Certificate of Insurance. A "Certificate of Insurance" (pictured below left) from an insurance company is a one-page document that provides evidence of insurance coverage. It contains the following information:
- The insured's name (who the carrier is insuring)
- The amount of insurance
- What is covered by the policy
- Names of any additionally insured parties
Declarations Page. Unlike a certificate of insurance, a "Declaration Page" (below right) is part of the insurance policy. Like a Certificate of Insurance, the "DEC" page outlines who is insured, what is insured, and the type of coverage. Unlike a certificate, It provides the term of the policy, how the claim will be paid, and the premiums charged.
Exclusions. Neither page describes the exclusions. For example, if work for condominium associations is excluded, that would not appear on this one-page summary of insurance. Accordingly, a list of all exclusions should be requested from the vendor's insurance agent.
Annual Disclosure Requirement. Civil Code §5300 requires associations to send, with the annual budget, a summary of association's insurance Section 5300(b)(9) allows and association to meet that obligation by sending the declaration page and not a certificate of insurance. The language states:
For each policy, the summary shall include the name of the insurer, the type of insurance, the policy limit, and the amount of the deductible, if any. To the extent that any of the required information is specified in the insurance policy declaration page, the association may meet its obligation to disclose that information by making copies of that page and distributing it with the annual budget report.
CAUTION: When you request proof of insurance from a vendor, make sure the information is sent directly from the insurance carrier. If it comes from the vendor and it is faxed only, vendors have been known to tamper with the declarations page by whiting out expiration dates and/or adding the association as "additionally insured" when in fact the coverage has already expired or the vendor is the only one insured. For more information, see the "Certificates of Insurance" brochure created by the Risk Management Society.
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