At ENPICA , we have noticed that there is some confusion among our clients regarding whether to request a Certificate of Insurance (COI) or a Declarations page (Dec page) when asked to provide proof of insurance to a third party. We understand…it CAN be confusing! Below, we have provided a definition for each of these documents and an explanation of the significant difference between the two.
CERTIFICATES OF INSURANCE
A Certificate of Insurance provides all of the information needed for proof of insurance for a policy holder as well as any third-party named additional interests or insured. This document is usually one page and contains the issuing insurance company name and contact information, the insured’s name, policy number and effective and expiration dates. Additionally, the certificate outlines the types of coverage contained in the policy and their limits of liability. A Certificate of Insurance also includes the name of the organization (additional insured/Certificate Holder) requesting the certificate and any conditions, exclusions or special language needed. This document is the most frequently requested form for entities requesting proof of insurance.
A Declarations page serves as a one-page general summary of your insurance policy. It describes what coverage is contained within the policy, including the liability limits for each type of coverage provided. A Declarations page also includes the name and contact information of the insurance company providing the insurance, the insured’s name, the policy number, and the effective and expiration dates. This document does not include any conditions or exclusions that may apply to your policy or any specific language requested by the additionally insured.
Which document should you request from your insurance company? Both appear to provide the same, or similar, information, but there is one significant difference. A Certificate of Insurance provides an area to indicate the name and address of the organization requesting the proof of insurance, otherwise known as the Certificate Holder. The Certificate of Insurance also may contain the Certificate Holder’s special conditions, exclusions, or specific language needed. Neither of these can be added to a Declarations page.
So…next time you are asked by someone to provide them with proof of insurance, contact your insurance agency and request a Certificate of Insurance. A Declarations page can always be added, but in most cases the COI is all you need!