So you think you’ve done the right thing by requiring your tenant or a company performing services for you to name your company as an additional insured on its policy. You are then given only a certificate of insurance. You’re on the right track but there’s more to be done. Don’t be satisfied with only this document – you need to see the policy itself.

Most certificates of insurance expressly state that the certificate does not alter the terms and conditions of the underlying policy. In order for your company to be afforded coverage under the policy, it must be listed in the policy, usually in a policy endorsement. Therefore, it is imperative that you obtain not only a certificate of insurance but the policy itself. Be sure that once you get the policy, you read it or pass it on to your attorney or insurance professional. If the policy does not name your company within the body of the policy or in an endorsement to the policy, you are not an additional insured. If your company were then to be named in a lawsuit you would have to rely on your own insurance coverage and sue the vendor, tenant or company providing services for breach of contract. This is not the most enviable position to be in.

So don’t be satisfied if you’re provided with only a certificate of insurance. Request and read the policy and then you can rest easy