Modifying insurance certificates
Some business transactions require proof of insurance. This is normally provided through a certificate of insurance. Construction contracts, leases and arrangements for special events are all things that can require a certificate of insurance.
Certificates of insurance are not the same as an insurance policy. They are issued for information only, and do not amend, extend or change coverage. There should be no variation in the information presented on the certificate from the coverage or conditions that are a part of the contract. Insurers that do business in Oregon are required to file their contract forms for approval prior to using them.
Agents who represent coverage on the certificate that is not in the contract or in the process of being endorsed to the contract could be disciplined for intentionally misrepresenting the terms of the contract. Penalties can range from a fine to revocation of a license.
For example, a contract or lease often requires that the certificate holder be listed as an additional person covered by the policy. The policy contract must either have a blanket additional insured endorsement or the insurer must add the person.
Often the contract will require notice of cancellation with a specific number of days notice. The certificate only states that the insurer will deliver notice "in accordance with policy provisions" and can only be altered by a change in the contract.