CertainCert Insurance Certificate Management & Tracking Blog

Georgia Bill Clarifies Insurance Certificates Does this Help or Hurt?

Posted by Cary White on Fri, Apr 29, 2011 @ 15:04 PM

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Georgia Certificate of Insurance WarningGeorgia joins the list of states that have enacted bills clarifying the nature of insurance certificates.  As of April 27th, it is expected that Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal will sign into law a bill requiring all insurance certificate forms be filed with and approved by the state insurance commissioner. This is a huge win for Acord and for insurance companies. How does this bill and others like it affect you?

Insurance agents and brokers and insurance companies nationwide have had long running problems with certificate holders that want additional coverage and protection through myriad custom modifications to insurance certificates intended to add or amend policy provisions in favor of the certificate holder.

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Topics: liability certificate, certificate of liability insurance, insurance certificates, insurance certificate tracking, waiver of subrogation, primary wording, tracking software, risk management software, certificates of insurance, commercial general liability insurance, commercial liability insurance, insurance broker software, insurance agent software

CertainCert Reviewed By IRMI

Posted by Cary White on Thu, Apr 21, 2011 @ 15:04 PM

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IRMI Logo - IRMI Construction Risk Management review of Insurance Certificate Tracking SystemsAnn Hickman, CPCU, ARM, CRIS and Conference Curriculum Director for the International Risk Management Institute completed a review of automated certificate tracking systems. CertainCert was one of the select systems reviewed. 

CertainCert is pleased to be recognized as a leader among insurance certificate tracking systems. CertainCert is also pleased to be singled out for our experience, constant modifications, easy of use and low cost.

The results of her review were published in the March 2011 supplement to CONSTRUCTION RISK MANAGEMENT. For copies contact the International Risk Management Institute, Inc. in Dallas, Texas at (972) 960-7693 or on the web at www.IRMI.com.

Topics: insurance management software, insurance certificate tracking, IRMI, International Risk Management Institute, Construction Risk Management

Certificate of Liabilty Insurance Request Letters and Cert Tracking

Posted by Cary White on Fri, Feb 18, 2011 @ 15:02 PM

Fire Hose - Certificate of Liability Insurance Request LettersReceive Blog eBook FREE

Are you sending out letter after letter requesting insurance certificates, re-requesting certificates and re-re-requesting insurance certificates? Are you frustrated with your results? If you are serious about insurance certificate tracking and insurance certificate management, certificate of liability insurance request letters are essential. Any casual review of the web will surface any number of sample letters from well intentioned businesses addressing their specific industry, business style and goals. Most are well intentioned letters politely requesting an insurance certificate and include a highlight of one or more essential provisions. These are a recipe for disaster. You will continue sending out letter after letter like blasts from a hose. Some will hit their mark. Most will not.

Insurance certificate tracking success necessitates a moment of reflection and a well thought out strategy when it comes to effective certificate of liability insurance request letters.

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Topics: insurance management software, insurance tracking, liability certificate, certificate of liability insurance, insurance certificates, insurance certificate tracking, additional insured, insurance software, insurance law, online certificate, insurance compliance, waiver of subrogation, primary wording, cancellation, insurance requirements, liability insurance, lender insurance requirements, insurance limits, professional liability insurance, tracking software, risk management software, certificates of insurance, commercial general liability insurance, commercial liability insurance, insurance broker software, insurance agent software, Insurance Certificate Request Letter, contract management software

Professional Liability Insurance Tracking - Claims Made Concerns

Posted by Cary White on Thu, Feb 17, 2011 @ 16:02 PM

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Professional Liability Insurance Tracking - Claims Made ConcernsOccurrence coverage is the norm for general liability insurance policies today. Subject to the terms and conditions of the insurance policy, coverage will respond to any incidents that occurred during the policy period regardless of when the claim is reported. In general, coverage specifically for prior acts is not needed because it is already covered as the date of the occurrence is the trigger for the coverage not the date of the work or act. Likewise, with some exceptions, tail coverage is not necessary because coverage exists for occurrences during the policy period regardless of the date the claim is reported. While these are generally true, care must still be taken because select insurers endeavor to limit their risk by adding prior loss exclusions and sunset clauses to select general liability policies.

Unlike general liability insurance, claims made coverage is the norm for professional liability policies. Claims made coverage is subject to two essential coverage triggers: (1) the date of the occurrence, and (2) the date the claim was made. Claims made policies will only respond to claims first made during the policy period provided the loss or damage first occurred after the retroactive date. Unsophisticated or budget conscious professional may purchase professional liability coverage with a retroactive date equal to the inception date of the policy. Unless they purchased tail coverage on their prior policies, these professionals have purchased coverage that does not cover their past work. The only coverage they have is for incidents which first occurred and were reported during the policy period.

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Topics: insurance management software, insurance tracking, liability certificate, certificate of liability insurance, insurance certificates, insurance certificate tracking, additional insured, cancellation, insurance requirements, liability insurance, insurance limits, professional liability insurance, errors and omissions insurance, e&o insurance

Professional Liability Insurance Tracking - Consent to Settle & Hammer Clause

Posted by Cary White on Wed, Feb 16, 2011 @ 15:02 PM

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Professional Liability Insurance Tracking   Consent to Settle and Hammer ClauseUnlike general liability policies where insurers control defense and settlement without the consent of the insured, nearly all professional liability policies do not allow the insurance carrier to settle any claim without the agreement of the insured. This provision has evolved to protect the reputational harm of the insured. The hammer clause is a policy provision intended to encourage the consent of the insured to reasonable settlement offers suggested by the professional liability insurer. Hammer clauses are common on professional liability policies. They can vary in scope and severity. Every hammer clause addresses the indemnity and defense responsibilities of the professional liability insurer if the insured does not consent to a settlement suggested by the insurer. In most cases the insurance company will not pay for any indemnity amount greater than the amount of the proposed settlement. Likewise, the insurance company is not responsible for paying any further defense expenses. While variations do exist in some policies, the insured should expect to be responsible for 100% of any indemnity amount and defense expenses after rejecting the settlement offer suggested by their professional liability insurance carrier. Some insurance policies may not contain a hammer clause, but beware, these same policies may not contain a consent to settle provision either.

Insurance Certificate Tracking

Regrettably, these provisions are common to professional liability insurance policies but not typically referenced anywhere on insurance certificates or other proof of insurance reasonable for insurance certificate tracking and monitoring. Requesting a copy of the entire insurance policy is possible, but problematic and cumbersome. Furthermore, what should you do if you find that the consent to settle and hammer clause are not satisfactory to you? Alternative clauses or insurers more palatable to you may not exist. Choosing not to contract with someone based on these provisions may also be excessive.

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Topics: insurance management software, insurance tracking, liability certificate, certificate of liability insurance, insurance certificates, insurance certificate tracking, insurance requirements, liability insurance, insurance limits, professional liability insurance, errors and omissions insurance, e&o insurance

Professional Liability Insurance Tracking - Additional Insureds

Posted by Cary White on Tue, Feb 15, 2011 @ 15:02 PM

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Professional Liability Insurance Tracking - Concerns of Additional InsuredsDo you request an additional insured endorsement from professionals that work for or with you? Have you experienced trouble obtaining additional insured endorsements from professionals?

It is common practice to request an additional insured endorsement from General Liability insurers and there is a great body of law and experience surrounding those requests. Professional Liability insurance is different. In most cases, underwriters do not allow Additional Insured endorsements on professional liability policies. Getting an Additional Insured endorsement can be vexing particularly for construction projects or other circumstances involving municipalities other government agencies, lenders and others accustomed to being named as an Additional Insured on all liability policies. Why is it so hard to get an Additional Insured endorsement from a professional liability policy?

Essential Reason

Professional Liability coverage is triggered by an allegation of negligence regarding the rendering or failure to render professional services. Parties seeking to be added as an Additional Insured to a Professional Liability policy are generally not a professional firm or providing professional services. Instead, such parties are looking for defense and coverage for suits brought against them. If allowed, such parties would be expected to tender claims for defense to professional liability insurers whether or not an allegation of professional negligence surfaces. Such defense claims would likely be denied by the professional liability insurer as these exposures are contrary to the underwriter's expectations and the policy wording.

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Topics: insurance management software, insurance tracking, liability certificate, insurance certificates, insurance certificate tracking, additional insured, insurance requirements, liability insurance, insurance limits, professional liability insurance, errors and omissions insurance, e&o insurance, wasting limit policy, insured v. insured

Appropriate Pain Is Essential For Insurance Certificate Management

Posted by Cary White on Thu, Feb 10, 2011 @ 15:02 PM

Receive Blog eBook FREEPain   Credible Actionable Pain Is Essential For Successful Insurance Certificate Management

Unfortunately most insurance certificates you receive will have one error or another. Many certificates will have several errors. Some errors will be caused by failure of communication on your part. Some errors will be caused by the failure of one or more parties to share your insurance requirements with their respective insurance agent(s) and/or broker(s). Some errors are the result of routine or shortcuts on the part of the insurance agent or broker. Some errors will be a consequence of the insured not having the insurance your requirements specify. Presuming you have taken extraordinary steps to ensure the best communication of your insurance requirements and that they are reasonable, what should you do about the other error causes?

HISTORY OF PASSIVE TECHNIQUES TO ENFORCE INSURANCE CERTIFICATE COMPLIANCE

Over many years, it still amazes me that certificate holders have not varied their arsenal to combat insurance certificate issuance errors.  Generally, the only steps taken fall into one of three categories:

- delay in contract

- delay in start

- delay in payment

Each of these is a passive inducement which may harm one or both of the contracting parties more than persuade greater attention to detail regarding insurance certificate issuance. If you are a contractor and want your concrete subcontractor to start work today so your schedule does not slip, is it in your best interest to delay the start of the subcontractor’s work for an insurance certificate. What would be the dollar impact of such a delay on the general contractor, on the subcontractor, and on the subcontractor’s insurance broker.  Likewise, would it be a good idea for the contractor to allow the subcontractor to start work without a signed subcontract simply because an appropriate insurance certificate has not been received. Furthermore, what is the impact to the general contractor, subcontractor and others if payment is delayed until an appropriate insurance certificate has been received?

None of these three approaches address or discourage multiple failed insurance certificates more than a single failed insurance certificate. Keeping with the same example above, what is the cost to the general contractor and their team to review multiple copies of the same insurance certificate over and over again with few if any changes?

What is the cost to a developer if their loan is delayed because their insurance certificates do not meet the letter of the lender’s requirements.  What is the cost to the tenant if the landlord will not allow them to move in until an appropriate certificate of insurance is received and approved?

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Topics: insurance tracking, liability certificate, certificate of liability insurance, insurance certificates, insurance certificate tracking, real estate property owner insruance requirements, insurance requirements, lender insurance requirements, real estate developer insurance requirements

Insurance Requirement Question - Best's Ratings

Posted by Cary White on Wed, Feb 09, 2011 @ 15:02 PM

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AM Best - About Best's RatingsA.M. Best Rating

While some require that all insurers be an Admitted insurer, a better gauge for determining the financial strength or an insurance company is likely the Best’s Credit Rating reported by A. M. Best Co. A.M. Best Co. was founded in 1899 and was the first independent rating agency in the world to evaluate and report on the financial strength of insurance companies. Best’s Ratings are recognized as the leading independent objective insurance company evaluating entity recognized by insurance professionals. Each insurance is subjected to the same rigorous criteria intended to assess their financial strength. A.M. Best then assigns each company three types of ratings: Best’s Financial Strength Ratings; Best’s Insurer Credit Ratings; and Best’s Debt Ratings.  Every A.M. Best evaluation is an independent opinion, based on A.M. Best’s comprehensive quantitative and qualitative evaluations of a company’s balance sheet strength, operating performance and business profile. While no A.M. Best evaluation is a warranty of a company’s strength or ability to meets its obligations to policyholders or other financial obligations they are essential tools for insurance industry professionals and those that rely on insurance to weigh the strength of the insurance companies on which they rely.

Best’s Financial Strength Ratings are the most important to

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Topics: best rating, insurance requirements, A.M. Best, best's rating

Insurance Requirement Question - Admitted vs. Non-Admitted Insurers?

Posted by Cary White on Tue, Feb 08, 2011 @ 15:02 PM

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Approved – Should Admitted Insurance Be Required?Far too often we encounter insurance requirements that require all insurers be Admitted. Presumably such requirements are intended to provide the certificate holder some comfort about the security of each insurer.  Conversely, Nonadmitted insurers must provide less or insufficient security. While financial security of each insurer may be the goal, any additional protections afforded to the certificate holder by Admitted insurers are minimal at best and may be counterproductive.

Admitted Insurers

Admitted insurers are subject to modest financial oversight by the states where they are admitted.  The level of oversight varies from state to state.

Admitted insurers must file their rates, policy forms and endorsements to each state insurance department for specific review and approval.  This process is long, complicated and expensive.  With few exceptions, Admitted insurers must use their filed rates, policy forms and endorsements without deviation.

In some states Admitted insurers may be covered by a state administered guarantee fund.  In California this fund 

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Topics: insurance management software, insurance tracking, insurance certificate tracking

Another Additional Insured Coverage Gap Uncovered

Posted by Cary White on Mon, Jan 24, 2011 @ 15:01 PM

Receive Blog eBook FREEAnother Additional Insured Coverage Gap

Insurance certificate management is more than a quick review of a certicate or checking a box.  Whether we like it or not, it is essential that a knowledgeable person read every certificate and attachment carefully to be certain that the required insurance coverage is being provided. This is especially true of additional insured endorsement you receive with your insurance certificates. 

Most insurance and legal professionals recommend that your written construction agreement clearly requires an additional insured endorsement (AI) in the name of the project owner.  

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Topics: insurance tracking, liability certificate, certificate of liability insurance, insurance certificates, insurance certificate tracking, additional insured, waiver of subrogation, insurance requirements, liability insurance