6 Insurance Certificate Request Letter Essentials
Insurance certificates are essential for businesses and others working together. Insurance certificates are an essential step in proving the financial responsibility of the contracting party to their client. Insurance certificates should comply with the insurance requirements agreed to between the parties, illustrating the types of coverage, satisfactory limits of insurance, the period of coverage and the insurance carriers providing the coverage. The insurance certificate will provide some comfort that the contracting party has the specified insurance coverage and that it is current.
If you are considering doing business with any company, like buying the company's product or services, or allowing representatives of the company to come onto your premises to do work, you should first consider what minimum amount of insurance you would expect from such companies. Each company should have sufficient general liability insurance, workers's compensation insurance and even automobile liability insurance. Then, before allowing them to proceed, you should communicate your expectations clearly and in writing. Ideally, your expectations should be in a contract or an addendum to the contract. If neither is possible, then a letter may suffice. If a company cannot provide sufficient proof of insurance to you in the form of an insurance certificate, then you should first re-evaluate whether your insurance expectations are appropriate, realistic, and can be complied with by other similar businesses for the operations anticipated. If so, then you need to re-evaluate whether you should proceed with the company that cannot meet your insurance expectations or consider another.
Requesting insurance certificates from companies you do businesses with is simple enough, but here are several suggestions to make this effort as fruitful as possible:
- Contract - Your insurance requirements should be clear, in writing and made a part of the contract between you and that company.
- Letter - Your insurance certificate request letter should include a copy of your insurance requirements as an attachment to your letter.
- Follow-Up - Your subsequent insurance certificate follow-up letters should also include a copy of your insurance requirements and state the consequences of non-compliance
- Verify - You will likely receive something, but it may not be what you requested. Carefully review the insurance certificate you receive to be sure that it meets your insurance coverage requirements
- Enforce - If you do not receive a compliant insurance certificate, then you must follow through with the consequences noted in your insurance requirements and iterated in your follow-up correspondence
- Renewal - All insurance expires eventually. It is important to note the expiration date of the coverage noted in the insurance certificates and request a new insurance certificate when the old coverage expires. Ideally, your first letter should be sent 15-30 days before policy expiration and should contain a copy of your insurance requirements as an attachment.
Here is a sample insurance certificate request letter for your review and use. This should be typed on your company letterhead.
(Your Vendor's or Contractor's Name)
(Your Vendor's or Contractor's Address)
Re: (Contract No. or Description Of Work)
Insurance Certificate Request Letter
As a condition of doing business with our company, you are required to provide us satisfactory evidence of insurance. I have enclosed a copy of our minimum insurance requirements to this letter.
Please direct your insurance agent or insurance company to send us a certificate of insurance as directed in our insurance requirements including all necessary attachments.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this request.
One final consideration is your preferred communication method. Mail may be too slow if you are eager to get started right away. Many use faxes, but email may be better still. Discuss with legal counsel if email may be sufficient instead. Whatever correspondence method you want to use, it should be clear in your insurance requirements as well as your subsequent correspondence.