When contracting work to be performed at your home or on your property, protect yourself by requesting a valid/current Certificate of Insurance (COI). Contracting work with uninsured or an underinsured company or individuals can be a very costly error. COI-Liability proves insurance coverage in case of property damage and Workers Compensation shows that the homeowner will not be financially responsible in case of the injury of an employee or if there is a fatal accident on the property.
Follow these key points to check the validity of a Certificate of Insurance:
- Certificates must list insurance agent, known as “Producer”.
- Name of company or individual you hire will be listed as “Insured”.
- COI must show insurance company who provides the coverage. Note: There may be more than one company providing insurance, one for Liability and the other for Workers’ Compensation.
- The homeowners name and address should be listed as “Certificate Holder”.
- “Policy effective date” and “Policy expiration date” must appear on the form. Duration is typically one year.
- The “Issuance date”, located on the top right corner, is the best indicator of validity. Certificates should be less than 30 days old. If the contractor has not made their monthly insurance payment, the certificate may not be valid.
- COIs must show “Insurance coverage amounts/limits”.
Protect yourself and your home from lawsuits by uninsured contractors on your property. The general guidelines listed above provide you with criteria to evaluate potential contractors. As always, Kramer Tree Specialists, Inc. is properly insured and will provide current COI upon your request.