A certificate of insurance is a document issued by or on behalf of an insurance company to a third party who has not contracted with the insurer to purchase an insurance policy. The most common type of certificate is that provided for informational purposes to advise a third party of the existence and amount of insurance issued to the named insured.
Such informational certificates are usually issued in conjunction with a contractual relationship between a third party and the named insured, requiring that the named insured have a particular amount and type of insurance. Such requirements are particularly common in construction contracts with large contractors, government entities, and major corporations.
In addition to describing the insurance available to the named insured, a certificate may also convey information that the certificate holder is an additional insured under the policy issued to the named insured, thus giving the certificate holder some interest in the policy itself.
A Certificate of Insurance validates the existence of an insurance policy. It may be issued by an issuer or an insurance agent or broker. A certificate of insurance should include the following:
- Name of the insurance company and policy number
- Policy period
- Name of the insured and address
- Description of coverage Description and locations of operation
- Name and address of certificate holder
- Policy limits
- Notice of cancellation provision
- Authorized signature and date
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