In today’s litigious society it is essential to the financial well-being of your Post to obtain a Certificate of Insurance from any party you may have a commercial agreement with. That agreement may be with a tenant to whom you lease a portion of the building, a service contractor who may be performing service work at the Post, or a vendor hired to provide a service at a Post sponsored event, such as a fireworks company contracted to put on a fireworks display hosted by the Post.
Most commercial agreements (a lease, service contract or vendor agreement) contain provisions that require one party to accept responsibility for losses and carry sufficient insurance to be able to meet their financial obligations should a loss occur. A Certificate of Insurance (COI) is proof that the party has met these requirements. The COI will show the name of the insured, the policy number, coverage dates, a description of the types of coverage on the policy and limits of insurance.
In addition, the tenant, contractor or vendor should list your Post as Additional Insured on their policy. An Additional Insured status makes your Post an actual “insured” under the tenant, contractor or vendor’s commercial liability policy. In the event of a claim caused by the negligence of the contracted party (tenant, contractor or vendor), the Post could be named liable in a lawsuit. When the Post is named as an Additional Insured, the other party’s policy will defend the Post in the event of a claim or lawsuit. For example:
Space in the Post’s building is rented out and occupied by a restaurant. A restaurant customer slips and falls and files a claim against the restaurant and the Post. If the Post is listed as Additional Insured under the restaurant’s policy, the restaurant’s policy will defend the Post. If the Post is NOT listed as Additional Insured, then the Post’s policy will be subject to the claim. The Post’s policy limit will be reduced by the amount of the claim and the loss will become part of the Post’s loss experience. The loss could potentially increase premium and make it difficult for the Post to retain insurance with the carrier.
The request to be named as an Additional Insured should result in the issuance of an endorsement and a Certificate of Insurance indicating that the coverage has been provided. A certificate without the Post being named as Additional Insured does not provide additional insured status to the Post—the certificate must show the Post as Additional Insured or must contain a blanket additional insured endorsement.
If your Post sponsors events where another business may be contracted for service or if space in the building is leased to others, it is important that you take appropriate measure to be sure you are covered appropriately. If you have any questions, please call your Account Manager with the VFW Post Insurance Program at (800) 829-8390.