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Certificates of Insurance

Certificates give evidence that the other party has appropriate insurance to cover the claims for which they may be responsible.

When are certificates needed?

Certificates are needed when another party (such as a contractor janitorial service, security service, etc.) performs services on your behalf or has your property in their care, custody or control (e.g. leasing your premises or your equipment).

Who should provide the certificate?

The other party’s insurance company or “authorized” insurance agent, broker or risk management department should provide the certificate of insurance to you.

What should a certificate include?

Name of insurance company issuing each policy;

  • Named Insured;
  • Address of Named Insured;
  • Description of Coverage;
  • Policy Numbers;
  • Policy Periods; and
  • Coverage Type (Occurrence form vs. Claims-Made form)

If coverage is claims-made, the certificates will also include the following: 

Retroactive date;

  • Length of time allowed as extended reporting period.
  • Limits of Liability;
  • Deductibles or (Self Insured Retention) SIRs;
  • Description and location of operations;
  • Name and address of certificate holder;
  • Notice of cancellation provisions; and
  • Authorized signature and date of issuance.

What if I am asked to provide a “Certificate of Insurance” to others?

If you need to provide a “Certificates of Insurance” to others, please contact the Risk Management Department immediately at X73937.

Property Insurance Certificates:

Certificate of Property Insurance:

This certificate is required by the University when another party has been made responsible for providing insurance on property the University/Auxiliary Organization owns or for which we are responsible, or in the case of tenants, when it is specifically required contractually.

A certificate of property insurance should show:

  • Property Covered- The certificate should provide an appropriate description of all property for which insurance is required;
  • Limits- The certificate should evidence appropriate amounts of coverage for the property and applicable deductibles;
  • Coverages - The certificate should provide appropriate coverages for the risk of loss to which the property is subject.  Most often, this is expressed as all risks or special form;
  • Interests- The certificate should indicate the nature of our interest, i.e. owner, lender or landlord in the insured property and our status under the property; and
  • Loss Payee - If the University/Auxiliary Organization is named as a Loss Payee, the certificate should clearly state we are a Loss Payee and for what purpose.  By being named as a Loss Payee, the University/Auxiliary Organization will have the right under the policy to be reimbursed for a loss to our property directly by the Insurance carrier.  Usually in the event of a covered loss, the carrier will issue a payment jointly to the Loss Payee and the Insured.

Liability Insurance Certificates:

Certificate of General Liability Insurance:

  • Basis - The certificate should indicate whether coverage is being provided on an occurrence basis or on a claims-made basis.  Most General Liability insurance policies are written on an occurrence basis.  (preferred)
  • Limits - The certificate should specify amounts of coverage conforming to the requirements of the contract.
  • Coverages - The certificate should specify whether coverage, is provided by a Comprehensive General Liability policy or a Commercial General Liability policy.  It should also indicate whether special coverages required by the contract have been included.

Certificate of Excess Liability:

  • Limits - If the other party’s General Liability, Automobile, Employer’s Liability, etc. policies provide less than the limits required, the certificate of insurance may (and should) give evidence of an excess policy to provide the additional limits.
  • Coverages— The certificate should indicate whether the Excess Liability coverage is provided on an excess form or an umbrella form.

Worker's Compensation Certificates:

Most often, the University/Auxiliary Organization should require evidence of Workers’ Compensation coverage from its vendors and subcontractors.  Please note the University/Auxiliary Organization cannot be added as an Additional Insured to a Workers’ Compensation policy.

  • Limits- The certificate should specify that the policy provide the statutorily required benefits of Workers’ Compensation and the minimum amount of Employer’s Liability coverage required by contract.
  • Waiver of Subrogation - The policy of insurance should be endorsed with a waiver of subrogation in favor of the University/Auxiliary Organization.  This language protects the University/Auxiliary Organization from claims for contribution resulting from injuries sustained by contractor employees.

Automobile Liability Certificates:

Again, this coverage is important from vendors and contractors.

  • Limits - The certificate should indicate amounts of Automobile Liability insurance consistent with the contract requirements.
  • Coverages - The certificate should identify the categories of automobile to which the coverage applies and any additional coverage endorsed to the Automobile Liability policy, for example - owned, hired or borrowed vehicles.

Contractors Pollution Liability:

The vendors and contractors contract should be carefully reviewed to determine when it is prudent to request this coverage.

  • Limits - The limits should be clearly stated.  Many policies of this type have a significant deductible or SIR (self-insured retention), which should also be clearly stated.  The contractor is responsible for the deductible before insurance cover kicks in.
  • Coverages - This type of Insurance policy is not as standard as Automobile or Workers’ Compensation so the types of coverage provided by the policy should be clearly stated.
  • Additional Insured - Most often for pollution liability, only the carrier will issue endorsements naming other parties as an Additional Insured, so any certificate issued by the agent//broker or Insured’s Risk Management department should be carefully reviewed to determine that they have the appropriate authority to grant this status.

Evidence of Insurance Checklist:

  • Coverage is as specified in the contract (e.g., only “Commercial General Liability” insurance should be    accepted for compliance with the general liability insurance requirements.  Other forms, such as Owners Landlords and Tenants forms (OL&T) are not acceptable.)
  • Names are correct on policy/endorsement/certificate
  • General Liability is on an “occurrence” basis, not “claims-made.”
  • Policies are current and will be suspended (tickler filed) for renewal follow-up if the contract period runs beyond the policy expiration date.
  • Limits are at least as high as the minimum required in the contract
  • The insurer’s Best rating meets or exceeds the University/Auxiliary Organization’s minimum requirements. (Usually A.M. Best rating of A:VII or equivalent)
  • The insurer is admitted in California.  (Except for Surety Insurance companies)
  • Primary and excess liability policies have concurrent coverage periods.
  • No self-insured retention on liability policies.  Any must he disclosed.
  • The University/Auxiliary Organization has received evidence for each type of insurance required.
  • Evidence provides for 30-day notification to University/Auxiliary Organization of changes or cancellation.
  • Evidence is of proper form, i.e. certificates, endorsements or policies as appropriate.
  • Correct evidence forms, (e.g., Form CG  20 10 11 85 with addition date prior to 1993) for endorsements and certificate with appropriately modified wording or the equivalent.
  • The University/Auxiliary Organization has been added by a signed separate endorsement to the appropriate policies as an additional insured.  A certificate alone does not accomplish this. 
  • Liability insurance layers have concurrent policy dates.
  • Auto liability covers “any auto” (or non-owned or hired if the contractor has no autos)
  • Required waivers of subrogation provided
  • Documents include proper signatures.
  • Descriptions of operations, locations, etc. are correct.