A certificate of insurance (COI) is a document that verifies you have business liability insurance coverage and condenses crucial information about your policy into one page.
When do I need a certificate of general liability insurance?
A certificate of general liability insurance is the document you present when someone asks for proof of insurance – often when you are signing a contract with a new client, leasing commercial property, or applying for a professional license.
Insurance certificates ease business transactions. It's how you're able to show potential business partners, clients, landlords, and others that an insurer protects your business. A COI is proof that your finances are partially protected by commercial general liability insurance.
Here are some situations where you might need a certificate of liability insurance:
A client requires it. Clients want to know that if you damage their property or cause them to suffer a bodily injury, you'll have business insurance to cover the damages. Typically, when you work with a larger company, they'll require insurance.
Your landlord requires general liability insurance. Many leases state that you need to have fire legal liability coverage, which is often included with general liability insurance. If a fire at your business causes property damage, your policy can help pay for repairs.
You apply for professional licenses. If you apply for certain professional licenses, such as a contractor's license, local laws may require you to have general liability insurance.
How much does general liability insurance cost?
In an analysis of 28,000 small business owners who purchased liability insurance through Insureon, the median cost of general liability insurance was only about $40 per month, or $500 per year.
What information does a certificate of insurance include?
A certificate usually lists the following information about your general liability insurance policy:
- The name of the insured
- The name of your insurance company
- Your general liability policy number
- Indication of whether the policy includes an additional insured or a waiver of subrogation
- Policy effective date and expiration date
- Policy limits, including a per-occurrence limit and an aggregate limit
- A description of your operations, locations, and vehicles
To see what one looks like, check out this sample ACORD certificate of liability insurance [PDF].
How do I get a certificate of general liability insurance?
Many of our clients face this situation: You run a new business, and you're about to sign your first major contract. In order to finalize the deal, you need proof of commercial general liability insurance. You need to get coverage quickly and attach a copy of the general liability certificate to the final contract.
In situations like this, Insureon can help you get covered and email you the certificate of insurance right away. A business can often get coverage on the same day you contact us.
Because we've worked with thousands of small businesses, we know you sometimes need coverage immediately to sign a new contract. That's why we hire expert insurance agents who can help get you covered quickly.
Save money by comparing quotes with Insureon
Complete Insureon’s easy online application today to compare general liability insurance quotes from top-rated U.S. companies. Once you find the right policy for your small business, you can begin coverage in less than 24 hours.