This is a document that evidences the most basic information about your insurance policies – such name of insurer, policy dates and coverage limits. You may have signed leases or other agreements requiring you to provide this evidence of coverage. Regardless of anything typed on it, a Certificate of Insurance by itself does not amend coverage in any way. Any coverage amendment must be documented in a policy endorsement that accompanies the Certificate of Insurance.
Additional Insured Endorsements
In addition to providing a Certificate of Insurance, you may be required to name another party as an “additional insured” on your policy. This is a common requirement of landlords and other parties for which you perform work. Often, an agreement might require that you name several parties as “additional insureds”.
When other parties are “additional insureds” on your policy, your insurer is obligated to defend each of them and pay covered claims – in addition to their obligations on your behalf. The more “additional insureds” you allow on your policy, there more diluted your policy limits can become (because you are sharing policy limits with each “additional insured”). Also, your insurer may be subject to conflicts when defending both you and the “additional insured(s).
“Additional Insured” status is granted to another party only when a policy endorsement providing for such is issued by your insurer. As a condition of coverage, most insurers require that there be a written agreement in place obligating you to name each of the parties as an “additional insured” before their endorsement is valid. This protects the insurer by limiting their additional liability to the scope of your written agreement.
Without a written agreement in place requiring you to name the other parties as an “additional insured”, your insurer can deny a defense (“tender”) and claim payment to the other parties.
In some of these agreements, you may assume legal liabilities and/or other indemnification obligations that exceed the scope of your insurance coverage. To best manage these exposures, we strongly recommend that you consult with qualified legal counsel.