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Fake Insurance Certificates – What Can You Do?

Fake Insurance Certificates – What Can You Do?

You are a contractor with a long list of contract requirements for your subcontractors. The most important item on that list besides tax forms is the insurance certificate. It is the one you have to chase some subs for, even resorting to withholding payment to get it. Technology has made getting insurance certificates easier than ever. However, new advances also make it even easier to produce fraudulent certificates. Here are some ways to know if the certificate you’ve provided is valid, and how to prevent your business from receiving invalid certificates. Anyone Can Fake A Certificate Any business can pass off a fake certificate under the right (or wrong) circumstances, even subcontractors you may consider to be honest to a fault.  Things happen, and businesses may find themselves in a bind.  Consider these scenarios: A subcontractor that you’ve worked with before runs into money troubles. His insurance lapses due to nonpayment, but he needs the work, so he doctors an old certificate to look current. The employee of a former subcontractor goes out on his own and can’t afford insurance yet, so he uses a copy of the certificate from his former employer to provide proof of coverage. Just a few keystrokes on his computer and he’s suddenly “insured”. He’ll buy coverage when he can afford it. A subcontractor purchases a bare bones policy and doesn’t want to pay for those fancy extras like primary & noncontributory endorsements or an additional insured, so he takes the certificate from his insurance agent and adds that wording in after-the-fact to meet your contract requirements. No one on that list is completely...
Don’t Forget To Add This To Your 2015 New Year’s Resolutions!

Don’t Forget To Add This To Your 2015 New Year’s Resolutions!

As the 2014 calendar year comes to a close, we are all presented with an opportunity for reflection and 2015 planning.  While many businesses had their best year ever in 2014, every business owner knows there is room for improvement. New Year’s Resolutions are a great way to set the bar high for the New Year and achieve your goals. If you’ve already made a list of resolutions for yourself, maybe it’s time to think of at least one more for your business:  double check your insurance needs with a Hayes Broker. Has It Been A Couple Of Years Since You Looked Over Your Insurance Policies? It might be time to look at the rating basis on your policies and make sure they are covering the entire scope of your evolving business.   Ask Yourself These Questions: Has my payroll increased or decreased significantly in the last 12 months? Have my sales or receipts increased or decreased significantly in the last 12 months? Have I moved or purchased any property in the last 12 months? Have I purchased any business vehicles in the last 12 months? Have I purchased any business equipment (large or small) in the last 12 months? Have I added any new ventures to my existing operations in the last 12 months? Business Expansion = Liability Expansion As businesses expand, insurance needs do, too.  Minimum liability insurance limits may have been adequate in the beginning, but as your business grows, so do your insurable exposures. More sales may mean more people coming through the front doors.  That could mean more opportunity for slips and falls, or...
URGENT: How to Ensure You Have The Proper Insurance For a City Contract

URGENT: How to Ensure You Have The Proper Insurance For a City Contract

So you want to bid on a city contract, or maybe you just won a city contract and it is time to get the paperwork submitted and get to work. There is one small problem: you don’t know if the insurance you have meets the city’s requirements. What do you do?! Take a deep breath, and then keep reading: The city will provide you with a copy of the insurance requirements either with the bid packet or after the contract has been awarded. They probably look something like this: from City of Santa Monica Government The insurance requirements may also be on the website, and can be found by searching “[city name] insurance requirements”. For instance, the City of Long Beach insurance requirements can be found by clicking here. You can also check with the city’s risk management website. If you don’t have the proper insurance or enough insurance, your contract could be delayed or even nullified. Your Hayes Broker should be an integral part of your city contract bid process. You should provide the insurance requirements to your Hayes Broker in order to ensure that you have the proper insurance for the city contract. This information should be provided as soon as possible, and preferably prior to bidding or prior to signing the contract. The sooner your broker knows what insurance you will need, the sooner they can put coverage in place and advise you of additional costs. Best Practices for Meeting City Requirements Most city contracts require at a minimum: Workers compensation & employer’s liability coverage Commercial general liability Automobile coverage Cities may also require: Umbrella/excess liability...