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Risk Management: Certificates of Insurance
Commercial property management companies should be ensuring tenants and vendors working on the property have the proper insurance. General liability issues are reduced by requiring everyone leasing or working on the property to be insured with adequate liability and workers compensation policies. Verifying insurance in a timely manner is the hard part. Verification includes obtaining a copy of the insurance policy and a Certificate Of Insurance(COI). It’s best to keep in a single, online location and automate the entire process from simple notifications of all upcoming and expired COIs through document storage, retrieval as well as integrated compliance with AM Best carrier ratings. Having a complete, point-in-time visibility into the COI status of every tenant and vendor on the property and being able to view them all from an easy-to-use dashboard reduces operational risk for the property manager and property owner. Most landlords require Certificates of Insurance from tenants and mistakenly believe that by the Certificate of Insurance, the landlord will be notified of any changes in the policy or termination of the policy. While generally true it is not always the case. Ensure the property manager and the landlord are noted as additional insureds on the certificate. We advise the property manager also obtain a copy of the insurance policy from the applicable party. Getting an insurance policy from every tenant and vendor is certainly preferred but not always a realistic expectation. A COI is a great start and should still be sought in lieu of additional verification.