What Is An ACORD Certificate?

If you’re a business owner who works with contractors or has clients perform jobs for you, you have probably requested a certificate of insurance (COI) – or perhaps businesses you have worked with have requested to see yours. This certificate is a document that proves that a business or contractor is insured. It details how much and what kind of coverage you have, and lets you and others know that you are protecting your business against any accidents or mistakes. One of the most popular and commonly requested types of COI is called an ACORD certificate, so let’s take a look at what this is and whether you need one. 

What Is ACORD Certificate? stamp next tot he word certified in red.

ACORD certificates are governed by the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development. This association is a non-profit organization that provides the standardized forms and certificates for almost 90% of US property and casualty insurance carriers. Before ACORD created standardized forms, insurance companies had their own policy forms, which made it confusing for agents and brokers. 

The standardized forms now make it easier for small business owners to review their insurance and prove to customers and partners that they are insured. If a document meets the ACORD’s standards, it will have “ACORD” stamped on the top left corner of the document. The insurance agency information will be located just below the stamp.

The ACORD 25 form, also known as a certificate of insurance (COI), is a type of liability insurance certificate that provides evidence of liability insurance, such as general liability insurance or professional liability insurance, and is the most commonly requested certificate of insurance. 

Benefits Of ACORD Certificates

When you purchase any type of liability insurance, ask your agent for an ACORD certificate so that you can provide it to any client or business partner that you want to work with. Having this certificate shows that you are covered, and that any business or client that works with you will not have to shoulder liability for any problems that arise. 

ACORD certificates are categorized by number, so you have a better understanding of the forms you need to send to prospects and receive from contractors. Some of the most popular forms used in the insurance industry are:

mans hands in a suit signing paperwork
When working with a contractor or client, you can make sure they have liability insurance by asking for an ACORD certificate.
  • Certificate of Liability Insurance (25)
  • Evidence of Property Insurance (27)
  • Certificate of Property Insurance (24)
  • Evidence of Commercial Property Insurance (28)
  • Additional Remarks (101)

If you are going to work with a contractor or another company, you need to make sure they have their own liability insurance. This will protect your business in the event that they make a mistake, damage a customer’s property, or cause physical harm through their negligence. The best way to do this is by asking them to send you an ACORD certificate. You should be able to do the same if asked for proof of insurance; when you quickly send an ACORD certificate, it shows that you are responsible, which will put people at ease and ensure that they will want to work with you.

If your insurance carrier does not issue ACORD certificates, it might be time to switch carriers to one who is compliant with industry standards. If you want to learn more about ACORD certification, or if you have any other commercial insurance questions, an EZ agent can help! One of our agents will assess your business’ needs, compare plans in minutes, and find a policy that’s right for you. To get free instant quotes, simply enter your zip code in the bar above, or to speak directly with one of our agents in your area, call 888-615-4893.

Do You Need a Certificate of Insurance?

There are lots of ways to spread the word about your business, from advertising to word of mouth to social media marketing. All of these things help to get your name out there, and tell people that you’re the best in the business. Your potential customers or clients also want to know that they can trust your services and advice. They want to know that, if anything goes wrong, you will take responsibility and make things right. Let’s take a look at what a COI is and why it is important.

What Is a Certificate Of Insurance?

piece of paper with signature and red certification circle on the bottom
A COI is a physical or electronic document that proves you have a valid commercial insurance policy.

If you have a car, then you have auto insurance, right? And if you have auto insurance, then you have an insurance ID card in your glove compartment. Think of a certificate of insurance as something similar.  A COI is a physical or electronic document that proves you have a valid commercial insurance policy. It is a quick overview of the policy you hold, and includes:

  • Your name and business information
  • The insurance company that issued your policy
  • The policy number, effective date, and expiration date
  • The type of policy (such as general liability or professional liability)
  • Policy limits and deductible amounts
  • Additional insured, meaning anyone else who is covered under your policy

These certificates might be packed with information, but they are only one page long. This means that you can post them in your place of business, or easily show them to clients (instead of having to pull out your multi-page insurance policy). 

Do I Need a COI?

If your business provides advice or services to customers or clients, then there is always the possibility for things to go wrong. A handyman might accidentally put a ladder through a window, a freelance IT tech could miss a data breach, a contractor might be overseeing a building site where someone gets injured. To protect against claims of physical injury, property damage, financial loss, or even bad advice, you

 need at least one type of commercial insurance policy, and a certificate of insurance to go along with it.

two hands shaking with a red certified document in the background

Not many companies or customers want to work with a business that doesn’t have insurance, so being able to show them that piece of paper is an extremely important way to keep your business growing. If you are a contractor, then you will probably be required by the companies that hire you to show a COI. Other business owners can preemptively offer a COI to a client as a way to earn trust, get an edge on the competition, or simply show that they are professionals who take their business seriously. 

How Do I Get One?

caucasian hands with one hand on laptop keyboard and the other hand holding a cell phone
If you need certificates of insurance to give to clients, you can contact your insurance company, agent, or broker.

Finally, there’s something fairly simple associated with your business insurance! Getting your initial certificate of insurance shouldn’t require any extra work on your part, it should be included – for free – with all of the documents you receive after purchasing your policy. If you need additional certificates to give to clients, you can contact your insurance company, agent, or broker. These additional certificates are also free and should be quick and easy to get. If you need to add your client as an “additional insured” or add extra coverage for a specific job, then it may take a few days to a few weeks to get a new COI.

When it comes to your commercial insurance, your policy should be “if you’ve got it, flaunt it.” If you’ve taken the responsible step of insuring your business, then let your customers know – and watch your business take off. If you’re shopping around for commercial insurance, or need a new plan, then EZ.Insure is the place to be. We’ll answer all of your questions, give you instant quotes, even sign you up – all for free! Don’t go another day without the policies that will get you noticed, or with a policy that’s not working for you. Get started with us by simply entering your zip code in the bar above, or speak to an agent directly by calling 888-615-4893.