What Are Certificates of Insurance for Subcontractors?


In today’s business, agreements and transactions are no longer sealed with a mere handshake. Instead, businesses rely on many documents and certifications to ensure compliance and safety, including the Certificate of Insurance (COI). A COI is crucial for subcontractors as proof of insurance coverage and is essential for demonstrating compliance with workers’ compensation rules. 

Here’s a detailed exploration of what certificates of insurance for subcontractors are, why it’s necessary, and how subcontractors can obtain one from a reputable workers’ compensation insurance provider.

What is a Certificate of Insurance?

Certificates of insurance for subcontractors are tangible evidence that a business, in this case, a subcontractor, possesses the necessary insurance coverage. Similar to other certifications, a COI verifies that the subcontractor has met the insurance requirements mandated by the state, providing transparency and assurance to all parties involved in a business transaction.

What Do Certificates of Insurance for Subcontractors Include?

A typical COI contains essential information such as the policyholder’s name, the type of insurance held, policy number, policy period, and other relevant details. This comprehensive document is a quick reference, consolidating crucial insurance information in one accessible location.

Why is a COI Necessary for Businesses?

In many states, businesses must carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage for eligible workers, even part-time employees. Failure to comply with this mandate can result in severe penalties and legal consequences. 

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When subcontractors engage in contracts or partnerships, the counterparties often require a COI to confirm the subcontractor’s insurance coverage, thus reducing the risk of legal issues and ensuring all parties are adequately protected.

When Do Subcontractors Need to Provide a COI?

Subcontractors might need to provide a COI when they operate in states where workers’ compensation is obligatory for both themselves and their workers. Additionally, even in states where subcontractors are not legally mandated to have workers’ comp, clients, suppliers, or government entities may still demand proof of insurance. This requirement acts as a safeguard, reducing liabilities for the entities involved in the business relationship.

How To Obtain Certificates of Insurance for Subcontractors?

To obtain a COI, subcontractors must first secure a workers’ compensation policy. This process involves finding a reliable workers’ comp carrier. Find a carrier that simplifies this process where Subcontractors can answer a few basic questions and receive a tailored quote within minutes. Once the policy is in place, subcontractors can request a COI from their carrier. 

Cost of a Certificate of Insurance

Requesting a COI when a policy is already in place does not incur additional charges. The ability to obtain this vital document is included as part of the service provided by insurance companies, agents, or brokers. However, if a subcontractor realizes they lack sufficient coverage, adjustments or policy changes might be necessary, the costs of which depend on the required coverage adjustments.


A certificate of Insurance is a fundamental document for subcontractors, offering proof of their insurance coverage and ensuring compliance with workers’ compensation regulations. Obtaining this critical document has been streamlined, making it easier than ever for subcontractors to meet their compliance requirements. 

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By understanding the importance of a COI and collaborating with reputable insurance providers, subcontractors can confidently navigate the business environment, knowing they are adequately protected and compliant with legal obligations.