Certificates of Insurance

Obtaining the Superintendent's Approval to Use Liability Certificate of Insurance Forms

Chapter 552 of the Laws of 2014 and Chapter 8 of the Laws of 2015 amended the Insurance Law by adding a new Article 5 entitled "Certificates of Insurance."

Insurance Law § 501(a) defines "certificate of insurance" as "any document or instrument, or addendum thereto no matter how titled or described, prepared or issued by an insurer or insurance producer as evidence of property/casualty insurance coverage." The definition does not include an insurance policy or insurance binder.

Insurance Law § 502 prohibits a governmental entity or person in New York State from willfully requiring, in a certificate of insurance, the inclusion of terms, conditions, or language of any kind, including warranties or guarantees, that the insurance policy provides coverage or otherwise sets forth terms and conditions, if the insurance policy referenced by the certificate of insurance does not expressly include the terms, conditions, or language. This section also prohibits a certificate of insurance in New York State from amending, extending, or altering the coverage provided by the insurance policy to which the certificate of insurance refers.

In addition, with respect to a certificate of insurance evidencing that an insurance policy provides personal injury liability insurance or property damage liability insurance, as defined in Insurance Law § 1113(a)(13) and (14) (collectively, "liability insurance"), no governmental entity or person in New York State may willfully require, as a condition of awarding a contract for work, or if a contract has already been awarded as a condition for work to commence or continue under the contract, or if the contract has been performed or partially performed, as a condition for payment to be made under the contract, the issuance of a certificate of insurance unless the certificate is:

  1. a form promulgated by the insurer issuing the policy referenced in the certificate of insurance; or
  2. a standard certificate of insurance form issued by an industry standard-setting organization and approved for use by the Superintendent of Financial Services ("Superintendent") or any other form approved for use by the Superintendent.

Therefore, if any person or governmental entity wishes to use a certificate of insurance form that evidences that an insurance policy provides liability insurance and that is not a form promulgated by the insurer issuing the policy referenced in the certificate of insurance, then the person or governmental entity must obtain the Superintendent's approval prior to using that form.

All requests for liability insurance certificate of insurance form approval should be emailed to [email protected]. When submitting a form for approval, please include an identifying name and, if applicable, a number on the form itself so that once the Department approves the form, a person reading the form can identify to whom the form belongs and verify whether the Department has approved the form.

Please direct any questions regarding new Insurance Law Article 5 or form approval to [email protected].