We know you're extremely busy, so we like to keep things short and sweet to help you keep rolling. This entry focuses on the five W's of certificates of Insurance or COIs as we common refer to them as.
Who requires certificates of insurance? Venues that you will be serving at will typically require a certificate of insurance to prove you have general liability and possibly auto liability and workers' compensation coverage for your food truck operations. Your commissary or your landlord if you rent an office or brink and mortar location will also require a certificate of insurance.
A certificate of insurance is a one page standardized insurance form that our industry uses to show proof of coverage to interested parties. The interested party may also require that you add them as an additional insured to your coverage so that they are protected on your policy/policies should they be brought into lawsuit due to the course of your operations with them. An example of this is- You get a contract to serve at a local store's parking lot on a routine schedule. A customer of yours slips and falls while waiting in line to purchase your food. The client sues you and the store since it happened on their property. The store tenders the lawsuit back to you since they are added as an additional insured on your policy with respects to your contract with them.
Certificates of insurance are usually required well before an event or service commences. The client will likely ask for your certificate shortly after you sign the contract and definitely before you serve. If it's an ongoing contract you will need to show an updated certificate showing your renewal policy/policies effective dates so they know coverage will remain in force.
Certificates of insurance need to be requested by you to your insurance agent/broker. If you need assistance with the request, we/they will need to see the insurance requirements of the contract to be sure you satisfy them. The typical limits requested by most venues are $1,000,000 in general liability, $1,000,000 in auto liability and statutory required limits for workers' compensation/employers liability insurance. Once the certificate is prepared, your broker/agent will likely email you a copy of the certificate and mail an original to the certificate holder.
As stated earlier, the venues that you will be serving at have an interest in you having appropriate coverage so that they are protected under your policy rather than their policy paying. As an additional insured or certificate holder they will also receive notice of cancellation of your coverage should you cancel for any reason. This is necessary so that they are informed of the cancellation as it puts them at risk if you are serving with no coverage. Additional insureds and certificates of insurance have been in use for decades to help businesses designate coverage to the responsible party and policy. They may seem like a hassle at times, but it is the cost of doing business with most venues.
At Insure My Food Truck we issue dozens of certificates of insurance daily. We understand that jobs are the lifeblood of your business and you need certificates to work and get paid so we issue certificates of insurance within three hours in most cases and often faster. If you have any questions about COIs or if you feel you are not getting your certificates fast enough or correctly, please contact us for a complementary review. Existing customers can request certificates of insurance here.