3 Ways to Manage a Certificate of Insurance

By Dave Gott

Figuring out the most effective way to manage a Certificate of Insurance (COI) is an important part of any contract management process but it can also be a tricky one. In fact, nearly every prospect I talk to asks me the question, “how do I manage a certificate of insurance in your contract management software?”

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I’ve found through the years that there are three main ways a customer can effectively capture COI forms in their contract management system.  Determining which is the best approach depends on what is important for the customer to have visibility into, and report on, within the COI itself. Let’s look at each one.

1. Managed as a Dedicated Contract Record

The first way I usually illustrate how to manage a certificate of insurance during a demo is to have a dedicated contract record specifically for COI’s.  Having a dedicated record type just for COI’s allows the most amount of flexibility and allows the customer to capture many different moving parts about the COI.

Customers that focus on Statements of Work (SOW) that may require an organization to have a COI on file often need to ensure that each facet of the COI is in good standing.  For instance, the General Liability portion of the certificate may expire at a different time than the Workman’s Compensation portion, and proactive reminders are desired on each one of these dates.

In Contract Logix, you can even automatically notify a third party, such as the contractor, or even the insurance agent, that a renewal is needed.  Often, customers are trying to manage these dates manually in Microsoft Excel.  Before a contractor can come onsite, the insurance must be verified that it is up to date.  Maintaining this using contract management software is so much more efficient and effective than with a spreadsheet, never mind the risk reduction it affords the business.

2. Captured as a Date Field and Supporting Document

For many customers, each facet of the COI is not as critical to manage separately. For these use cases, it’s more relevant for the customer  to understand, “Do we have a COI  or not?” and, “Is it still active?”   With these cases, it can be captured as a date field and a supporting document attached to a Master Services Agreement (MSA) or SOW.  This allows visibility and proactive alerting on the COI’s expiration date without the complexity of a dedicated agreement type for the COI.   One can still report on the COI’s (when do they expire/are they still valid) and provide the proper visibility to the people that need to know that information.

3. Attached to an Organization as a Supporting Document

The third way that I see customers requiring to manage a Certificate of Insurance is when the COI needs to be attached to an organization.  This is best done when the COI relates to more than one contract.  A good example is when a vendor may be performing several different services across several different contracts for the customer.  In this use case, it might not  make sense to have the same COI attached to several different contract records.

With Contract Logix, customers can attach the COI to an Organization record as a supporting document called Certificate of Insurance.  This organization may have several other SOWs, MSAs, and various agreements that are covered by this supporting document, and now the COI can apply globally under the umbrella of this particular organization.

Takeaway

Figuring out the best way to manage a certificate of insurance is an important part of a contract management strategy. After all, it’s a key aspect of mitigating risk. Contract management software from Contract Logix provides flexibility in how legal documents such as COIs relate to organizations and contract records. This capability gives our customers the structure they need to have the reporting, proactive alerting, and visibility to run a business with reduced risk and greater efficiency.