If you are a small business owner or independent contractor, you know how important it is to have insurance. A proper insurance plan with full coverage can mean the difference between your company or small business thriving or running aground after an accident or a disgruntled client who sues for damages.
However, you might not be aware of just how important it is to have proof of your insurance. In the past, it took time, effort, and running through a veritable obstacle course of bureaucracy to obtain confirmation of your insurance. Thankfully, this is no longer the case, but why is it so important to be able to produce proof of your insurance whenever it is demanded? Keep reading to learn more.
What is Proof of Insurance?
Proof of insurance is a certificate that shows that you and your company are covered under a specific insurance plan provided by a registered insurance provider. A Certificate of Insurance can be either electronic or physical, and many Certificates of Insurance or COI were previously issued by a company named Accord. As a result, COI were often called “Accord Certificates.” Most people who had a COI from Accord either have a physical copy of the certificate or a PDF of the document.
Why is Proof of Insurance Necessary?
No matter how big or small your business, having the right insurance coverage is essential. Being able to produce your COI illustrates to potential clients and employers that you are insured and that you are well organized. Employers and clients will appreciate working with contracts or business owners who are insured because it helps put their minds at rest.
If there is an accident and someone is hurt, property is damaged, or an angry customer makes a complaint, your insurance plan will be able to provide protection and assistance and ensure that the employer you are working with is also protected. Although not universally required, more and more employers ask for proof of insurance before starting to work with a contractor, as society becomes increasingly litigious.
What Does it Mean to be Additional Insured?
You may have heard the term “additional insured” before, as many employers include in their advertisements of work that they want a COI with the employer included as additional insured. That means the employer’s name and address information need to be included on the COI. If an accident does occur, the employer who is listed as the additional insured will also be able to make a claim against the policyholder’s insurance directly.
The Importance of Proof of Insurance for the Self-Employed
In today’s economy, steady work can be difficult to find. If you are self-employed or work as a freelancer, you are even more vulnerable to the market’s ups and downs. As an increasing number of employers and clients are asking for proof of insurance, being able to provide your COI on demand can help you edge out the competition and secure your employers’ trust and confidence.
Along with being able to outshine your competitors, having your COI on hand is important for general insurance protection. Should anything go wrong, you will be thankful to have your COI to show the parties involved.
Certificates on Demand
Depending on the job, you may need to show your proof of insurance with little or warning. You might be forced to head back home to hunt for the document or scroll through endless emails to try to find a scan or PDF of the certificate you are confident you sent to yourself a few months ago. Next Insurance makes the entire process much easier for contractors, small business owners, and the self-employed through their option to obtain your COI on demand.
Through the Next Insurance website, you can get your certificate of insurance online easily and quickly, no matter where you are. The ease of always having access to your COI is one less thing for you to worry about while working. The on-demand COI also accounts for any changes to your insurance plan, so you do not have to worry about accidentally showing an outdated COI to a client or employer.
Now that you know just how important it is to have your Certificate of Insurance on hand, you can take steps to ensure that you always have it when you are starting a job, visiting a site, or introducing yourself to a new client. Whether you prefer to take a physical copy or take advantage of the convenience of on-demand insurance, the most important thing is that you have your COI when you need it most.