A Certificate of Insurance identifies a business, its insurance carriers, and the coverages that the business carries. For the certificate holder, the person or company that requests a certificate, a Certificate of Insurance is evidence that the certificate provider operates a business that is separate and distinct and that he is responsible for his own insurance protection, business affairs and employees.

The ACORD 25 Certificate of Insurance form is the insurance industry approved form and a legal document whose purpose is to provide evidence of insurance only. The statement in the upper-right-hand corner explains this. "This certificate is issued as a matter of information only and confers no rights upon the certificate holder. This certificate does not amend, extend or alter the coverage afforded by the policies below."

About three inches down on the certificate, there is further clarification of purpose. "Notwithstanding any requirement, term or condition of any contract or other document with respect to which this certificate may be issued or may pertain, the insurance afforded by the policies described herein is subject to all the terms, exclusions and conditions of such policies."

Certificates have a cancellation provision, which says: "Should any of the above described policies be cancelled before the expiration date thereof, the issuing insurer will endeavor to mail ___ days written notice to the certificate holder named to the left, but failure to do so shall impose no obligation or liability of any kind upon the insurer, its agents or representatives."

Insurance companies file the certificate forms that they will honor with state insurance departments, and indicate which changes can be made to the certificate. The company’s state filing will not allow its certificates to be changed beyond what it has filed.

Frequently we receive requests to add, change or delete the wording of certificates. These types of requests are at times attempts to alter the actual policy coverage in favor of the certificate holder. These requests violate the language already on the certificate, plus we as agents have no authority to make such changes. We have the authority to change the number of days for a cancellation notice from 10 days to 30 days. 

Our agency may also add additional insureds, primary additional insureds and waivers of subrogation to certificates, as long as we strictly follow the instructions of our insurance companies to do so. There is often a charge for making these kinds of changes.

Our agency, for its own protection, operates within industry guidelines, within industry-approved forms and within the authority granted to us by our companies. Our companies do not grant us any independent authority to change the wording on certificates.


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If you have questions concerning this information, please call us at 503-620-0230, or come in.

Llámenos ya al 503-620-0230.