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Certificates of Insurance

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Like many of you, we do our fair share of subcontract work. I know when our Work Comp is close to expiration my email will be blowing up with requests for COI's. Not a big deal. Here is where I would like you guys opinion.

Just now I recieve an email. We need your COI. Ok. I respond, attach our COI and we're done with it. Two seconds later I recieve an email saying we didn't list X company as additional. I let them know if they have a project they would like us to work on, I have no problem listing them.

Years ago our agent told us this was basically letting them have free insurance and exposing ourselves. What do you guys do? I hate being a jerk about things, but I don't want to list X company as additional insured if we never do anything for them. This particular company told me I was now removed from their list.

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What are you out? I guess my agent charges me 25.00 to add as an additional insured but its not like they can claim on your policy if you are not doing work for them. So I don't know where the free insurance comes in there. (just got off the phone with my wife who is a Commercial lines insurance underwriter for a rather large company.)

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Not out a dime. I know you have to list everyone as additional insured now. I just hate doing it for lots of companies we may never do anything for. I just didn't know if anyone's agent had advised against it. This was about ten years ago when ours said that. He was a real old school kind of guy. Thanks!

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We don't get charged for proof of insurance slips for our customers, that isn't right.

What you have to watch out for is the low-lifes that ask for it and then go on site and do the job with their shop help, once the property manager has it in the office, they don't ask for it on site, so after you fax and email it all, a guy from the sign shop shows up and does the install. You cannot work in most reputable places without WSIB and Liability around here, problem is they never ask for your ID when you get to site.

I've been insured for 12 years, this guy and his brother have never paid a penny to an insurance company for liability or workers comp. and has been in business longer than me. Thats a kick in the face.

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We don't get charged for COI's or adding additional insured. Just a phone call and it's emailed in 15 mins usually.

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Like many of you, we do our fair share of subcontract work. I know when our Work Comp is close to expiration my email will be blowing up with requests for COI's. Not a big deal. Here is where I would like you guys opinion.

Just now I recieve an email. We need your COI. Ok. I respond, attach our COI and we're done with it. Two seconds later I recieve an email saying we didn't list X company as additional. I let them know if they have a project they would like us to work on, I have no problem listing them.

Years ago our agent told us this was basically letting them have free insurance and exposing ourselves. What do you guys do? I hate being a jerk about things, but I don't want to list X company as additional insured if we never do anything for them. This particular company told me I was now removed from their list.

I have to chuckle at this whole scenario as I go through the exact process you have outlined on a regular basis.

Your potential customer wants to be listed as an "Additional Insured" on any project and you want it to be project specific. Most national vendors or NSP's want to be listed as an "Additional Insured" and if you don't list them this way, they won't sign any agreements. Some GL policies charge for the "Additional Insured" and some, like mine, do not. Depends on your policy company of record.

You are basically worried that you are giving your potential customer a free ride to use your policy whenever the need arises. That usually is not the case if you are not the contractor of record on any project. Can I absolutely say this would never happen, no, but not likely. In my years off issuing coi's to potential and actual customers, I have not had this happen to me.

Heck, you can have the police mis-identify you as the person at a crime scene. This is not the normal, but it does happen and you can't prevent all situations from haunting you.

If you solicit a lot of national types, NSP's or even large end customers such as Starbucks, Petco, Exxon, etc., get used to it. You will hand out certificates with this proviso regularly. You have to decide who you will solicit and will provide insurance to. But the number of certificates can be vast.

And just to make this whole process even more sticky, wait until the words "Waiver of Subrogation" come up. This is monster all its own. And in some cases with some vendors like FM Maintenance, they want either an umbrella policy to raise the aggregate limit to 3 Million or have you raise the aggregate limit on the policy itself.

The fun never ends with insurance and its effect on the construction industry.

Best of luck going forward....

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We don't get billed extra, it's part of our ins. package. Some companies ask for more insurance than we carry, and we politely respond with "our insurance is more than sufficient for the scope of work we do", and that has never been a problem.

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We never have been billed for additional insured listing BUT we will never give it to anyone without a commited job. When we get our anual audit the auditor always asks to see the income for all the additional insured jobs just to be sure we aren't hiding any income since the actual rate is based upon not only payroll but total income. Stand up let the "big guys" go if they don't conform to YOUR company policy. Most of them aren't worth the powder to blow them away anyway.

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Just like the last post, I don't request a cert from my insurance agent until a job is sold. We usually get a sample cert from the client, showing who they want listed and the amounts they are requesting that we carry. We've never had any issues.

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