to Obtain Your COI

Your insurance company will always provide you with a certificate of insurance. You should have the certificate if you recently purchased insurance. However, if you did not receive the COI, you should contact your insurance provider.

As you can see, the COI is an important document for any business. The good news is that your insurance company will always provide it at no cost. Ensure that your company is in compliance by having all of the necessary insurance policies in place.

Finally, keep your Certificate of Insurance with you at all times; do not wait until a client requests it. It could mean the difference between losing and retaining a customer.


Do you require assistance in obtaining the appropriate insurance coverage for your company? We will assist you in implementing all of the necessary strategies to avoid business loss or legal issues. Please contact us as soon as possible to speak with a licensed professional with years of experience in the insurance industry. It is past time for you to begin focusing on the expansion of your business.

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