Additional Insured or Waiver of Subrogation

My Customer Service Representative (CSR) and I see a ton of requests for a Certificate of Insurance. Many of our clients do not understand what a Certificate Holder is or what being an additional insured means. I want to describe the differences between additional insured and a certificate holder. I want to explain this because, many clients don’t understand why an Additional Insured cannot be named on a workers comp policy. These same clients do not understand why the same person can be named on Liability Policies. Well I am going to shed some light on this situation. Here are four common terms that will help a business owner through the process.

Certified, additional insured, waiver of subrogation.

Certificate of Insurance:

A certificate of insurance is a document issued by an insurance company to verify insurance coverage to another person. The document tells what coverage is secured and under what specific conditions grated to the listed individuals. The document lists the effective date of the policy and the type of insurance coverage secured. Also, a certificate of insurance includes the limits of liability and the dollar amount of coverage. It is important to understand the holder of the certificate is not covered under the policy. The certificate serves as proof the holder made sure the person they are interacting with secured coverage.

Additional Insured:

When an insurance professional refers to an additional insured, they are referring to a type of status associated with General Liability Insurance Policies. Those policies provide coverage to other individuals or a group of individuals who were not initially named on the policy. After endorsement, the additional insured will be protected under the named insurer’s policy. They can file a claim in the event they are sued. Additional Insured is available on General Liability, Auto Liability and Umbrella Liability.

Certificate Holder:

A certificate holder is an individual or entity that is named on the certificate of insurance. When named on the certificate, they are notified when coverage is cancelled prior to the renewal date. This is needed in the event a business is partnering with a contractor or another business and that business does not hold the necessary coverage for the business interaction. No coverage protection under the contractor’s policies is provided to a Certificate Holder.

Waiver of Subrogation:

A Waiver of Subrogation means the insurance carrier agrees to relinquish any right to recover damages if it is determined in the course of investigating the claim that the client or one of the client’s employees was responsible for the loss. An insurance carrier may reserve the “right of subrogation” in the event of a loss. This means the company may choose to take action to recover the amount of a claim paid to a covered insured, if the loss was caused by a third party.

Waiver of Subrogation is available on General Liability, Auto Liability, Umbrella Liability and Workers Compensation. A Waiver of Subrogation provision prevents an insurance company (who steps into the shoes of the insured after it pays a loss) from suing the other party to the contract. This is likely the party who caused the loss.  Moreover, Waiver of Subrogation provisions found in contracts are generally upheld by Courts.

When a contractor works another person’s property, there are risks involved. Contractors can damage personal property or be injured while performing work. Companies and individuals that hire contractors want to be certain they will not be held liable for injuries, damages or substandard work. For this reason, they will frequently request to see a certificate of insurance from those contractors.

In my experience, most client’s call and request an additional insured to be added to a work comp policy.  An Additional Insured cannot be added to a Workers Compensation Policy. As stated above, an Additional Insured is naming someone else on a policy and a Work Comp Policy is written to cover injured employees. Workers Comp does not cover another company.  The alternative to this issue would be requesting a Waiver of Subrogation.  If you are a sub contractor and you are working with a larger company requesting a Waiver of Subrogation, it is important to make sure you the contractor understand what you are being asked to waive.

If your company hires subcontractors, it’s important to get a certificate of insurance from every subcontractor. Even if you trust your subcontractors. For example, if you have worked with these contractors in the past you need to get updated certificates. Even if you knew the to have insurance in the past they may not have it now. A business owner should submit a request for a certificate each time they hire a contractor. This insures they have proper insurance. Proper insurance at the time you hired them. Doing this can prevent a scenario where you inadvertently take on the risks associated with the work your subcontractors perform.