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Proof of Policy - what you need to know about your business insurance

If you’re a business owner, you are likely to have purchased a business insurance package to help protect your business against risks. Some aspects of your business may also require you to purchase insurance by contract or law.

During the course of running your business, you may be asked to provide proof of your insurance policy. Indeed, in professions where liability is a particular concern, you may find that clients or employees ask you to show them your proof of policy before they agree to do business with or work for you.

What is Proof of Policy?

Proof of policy is also known as “Certificate of Insurance” or “Proof of Insurance” and can be used to prove that you have purchased an insurance policy. It should be noted that the proof of policy verifies you have purchased insurance coverage for your business and is regarded as solely informative. It is not a document that contractually grants coverage.

Your proof of policy typically:

  • Specifies the type of policy you have purchased
  • Provides a summary of your policy
  • Includes the name of the insured, the name of the insurance company issuing the policy, the limits and deductibles in the policy and the effective and expiration dates of the policy. 

It may also include other information that may be relevant to your policy. You’ll probably find that your insurance premium amount is not included on your proof of policy certificate.

How can I find my Proof of Policy?

Your proof of policy certificate is usually included with the documents you’re sent when you purchase an insurance policy. If you no longer have these, you can obtain your proof of policy through your insurance company or broker. You will also be given a policy schedule by your insurance provider – this can also be used as proof of policy.

What is a Certificate Holder?

You may find that a third party has asked you to add their name or business to your proof of policy certificate as a ‘Certificate Holder’. This allows the third party to know your insurance is in effect, but does not grant them any legal rights to the policy itself. Instead, as a certificate holder, they will be informed by the insurance company if your policy has been changed or cancelled.

If the certificate holder wants to be added to your insurance policy, they can ask to do so as an “additional insured” or a “loss payee”. Once your insurer has agreed to add that individual to your policy, they will modify your policy to incorporate their details and provide you with a new proof of policy.

What if my Proof of Policy expires?

If your insurance policy expires, so does your proof of policy. Should you choose to renew your policy, you will receive a renewal certificate for the new insurance term, which can then be used as your proof of policy.

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