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The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America Inc. recommends in a recent white paper that an insurance agent take these steps to help decrease his or her legal liability related to certificates of insurance:

  • Provide the client with information or a disclaimer that indicates you will only provide current, accurate information on certificates.

  • Provide appropriate legal or contractual authority; never exceed it.

  • Minimize the review of contracts for insureds and use a disclaimer.

  • Refuse to modify an ACORD contract.

  • Refuse to issue a non-ACORD certificate without insurer approval.

  • Proofread all certificates and perform periodic quality control checks.

  • Establish a procedure for handling certificates.

  • Send a certificate holder the entire certificate.

  • Send copies of all issued certificates to the identified carrier(s).

  • Use the correct coverage form to fulfill certificates requests.

  • Refuse to certify coverages that do not exist.