What Is a COI? Here’s How to Read and Interpret a Certificate of Insurance.
Optimized COI review with certified insurance professionals

Construction and risk go hand-in-hand, which is why having the proper insurance during construction projects is so critical. Even more critical, however, is understanding how that insurance is presented, verified, and tracked. That’s where certificates of insurance come into play.

 

What Is a COI, and How Can You Track It?

A certificate of insurance in construction is the standard ACORD 25 form — known most commonly in the industry as a COI — which was created as a standard way of tracking insurance policies. Essentially, a COI summarizes the insurance holder’s coverage. It contains all the basic details about the policy, including:

  • • Policy name
  • • Policy number
  • • Active date
  • • Expiration date
  • • Company name
  • • Type of policy (claims made, occurrence-based, etc.)
  • • Policy specifics
  • • Dollar limits
  • • Insurance carrier information
  • • Broker information

 

Unfortunately, subcontractors could falsify the information on their COIs to secure a job with the general contractor, or COIs might not accurately reflect your subcontractors’ insurance policies.

 

Because COIs aren’t always accurate representations of subcontractors’ insurance coverage, it’s important that you — as the project manager or contract administrator — establish a COI management plan to ensure all subcontractors’ policies correspond with the construction project. And because insurance requirements can vary from one project to the next, standardizing your COI-tracking process is even more critical.

 

To start, verify that all COIs contain the following:

  • • All policies held, such as general liability, workers’ compensation, auto, and umbrella
  • • The dollar limits associated with and required for each policy
  • • Whether policies are current
  • • Whether coverage is “per project” and not “claims made”
  • • A list of all additional insureds
  • • A request for all endorsements
  •  

It’s also important to note when reviewing COIs in construction that some documentation might be missing in the exchange. Sometimes, a subcontractor will not list additional insureds correctly or might fail to provide all the necessary endorsement forms. Always double-check all COIs before proceeding with any subarrangement so you can help lower your company’s construction risk on the job site. If any COI has incorrect or missing information, then risk can transfer to the general contractor if an accident were to happen.

 

You and anyone handling and tracking COI construction documentation on the team must understand the ins and outs of the COI. And if this seems like a complicated process, that’s because it is. Insurance policy documents can be upward of 100 pages, and it’s human nature to rush when comparing documents against a template — which can lead to errors.

 

So what’s the solution for creating an easier, more foolproof COI management plan that takes the load off of your back?

 

Improving Your COI Management Plan

Thankfully, you can remove the possibility for error when tracking COIs with a cutting-edge tech service. When you partner with billy, you can store all COIs and related information in one place. To add even greater convenience, anyone on your team can access the information via mobile phone, laptop, or any other internet-connected device.

 
With billy, construction risk assessments can be conducted at a moment’s notice. You can also manage all certification-related activities (including communication with subcontractors) from a single platform, adding even greater convenience and oversight into operations.

 

Beyond that, billy eliminates the need for manual data entry. Gone are the days of hunting and pecking your way through COI construction documentation — and inevitably entering information incorrectly — freeing up you and anyone else on the team to devote more time to the important stuff, such as budgeting and scheduling.

Consider our app more than mere technology. Instead, billy is a service that tracks and verifies all the necessary insurance information to reduce construction risk. Visit our website or request a demo today to learn more!

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billy is a trademark of BuildAP, Inc. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy / Terms of Service