If you’re running a startup or practicing a profession where you have to provide tangible services (e.g construction, writing, bookkeeping, etc.), clients might ask if you have liability insurance.
And how to prove you own a business that’s insured or you yourself are insured? The only way to do so is to show your personal certificate of liability insurance or simply certificate of liability insurance.
Keep reading if the term liability insurance certificate is new to you. In this guide, we will talk about what is a certificate of liability insurance, how much does a certificate of insurance cost, how to get a certificate of liability insurance, and more! But before we do so, let’s discuss what a COI is to avoid confusion.
So what is a COI? COI is a short term for certificate of insurance. A COI in insurance is, in essence, a document serving as the legal evidence that you’re insured. In auto insurance terms, COI is sometimes also called a certificate of cover.
Another way to answer your question about what is COI in insurance is to tell you that it's a broad term that pertains to certificate of liability insurance, certificate of business insurance, certificate of contractors insurance , certificate of insurance for events, and certificate of vendors insurance.
With that said, there’s no need to wonder much about what is a COI in insurance or what does COI mean in insurance as it’s just industry jargon.
There are many definitions as to what certificates of liability insurance are. And so, we’ll show you all of the meanings in this section.
Liability certificate of insurance is a one-page document that proves you’re covered by a specific liability insurance policy and can pay if ever a client makes a claim.
Certification of liability insurance or insurance certificate of liability is a document showing the:
Contact details (Phone number, email, or fax)
Who your insurance carrier is/are
What liability policies you purchased (general liability, professional liability, employer’s liability, products liability, etc.)
The policy limit or amount of coverage (money) you can get from your liability policies
A certificate of liability insurance proves that you’re insured. It is a form issued by the insurance company upon your request. Take a look at this sample certificate of liability insurance to get an idea.
Note that some companies also like to issue a liability certificate of insurance with a very simple format, which will look very different from the above photo.
The term proof of liability insurance or evidence of liability insurance is just another term for cert of liability insurance. Proof of liability insurance coverage and certificate of liability insurance coverage are used interchangeably. With that said, no need to get confused.
When requesting to get a liability certificate of insurance from a company or insurance agent, always be wary not to coin these terms, which people often use, when referring to coi liability insurance.
Certified liability insurance
COI insurance or insurance COI
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General liability is a type of liability insurance policy that protects you from the cost of client personal injury claims or property damage claims. Furthermore, it can be added with optional policies such as products and completed operations coverage, products liability coverage, and advertising injury coverage for enhanced protection.
Carriers allow you to get a certificate of insurance general liability the moment you decide to get covered. Your certificate of general liability insurance form contains vital information such as:
Name of the policyholder (your business name or your name)
Additional insureds (other entities or individuals you stated as covered by your general liability insurance policy)
Name of insurer(s) or carrier(s) (the insurance company where you purchased the general liability coverage)
The optional policies added to general liability insurance, if there are any (products and completed operations, advertising injury, etc.)
The inclusions and exclusions in your general liability policy
The general liability insurance’s effective duration
Policy limits (if sub-limits apply then the certificate of general liability insurance will also show how much)
Type of general liability policy (per occurrence or claims made)
Policy number (a unique number code that’s unique to your general liability insurance policy)
Professional liability insurance answers your financial liability upon causing economic loss or financial loss because of mistakes, negligence, misrepresentation, and violation of good faith. Carriers will also provide a certificate of professional liability insurance as soon as you purchase the policy. A certificate of liability insurance shows the following information:
Name of the policyholder (your business name or your name)
Additional insureds (other entities or individuals you stated as covered by your professional liability insurance policy)
Name of insurer(s) or carrier(s) (the insurance company where you purchased the professional liability coverage)
The inclusions and exclusions in your professional liability policy
The professional liability insurance’s effective duration
Policy number (a unique number code that’s unique to your professional liability insurance policy)
The certificate of insurance for contractors or contractor COI for short proves that a contractor has the insurance policies providing coverage if ever the client makes a claim because of the following:
Breach of contract
Violation of good faith
Any issues arising from a defective product or inadequate service
There are many formats for contractor insurance certificates. Here’s one we found online:
Organizers always request for a confirmation of coverage from vendors , which is called vendors certificate of insurance. Typically, the format of vendor COI is similar to the format of certificate of liability insurance.
A business coi or company coi, otherwise called certificate of insurance for business or business certificate of insurance, is a document that proves you’ve purchased a particular business insurance policy for yourself or your business.
Just as there are many types of business insurance, there are many types of companies certificate of insurance such as commercial property coi in business, commercial auto coi for business, workers comp business insurance certificate, and so on. Let’s take the time to discuss each of these in detail.
The first business certificate you need to know about is the coi for commercial property insurance. Commercial property insurance is the policy that will take care of losses caused by business interruption, business equipment breakdown, and damage to business buildings and other tangible assets.
Commercial property insurance always comes with a coi'. Here’s what the standard commercial property business owner certificate of insurance looks like:
So what can you do with a business certificate of insurance like this one? Essential information inside a commercial property certificate of insurance are:
Name of the policyholder
Name of insurer(s) or carrier(s)
NAIC number of the carrier
Customer ID #
Effective date and expiration date of the commercial property insurance policy
Specific coverages included in your commercial property insurance
Inclusions and exclusions
Vehicles used for business purposes are best covered using commercial auto liability insurance as it’s cheaper and provides more coverage than personal auto liability insurance.
The proof of business commercial auto liability insurance looks very different from business proof of insurance for commercial property coverage. Usually, the certificate of auto liability insurance is issued as a card and looks like this:
As shown in the above photo of card proof of commercial insurance, a commercial auto liability insurance certificate contains the following information:
Insurance carrier details
Optional coverages (if there are any)
Policy effective and expiry date
Type of vehicle insured
Vehicle make and model
Workers compensation insurance sees to it that a business can help employees recover lost income due to missed employment and medical expenses after experiencing a work-related injury.
Sometimes, authorities might ask you to hand over a copy of proof of business insurance for purchasing a workers comp coverage. This is very important as workers comp coi means in business that you’re not infringing any laws.
So what does a workers comp certificate of insurance look like? Actually, there is no business proof of insurance for workers comp coverage. Remember certificate of liability insurance? There’s a section in this coi' which tells whether or not workers comp is purchased.
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Thimble is a short-term insurance carrier that allows its policyholders to get a certificate of insurance online. According to the company, its certificate of insurance shows the following information:
Policyholder legal name and business information as well as state location and street address
The name of the insurance company where you bought your policy, its state, and street address
Policy number, effective date, and expiration
The type of coverage currently in force
Insurance limits and deductibles
The name of the party requesting the COI
A section that tells whether the certificate holder is an additional insured
Thimble certificate of insurance follows the format of acord 25 certificate of liability insurance.
Next’s insurance certificate is very innovative. It can only be viewed through the Next insurance app and looks like it's part of it. Next’s insurance policy certificate looks very clean and straightforward. The certification of insurance from Next shows basic information such as the policy purchased and the name of the insured. Furthermore, you can do the following with it:
Email the certificate of insurance to someone
Show the certificate of insurance as text or social media post
Add additional insureds
CoverWallet isn’t an insurance company. However, it can sell the policies of its partners and issue certificates of insurance to the customer through the MyCoverWallet app. According to CoverWallet, its certificate of insurance shows the following information:
Type of coverage
Inclusions, exclusions, and policy limits
The name of the representative issuing the certificate
If you want to know what CoverWallet’s certificate of insurance might look like, we suggest you watch this video .
Progressive doesn’t only offer a certificate of insurance. It also allows policyholders to get insurance cards containing the following information:
Name and address of the insurance company
Effective date and expiration date
Name of the policyholder
Year, make, model, and VIN (only applies for cert of insurance of auto liability coverage for business and independent professionals)
Are there photos of Progressive’s COI? We found a proof of business insurance template following Progressive’s formatting:
What is the COI from Hiscox? Hiscox’s proof of business insurance has different formats. Here’s an example showing what are COI's from Hiscox:
Here’s how the certificate of insurance from USAA looks like:
Geico is one of the cheapest, if not the most affordable, car insurer in the United States. And aside from cars, this company also insures businesses. So what is the certificate of insurance from Geico? Available Geico certificate of insurance are:
Geico insurance card for auto coverage
Geico temporary insurance card for auto coverage
Geico business liability insurance certificate
Geico certificate of liability insurance for independent professionals
Geico general liability insurance certificate
Geico uses different formats for each of its coi’s. Here’s a sample geico insurance card for auto coverage and liability coverage for professionals and businesses.
The Hartford provides comprehensive protection for businesses and gives its policyholders the liberty to get public liability insurance certificate (PLI certificate) and other types of COI for small business and big business. Your certificate of insurance from this company follows ACORD’s formatting. This is its appearance:
This is what the State Farm certificate of insurance for small business and big business looks like:
Farmers Insurance Exchange uses different formats for its certificate of insurance. The photos below show what are COI from Farmers and their look:
The best thing to do is to call your insurance agent, broker, or carrier and tell them what specific details the event organizer wants to see in your certificate of insurance and when it should be submitted.
Providing proof of your insurance to someone abroad is easy. First, you can do it online if the carrier has an intuitive policy tool that allows you to send a COI as a text message, photo, or email. If not, then the other method is to get a PDF copy of your certificate or email it. The final method is to mail your certificate to the other person.
Getting or sending your insurance certification online to someone happens in an instant. On the other hand, if done with the help of agents or customer service representatives, you’ll receive your certificate within 1 - 2 days, provided that the COI will be faxed or emailed. If it will be mailed, then you’ll receive your COI within 3 - 5 days or longer.
To get your proof of insurance online, what you’ll usually do is either use your carrier’s certificate of insurance management software or website (if there’s any); or email and request for the COI to be emailed back. Now that you know how to get insurance certificate online, let’s discuss how to get the certificate of insurance of some carriers.
You can do any of the following to show your proof of insurance online:
Scan your proof of insurance and email it as a pdf file
Take a picture of your proof of insurance, convert it into a pdf file, then send it via email
Use your carriers online policy management tool (only applies if there is)
CoverWallet’s policyholders can get their certificate of insurance in the MyCoverWallet app or the CoverWallet website. These are the steps in how to get online proof of insurance from the company:
Log in to the MyCoverWallet app or CoverWallet website
Click or tap “My Insurance”
Click or tap “Certificates”
Click or tap “View Certificate” to see what a particular certificate of insurance looks like
Click or tap “Save” or “Download”
Thimble’s insurance by the hour, days, or weeks comes with a certificate of insurance. To get it, you can call a Thimble agent or broker. However, if you’re in a hurry, you can get Thimble’s certificate insurance through its app or website. These are the steps in how to get proof of insurance online from Thimble:
Log in to the Thimble app or website
Click or tap “View Certificate”
Click or tap “Share” or “Download”
Next offers proof of insurance online. If you’re a customer, all you have to do to get the Next Insurance certificate of insurance is log in to the Next app or website, go to the Live Certificate page or tab, then instruct the system to share your online proof of insurance via email, text, or social media post.
Getting insurance certificates from Hiscox is rather traditional. To get it, file a certificate of insurance request or COI request by sending an email to customer support or contacting your agent.
If you’re currently holding a policy from State Farm, create your certificate of insurance by visiting this page .
But in case you don’t want to do the legwork, another way in how to get insurance certificate is by calling a State Farm agent.
If no agent has the time to help, you can also call State Farm customer service representatives via 800-782-8332 to get proof of insurance.
So how to get COI from Progressive? What you have to do depends on what kind of policy you purchased from the company.
If you’re holding an auto insurance policy, get your certificate of insurance online by logging in to Progressive's website using your credentials and printing the insurance card.
For other policies, you can call 1-866-749-7436 to request a certificate of insurance and have it faxed to you or someone else.
Finally, if not through fax or online, call the same number and request Progressive to mail your certificate of insurance.
How do you get a certificate of insurance from Geico? If you’re a customer, you can request for certificate of insurance by logging in to Geico’s website or app then go to the policy documents section.
If you find this process about Geico request for evidence of insurance confusing, call Geico customer representatives at (800) 861-8380. Note that this method only applies to getting personal certificate of liability insurance Geico and other COIs.
There is no certification of insurance online for special coverages. For getting a certificate of special insurance coverage, call (877) 206-0215 for assistance.
Aside from proof of insurance Geico, you can also get a Geico ins card or Geico ID card. To do this, you only have to install the Geico mobile app, log in, then tap on the ‘View ID Cards” section.
If you’re wondering how to get a business certificate of insurance from Farmers as well as certificates of other policies the company offers, know that you can do so by calling a customer service representative at 1-888-327-6335. You can also visit their website , which is the second method in how to get business certificate of insurance and other COIs from Farmers.
Since Wayfair is not an insurance company, you can get certificates by calling the carriers that Wayfair partnered with to give you coverage.
Certificate of insurance cost is zero. Never pay a dime for getting your certificate of liability insurance, certificate of business insurance, etc. COI is free and always will be. Report your carrier to the authorities or its agent if you’re asked to make a payment.
You are only eligible to get a COI if you bought a policy from an insurance company. Aside from this, there are no other requirements for getting a certificate of liability insurance, certificate of business insurance, etc.
Fake business insurance certificate, fake workers comp certificate, and fake general liability insurance certificate are examples of fake COI. In a nutshell, a fake COI or fake certificate of insurance - if you prefer the lengthy term - allows fraudsters to get contracts without the required insurance requirements.
Some of the most common fake COIs are fake certificate of insurance for events, fake instant insurance card, fake certificate of insurance for vendors, and fake contractors insurance certificate.
Why do people use fake business certificate of insurance, fake liability insurance certificate, and other types of fake COI? The reasons are as follows:
The person wants to get the contract and needs to satisfy particular insurance required, which he or she doesn’t currently have, to do so
The person wants to rent something and needs to look like he or she is insured to do so
The person needs to look like he or she is insured in order to get access to an event as a vendor or craftsman
Fake insurance cards for commercial auto coverage are also common. Some use this to bypass auto insurance requirements mandated by law and business contracts. Why is this common anyway? Fake insurance cards are common due to websites that allow people to download free fake insurance card templates or teach people how to make a fake insurance card.
To create fake business certificate of insurance and other types of proof of insurance might be illegal. And so, we suggest you don’t learn to do it. Know that at the end of the day, doing so will bring more trouble for more than what it’s worth.
The table below shows the situations and what certificate of insurance you might need to provide:
|When||What COI You’ll Need to Show|
|You want to register your car registered as a commercial car||Commercial auto liability COI or commercial auto liability insurance card|
|You want to rent someone’s building||Commercial property certificate of insurance|
|You’re under a lawsuit accusing you of not providing compensation to employees for work-related injuries and need to prove that the opposite is true||Certificate of liability insurance template with a workers comp field/section|
|You’re bidding for a construction project||Contractors certificate of insurance|
|You plan to sell your goods at an event||Vendor certificate of insurance|
|Someone wants your services||Professional liability insurance certificate|
|You’re planning to get a business license as well as other related papers||Commercial property COI, general liability COI, auto liability COI.|
Click the link below to download California's certificate of liability insurance sample.
Click the links below to download Florida certificate of liability insurance form.
Download Certificate of insurance Florida (Form 2) (courtesy of Florida Office of Insurance Regulation)
Download Florida auto insurance card template (coming soon)
Click the link below to download texas certificate of liability insurance form pdf fillable.
Here are some sample certificate of liability insurance as well as other kinds of certificate of liability insurance available to download (note all the COIs provided here are sourced from the Texas Department of Insurance):
This place is an absolute joke of a company and should be ashamed of the way they conduct business. I was hurt on the job at the end of July and it took them just shy of 7 weeks to issue out a paycheck to me. Yes the amount was back dated but still. Not many have the luxury of not receiving a paycheck for almost 2 months. To top it all off, the original adjuster marked me down for the wrong state which caused a problem from the get go, I've had 3 different adjusters now since each one can't seem to figure out the simplicity of my claim. All my paperwork which includes, my job, house, and drs visits all are from the same state and city but yet some how I have been filed under a completely different state 1500 miles away. They do not answer your phone calls or emails no matter how many you leave. I've had to escalate my frustrations to the supervisors of each of these individuals in order to even get some kind of response. I've had more communication and information given to me about my claim from the customer service representatives then the actual adjusters.......... please tell me how that works?! A serious overhaul needs to happen here in order to serve your clients the way they deserve to be taken care of. 10/10 do not recommend this company to a single soul on earth
I have never had the displeasure of working with a more incompetent and disrespectful person in my life. I’m an injured worker and the adjuster that was assigned to my case was named Carrie Furgeson. In the past 6 weeks that I’ve been injured and out of work I have only been able to get ahold of her twice, not for lack of trying. I have left countless voicemails, countless emails, and she ignores them all. When I am finally able to get ahold of her I’m greeted with terrible customer service. She is rude, she talks over me and I’m hardly able to get a word in edgewise. She spelled my name wrong on my documents even after I spelled it for her properly countless times, this caused a whole new issue with my bank. I have bill collectors from the hospital calling me demanding payment and Carrie Furgeson won’t do a single thing to help, or to get them paid. All of my documentation is in Colorado, my job is in Colorado, my address is in Colorado, all my Dr offices and appointments have been in Colorado and Carrie still managed to hold my claim because she wasn’t sure what state she needed to file it under. It’s been 6 weeks since my Injury and my company still hasn’t received the wage paperwork to fill out so they can get me my correct wages. When she’s not ignoring me she’s answering my questions with “I don’t know” well I don’t know how she got this job, because apparently she doesn’t know anything about it. She is a disgusting morose individual inside and out and I genuinely wish her the worst in all of her future endeavors. I highly recommend you don’t use this company. Please if you are a business owner and your looking into this company please don’t use them. I’m sure they have the cheapest payment and that’s why companies use them in the first place, but you will be doing your employees a grave disservice by forcing them to venture into this absolute dumpster fire of a company. I would rate 0/5 if possible but 1 was the lowest I was allowed.
Their general liability insurance purchase process is simply the best online experience I've ever had in my life!
As long as they cover your line of business, you're literally covered! best rates, best coverage, best online experience, best professionals, can't be happier that I chose them!
It really can't get any better than this... wow