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How to Spot a Fake Certificate of Insurance

You depend on subcontractors to get projects completed. Often, they have expertise in a skill that you do not. For example, you may be great at framing a home, but your drywall skills make a two-year-old in a mud puddle look like Picasso. What do you do? You build relationships with those who can come in, take care of business, and get out while you plug away at what you do best. Many times, you probably assume that the roofing contractor has all the necessary insurance in place before they begin working. They handed you an official-looking certificate of insurance. That should be enough, shouldn’t it?

Learn how to spot a fake certificate of insurance (COI) so that you do not get caught high-and-dry if a job goes south. The experienced brokers at the Nowell Agency know what to look for and are ready to help ensure that you are covered. We will look at the provided COI and let you know if it is authentic. We can also work with you to provide contractor insurance options to keep you compliant and covered when you work with more prominent contractors in Texas.

Signs that a Certificate of Insurance Might be Fake

While you may not be an expert in reading insurance documents, there are a few signs that should cause you to pause and take a second look. They include:

  • Look to see if the form says “Acord 25” on it. Contracting companies that are worth partnering with will use a good insurance company. When you are handed a certificate of insurance, look at the bottom left-hand corner and see if it says “Acord 25” on it. If not, consider it a red flag and reach out to your Nowell Agency team for their opinion.
  • Check the legitimacy of the insurance company listed on the COI. The top-right corner of the certificate should name the insurance company responsible for providing coverage. You can ask your broker to help confirm if the COI lists a reputable company. You can also look them up on the AM Best Company’s website—a global credit rating agency focused on the insurance industry.
  • View the document as a whole to see if everything matches. Look out for poor editing, mismatching fonts, or handwriting. Check to see if the rows of text align or if something is out of alignment. Any discrepancies should be a warning that something is wrong, because it was not produced by professionals.

Avoid Phony COIs – Talk with Your Knowledgeable Nowell Agency Broker

Refuse to work with a subcontractor who cannot provide you with a legitimate certificate of insurance. The risk of hiring an uninsured sub is too great to jeopardize your future. If something goes wrong, your livelihood and reputation are at stake. If you need to obtain contractor insurance, reach out to the knowledgeable and helpful brokers at the Nowell Agency. We can get you the coverage you need fast and for reasonable rates so that you can land those big jobs with confidence.

Call one of our offices near you to schedule a meeting with an experienced broker at The Nowell Agency about contractor insurance in Texas. Request a quote online.


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    The Nowell Agency has been my primary agent for many years and they are attentive, well-staffed, and easy to talk to. Their agency has helped me through state to state moves and career change and kept my assets covered.

    James G.

    My very first insurance experience was when I bought my first house and I called the Nowell agency for a quote. I had no idea what I needed or how much and they were so very kind and knowledgeable and explained everything to me in detail which I so much appreciated. That has been 4 years ago and im still a customer never plan to leave.

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    I have been very pleased with the quick and professional service by the Nowell agency. My agent was very efficient at locating a policy that met my needs and budget. Thank you to Kristy and the Nowell agency for providing me with fantastic customer service. I highly recommend this agency. You will not be disappointed.

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