The insurance provisions in most contracts require the parties to provide written evidence that they indeed have obtained the types and amounts of insurance coverage required by the agreement. This is called a Certificate of Insurance. The insurance industry uses standard forms for this purpose so there is consistency in format. Information includes coverage types, limits, dates that coverage is in effect, and names of insurance companies providing coverage.
When the U of A receives a Certificate of Insurance:
Certificates of Insurance are typically provided by the vendor as part of their bid or proposal documentation. University officials who receive Certificates review them for compliance with the provisions of the contract or purchase order, and keep them on file in the event they are needed to pursue a future claim. If the expected duration of the project exceeds the effective dates of coverage (this is common with construction projects), then renewal certificates must be provided by the vendor to document that their insurance is current.
In some cases a vendor will not obtain the required insurance coverage until after they have been awarded a bid or contract. This is acceptable and is typically reflected in the contract terms, with a time limit specified after award to provide the insurance documentation.
When the U of A provides a Certificate of Insurance:
Requests from others for evidence of university insurance coverage is handled in two different ways, depending on the requirements of the requestor.
If the other party requires an official Certificate of Insurance, these are issued by State Risk Management upon written request only. The requesting party must complete a Request for Certificate of Insurance form, available from RMS. If there is a contract associated with the request, State Risk Management requires that the contract be submitted along with the request.
In many cases, the party requesting evidence of coverage will accept a written statement of coverage letter from the U of A in lieu of a formal Certificate of Insurance. If this approach is acceptable, the Director of RMS will provide a written statement to the requesting party that describes the university's statutory insurance program, with references to the coverage statute. Contact RMS for information about obtaining a statement of coverage letter.