The video above explains how we track COI for our clients, but if you're tracking your own certificates on or off of our platform, the same principles apply.
Assuming you have already requested and received some certificates, follow the process outlined below:
Upload your Certificates
Once you've created your insureds (vendors/contractors/tenants) in Assured, click on the Actions dropdown, then Upload Certificate of Insurance.
Depending on your web browser, you can either drag in a certificate, or browse to find the document you want to upload.
Note you can also upload supporting documentation here like contracts and W-9s to keep all your insureds' documents in one place.
Parsing and Data Entry
If you are using Assured, most of the info about your certificate will be automatically processed within 20 seconds.
The processing isn't perfect, and each uploaded document gets a score once it has been uploaded.
Enterprise plan subscribers will see a change in the documents' status within one business day, after our team confirms the document information and makes any corrections necessary.
Manual Review and Data Correction
If you are not an enterprise subscriber, you can still achieve the same level of accuracy by editing the raw data.
From the insured detail panel, scroll down to the certificate in question and click View. The certificate detail screen will pop up.
You can quickly override the expiration dates, or mark any line of coverage as compliant using the dropdowns on the right side of the table.
Near the top right of the detail screen, click Edit Certificate Data to go to the data entry page.
From here you can open up the certificate as a PDF in a new tab to see it side by side as you validate or update the data.
You can also use the Cert Search tool (accessible from the top level dashboard) to search through the raw text Assured processes for each of your documents. This makes it easier to quickly verify endorsement information.
Set Up Your Insurance Requirements
In the video, this occurs after requesting certificates, but in reality it should be done first. This has two benefits:
- Any requests you send through the platform will include a copy of your requirements.
- Certificates you upload or receive through the platform will be evaluated against your requirements.
We have worked with several insurance brokers and risk managers to come up with some insurance requirements that work well for typical businesses.
We never provide insurance or legal advice, and we encourage you to work with your insurance broker and lawyer(s) to tailor our provided templates to the specific needs of your business.
Only requires GL and Workers Compensation to be present.
If your business is only tracking certificates because your insurance company requires it, these stripped down requirements tell you whose insurance you are tracking, and whose is missing.
These work well for most businesses who have typical levels of risk and risk tolerance.
Requiring lots of insurance coverage and strictly enforcing your requirements can be problematic for a number of reasons. The standard requirements attempt to strike a balance that protects your business, is straightforward to track, without requiring your contractors to purchase insurance specifically for your business.
Most businesses will not be able to meet these insurance requirements without purchasing additional insurance.
If you are dedicated to certificate tracking, particularly risk averse, and engaged in a high risk business these requirements may be for you.
However if these requirements appeal to you, it is even more important that you get insurance and legal advice pertaining to your specific business before using a premade template.
You can request certificates directly through the platform.
This will send an email to the business you are requesting certificates from and it will include a secure link and code for them to upload their certificate directly to your account so you don't have to.
Requests made in this way will also include a copy of your insurance requirements.
You can update the compliance status of any insured at any time by selecting a status from the dropdown in the insured's row.
These statuses allow you to quickly override the compliance statuses determined by Assured, and allow you to keep tabs on requests and other events that happened outside of the platform.
The various statuses No Response, Delinquent, Delinquent 2, and Pending Owner Action are intended to be used to track the number of times you have followed up with a given insured.
When we are tracking for enterprise customers, our typical process is to escalate the status and follow up on our requests every two weeks if we don't get a response.
Once a status reaches Pending Owner Action that is typically the point at which payment is withheld or the contractor is locked out of a jobsite.
Businesses have different policies for dealing with non-compliance and while we can manage every other aspect of requesting and monitoring insurance, imposing penalties for non-compliance is outside of the scope of what we are able to do.
As policies expire the status of the insured will automatically change to Expired even if a different status was previously chosen.
Once certificates expire, you should archive them to change the status back to No Documents or Documents Requested.
You can also mark a business as Marked Compliant or Marked Non-compliant after expiration if still want the status to be overridden.
If you no longer work with an insured, select Mark Inactive in the Insured column. You can undo this step, and all the documents will be saved, but the inactive insured will not show up in your compliance summary going forward.
Automatic Renewal Requests
You can manage automatic renewal requests from the company edit page, and they only apply in the event the contact email for the insured is stored in Assured Certificates.
Assuming Automatic Renewal Requests are enabled, a new certificate request is created whenever a policy expires.
These certificate requests include a copy of the expired certificate, a copy of your insurance requirements if applicable, and a new certificate upload link.
Reports are downloadable by any user anytime. For enterprise customers, we send detailed reports on a weekly basis, or as requested in order to help them maintain awareness of their compliance status over time.
You can download very simple reports, or reports including the full compliance status of each insured.
You can also download and export all of your certificates at any time.
Developing a Playbook
Whether you are a customer or not, developing a playbook for how you are going to handle your insurance compliance process is a good idea.
Certificate tracking can be a complex process, and most business fail to do it effectively.
The truth is, most certificates are not compliant, and most businesses do not have all of the insurance their contracts require them to have.
Planning ahead for these less than ideal scenarios is critical to having an efficient tracking process. Without such a plan, the executives of your business will become bottlenecks as they debate every exception to your insurance requirements.
Many of these exceptions can be planned for up front and we've predicted some of the most common ones and outlined how we typically handle them in our sample playbook.
Feel free to download our playbook, and adjust it to your needs. If nothing else it may be a great way to start a conversation with your insurance broker, risk manager, or legal team on how you may improve risk management at your company.