THE ROLE OF THE INSURANCE CERTIFICATE

"BIG PICTURE"
Remember the example of the four vendors and however many certificates were needed to show proof of coverage in today’s environment? 
The larger background is the global network we all live in. 

The image outlined in red is a commerce network within the greater network.
BUSINESS INSURANCE CARRIERS
Insurance carriers analyze this vast network and provide insurance policies to cover the unexpected. 

Some provide insurance for personal risks while others only provide coverage for business risks. Some write both. 

In the grand scheme of things, the modern day insurance certificate is like an “emergency contact form" for various things that can go wrong in the course of everyday business. 
In other words, certificates list what insurance carriers might respond (depending on the incident) and how much monetary assistance (limits) might be available to “fix” whatever happened and return things to “business as usual” for those impacted by the incident. For this reason, entities request certificates of insurance and require their listed coverages to work together and engage in commerce. 

While valuable for this and other reasons, certificates are only a “snapshot” of any given business’ underlying policies and coverages active the date the certificate was issued. In that regard, a lot of things can happen the day after a certificate is issued…rendering the certificate invalid, inaccurate, and ultimately misleading to the certificate holder without timely updates.

Considering the role commercial insurance plays, requesting entities need assurance that information provided via insurance certificates will remain valid until the policies expire. If not, they need immediate updates of any cancellations or changes that could make doing business with the third party risky. Unfortunately, meeting such a demand isn’t possible in the current environment and it’s impossible to expect the insurance world to generate updated certificates 365 days a year.  

However, that’s not to say it couldn’t be possible
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