Do I Need To Look At My Vendor’s Certificates of Insurance?

John Doe
John Doe

Technical Writer & A Civil Rights Activitist (TEST)

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Is this a question that actually gets asked? Yes it is. Does it happen in your company? If so, you may feel better knowing that a lot of companies are in the same position of not looking at their COIs- ever. Even large corporations. But honestly, just because others are doing it doesn’t mean that it is the way it should be done. If you manually track your COIs it is very easy to not look at them until it is too late. Changing to an automated system of tracking your COIs takes away the need to look at every line of each document. The best way to mitigate risk for your business is to keep your documents up to date and to stay in compliance which is difficult to do manually. JDi’s CTrax software makes it easy to create a better workflow with our Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. 

Here are a few reasons why your company may not be looking at your COIs:

  1. The person in charge does not know how to read them
  2. You don’t have a good workflow in place to help you follow a procedure for tracking
  3. There are too many documents to look at so it is overwhelming
  4. There is no way to easily store and organize your COIs
  5. You don’t realize how important it is

Manually tracking Certificates of Insurance is how most companies begin as their workload is usually small enough to have one employee track the information on a spreadsheet. As the company grows so do the COIs and the intricate details of each. So, what is the most natural step to take when this happens? It’s usually to hire another employee and continue to manually track the COIs because that is what has been working. Or that is what is perceived to be working. In most cases the next step should be to turn to automation.

Don’t Be Like Tim And Use a Manual Tracking System

In this real world example, Tim owns a construction company. During the first three years of his business he did most of the work himself and only hired three other subcontractors to work with him. He was able to keep all of his and his subcontractor’s insurance documents in a folder in his desk and only accessed them when he needed to. He worked closely with his three subcontractors, therefore he was on top of their information. 

Over the next three years, his construction company expanded and he hired two new general managers and they each hired between ten and fifteen subcontractors on a rotating basis. At this point, Tim did not know these workers intimately, so it became more difficult to keep track of their information and perform his own duties as owner.

Tim then hired an office manager to keep track of all of the Certificates of Insurance. Little did he know that this employee spent the majority of their time keeping track of everyone’s Certificates of Insurance and not as much time on other important tasks. As the workload increased, the employee paid less and less attention to details like missing insufficient coverages, additionally insured and forgotten renewal dates. Things began to slip through the cracks.

Employees stop looking at their company’s Certificates of Insurance when it becomes overwhelming and a proper workflow is not in place. Tim is in a position where his company is at risk because he and his subcontractors are not in compliance. If there was a claim against his company, he may find out the hard way that his records were not kept up to date.

Be Like Tim As He Moves Towards Automation

Tim has decided that he can’t afford to continue tracking his Certificates of Insurance manually because of the labor costs and the risks associated with potential errors. Using the CTrax software, Tim’s office manager will create customizable vendor profiles telling the software what their company’s insurance requirements are. Using the vendor friendly portal, the subcontractors will upload their COI documents directly into the software. The system will then scan the documents and compare their COIs to the requirements. The system will give a report detailing which vendors are non-compliant and why, and will send an email automatically to those vendors asking for further information so they will be in compliance. Once a vendor’s coverages are compliant, they will be placed into a renewal sequence where they will receive an email when their policy is about to expire.

The Benefits of Recognition Software

The benefit of using our Optical Character Recognition software is that the time-consuming task of looking through your vendor’s COIs and manually tracking their information is made nonexistent through automation. Once you create your vendor specifications and upload a COI, the OCR software does the rest.

This example shows you how most companies manually track their Certificates of Insurance, but as you can see, the process is labor intensive and time consuming, not to mention all of the mistakes that can happen. Once you begin using an automated process complete with recognition software, you will immediately experience a better ROI as your team will spend less hours manually uploading, verifying and managing every single detail of your documents.

Is It Risky To Use This Type of Software?

At JDi, we believe that the possibility of human error is a greater risk to your company than proven software using automation. For over 30 years our team has created technology that redefines how organizations work. Listening to the needs of our clients led us to create a solution that is intuitive and leads the way in innovation.

Automation can work for your company and we look forward to showing you how. Schedule a product review with one of our sales people today.