Certificate of Insurance

A certificate of insurance is a document often required by involved parties in a deal, contract, or transaction to validate insurance coverage. This certificate provides details such as the type and extent of coverage, insurer, policy number, insured party’s name, and the policy’s start and end dates. It doesn’t have the power to modify or adjust any existing insurance coverage.

Additional stipulations on an insurance certificate, like listing multiple additional insured parties or phrases like “all subsidiaries, affiliates, agents, and contractors” or “partners, members, officers, employees, or relatives,” are not enforceable. A clear connection must exist between the main parties and the additional insured parties.

It’s also important to mention that if “when required by written contract” is omitted from a certificate, a particular endorsement must be provided. Essentially, a certificate captures the coverage details as of its issuance date.


Certificate Holder: This refers to the entity that receives a certificate of insurance, which shows evidence of the insurance held by a different entity.

Additional Insured: This is an optional extension that must be requested by the insured. When an entity is designated as an Additional Insured, it gains certain insured rights, such as Defense and Indemnification. This means the insurer will protect the entity and cover losses on its behalf. One can add an Additional Insured either through a “blanket” (if a written contract exists) or via a specific endorsement when no contract is in place.

Primary and Non-Contributory: A term frequently used in insurance contracts to define the sequence in which multiple insurance policies, activated by a singular loss, will be applied. To illustrate, a contractor might need to offer liability insurance that is both primary and noncontributory. This signifies that the contractor’s insurance must be the first to compensate (primary) and should do so without asking for contributions from other primary policies (noncontributory).

Subrogation: This allows one party to assume the position of another party to pursue a damages claim.

Waiver of Subrogation: This is an agreement between two entities where one decides to forego its subrogation rights against the other should a loss occur.