Insurance of all kinds is generally intangible. Whether you are talking about life insurance, auto insurance, home insurance or flood--you can’t hold insurance and you can’t sense it. Upon entering a vehicle or premise, you won’t even know insurance is “present” unless someone tells you.
Generally, it doesn’t matter that you can’t touch, feel or sense an insurance policy. As the insured you pay your premium when it is due and you know that, should disaster strike, your policy will be useful. You have proof of your payments and somewhere, where you store your most important documents, a copy of a policy.
But there are times when you need some sort of physical proof that you are insured and if you don’t have a policy or if you need something with a current date proving that you are still consistently paying your premium, it is then that a certificate of insurance is a useful tool.
The Certificate of Insurance
A certificate of insurance is a document issued by an insurer that discloses details about your insurance coverage, depending on the type of insurance you have. It can disclose the owner of the policy’s information, information about the insured property or person (if it is a life insurance policy) as well as the amount of insurance and the incidents that are covered.
This certificate can come in handy when you are getting a loan, registering a car or have any need to prove to a person or business that certain liabilities you are exposed to are covered. You may be able to use a copy of your policy to this end but depending on the date of your policy, you may be required to show something more current that also serves as proof of recent payment.
It is important that you do not confuse a certificate of insurance with an actual policy. While neither is necessary to actually get the benefits of your policy, the certificate gives just a basic overview of your benefits. It does not spell out any requirements, exemptions or stipulations that may be within your actual policy document. Relying on your certificate of insurance as a guarantee of insurability is not a good idea.
Lastly, a certificate of insurance is not considered a bi-lateral contract. You cannot write directives or assignments on it and have them considered binding. It is simply a message to interested parties that you are currently insured.
Call us to get a free insurance quote at (817) 626-3339 or complete an online quote form.