If you’re planning to use a professional NYC moving company, your new apartment management company might have requested that you provide a certificate of insurance before your actual move-in date. In fact, many luxury buildings will require that you hire a professional moving company who can provide a certificate of insurance for moving.
If you use NYC Great Movers, we will provide the certificate of insurance for moving directly to the management company and even send you a copy so you can have one just in case so you don’t need to know the exact process of how to request one. Still, it’s a good idea to have a general idea of what it does as well as the information needed on the form.
What is a Certificate of Insurance and Why Do You Need One?
Even if you’ve lived your entire life in New York City, you might never have heard the term certificate of insurance. Essentially, a certificate of insurance (COI) is a form that gives proof of insurance and shows exactly how much coverage each policy offers. Other terms for a certificate of insurance are: COI, certificate of liability insurance, or proof of insurance.
Professional moving companies understand the importance of having certificates of insurance (COI) to protect their business and provide peace of mind to their customers. A COI serves as proof that the moving company has insurance coverage in place, including general liability and cargo insurance. These policies protect both the moving company and its clients in case of accidents, property damage, or loss of belongings during the moving process. By obtaining a COI, professional moving companies demonstrate their commitment to operating responsibly and ensuring that customers’ belongings are protected throughout the entire moving journey.
The main reason why you would need a certificate of insurance is that your old or new building (or both) require it in order for you to move. Many buildings will only provide freight elevator reservations to you after they have received a COI. If you don’t have it, then you’ll end up waiting hours for your NYC mover to procure one. In some cases, you might even have to reschedule your move for another day!
While there is no standard for a certificate of insurance, the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development (ACORD), a nonprofit organization that focuses on property and casualty insurance, has created a form that most insurers, agents, and brokers use. The basic information on a COI includes:
- Date when the form was issued
- Disclaimer summarizing the certification of insurance
- The insurance agent or broker that produced/issued the certification
- The name and address of the person or business covered by the policy
- The insured’s liability insurance coverage – typically general liability, commercial auto, umbrella liability, and worker’s compensation. This section will also show the policy number and their effective and expiration dates.
- List of insurers
- How much coverage in dollars each policy provides
- Description of operations, locations, and vehicles.
- Notice that the certificate holder will be notified if the insured cancels the policy before the expiration date
- Signature of the agent, broker, or authorized representative
Not all buildings require a COI when you move in or out, many newer and luxury buildings will ask for one. Check your building’s move-in/move-out documentation to see if they request this form. If you’re not sure, you should call the management company directly to see if they need one. Even if the building does not require a COI, there’s really no harm in asking for one. Not only does it protect you, it’s also a good way to gauge the trustworthiness of the moving company you hire. If they cannot provide a form or give you a hard time, you should walk away. If they do provide a COI, you should look it over and make sure that the name on the COI matches the name of the moving company you are using as that can be a sign they are sending a fake proof of insurance and that their insurance policies are not expired.
When you work with NYC Great Movers you can rest assured knowing that we have the proper coverage and that we’re a legitimate company. Our information is clearly stated both on the COI and on our website. As well, we offer enough insurance coverage to satisfy the requirements for luxury buildings with our general liability providing up to $1 million, our umbrella insurance providing $5million, and our worker’s compensation providing $1 million. With this amount of coverage, you can rest assured that you won’t have to pay a penny if anything happens. Of course, you can always ask us any questions you might have regarding our coverage.
A COI might seem like a formality to you, but it acts as a safety net for you and the building in case anything gets damaged during the moving process. Of course, reputable movers take every precaution possible to ensure they don’t damage anything, but mistakes happen. That’s why we provide extensive training for all of our new movers and we constantly improve our skills and technical know-how so we don’t damage anything. Of course, accidents can happen, which is why we are very serious about providing the best insurance coverage so that you and the building management can have peace of mind.
And yes, a certificate of moving is required even if you have insurance for your apartment. They cover two very different things. Your renters insurance only provides three types of coverage:
- Personal – cost to repair or replace your belongings up to the policy limit
- Liability – repairs if you damage someone else’s property or a person’s medical bills if you are found responsible for their injury
- Additional living expenses – costs you incur like hotel bills if the residence you rent is damaged or uninhabitable through no fault of your own
While the liability part of renter’s insurance might seem to cover damages to the building, in most cases the coverage is quite low so it most likely will not cover potential large repairs to the building if there’s a lot of damage. Plus, it doesn’t cover potential injuries to the moving crew. Without a COI, any workplace injury could turn into a legal battle between the movers and the building management company. A COI assures the moving company and provides appropriate coverage.
Speaking of insurance, moving insurance also does not provide appropriate coverage for the building. Instead, it is more for your belongings and whether or not they were damaged during transit. Still, it’s a good option to consider for yourself, especially if you have a lot of high value items such as antiques, fine china, consumer electronics, and more.
How Do You Request a Moving COI from NYC Great Movers?
As the customer, you don’t need to do the heavy lifting of actually reaching out to the broker and requesting the forms. NYC Great Movers does all the legwork for you. Of course, we will need to know whether or not you need a certificate of insurance so you’ll have to be proactive and ask ahead of time. Some buildings will require a COI a couple days to a week in advance in order to reserve the elevators. To expedite the process, you should ask your management company for a sample COI and then send it over to us.
After that, NYC Great Movers will take it from there. We provide a premium service and will get the COI directly from our brokers as quickly as possible. We’ll also make sure that we provide exactly what your buildings need based on the sample that you provide. Of course, we’ll also double check to make sure that everything is in order and will even reach out to the management company after we submit the certificate of insurance to make sure everything is correct. If there are any corrections, we will submit them right away.
It can take some time to get a COI, especially if there needs to be adjustments/additions to the one most movers have on hand. In general, you should ask at least a week before your move date for the COI, ideally more. That way, there’s plenty of time for the moving company to make any necessary changes or ask questions. You also want to get it to the buildings as soon as possible so you can reserve your preferred time for the elevators. Make sure to also ask about any restrictions the building might have as many luxury buildings might not allow people to move after 6pm or on the weekends.
Once everything has been confirmed we’ll send a copy to the building and you so that you can have it on file. We’ll even bring a hardcopy with us in case so that there aren’t any issues the day of the move. We prefer to be as prepared as possible so there aren’t any delays in the moving schedule.
What Happens if There’s Damage During the Move?
NYC Great Movers are trained professionals that work hard to avoid any damages during a move. Our movers also go the extra mile to protect your old and new buildings by putting down things like rug runners and masonite boards to protect the walls and floors and padded sheets to protect door jambs and elevators. Even with all these precautions though, accidents can happen. This is where the certificate of insurance shines. NYC Great Movers will take care of everything if we end up damaging anything in the building. We will get in touch with the building manager immediately and start putting into motion the proper procedure to get our insurance to cover the repairs. Moving is already stressful, so we don’t want you to have to worry about anything related to the unloading and offloading. All you need to worry about is unpacking once you get to your new place! We will never charge you for any repairs for damage that we caused and that’s true of any other reputable NYC moving company.
Most buildings will require a COI in a few days in advance of the move, however others might need it weeks in advance in order to reserve the freight elevators. It’s up to you to check in with your management company to find out the timing and let us know when we need to submit the COI. While it’s always good to plan in advance, if you’re making a last-minute move we can expedite the process, just make sure to let us know! In these cases, it’s always better to reach out during the weekday as both our staff and our insurance brokers will be in the office during business hours.
Also, even if your management company says they don’t need a certificate of insurance for moving, it’s still a good idea to get one. Policies might have changed or maybe the person you were speaking to might be new and unfamiliar with the building’s requirements. It’s always better to be safe than sorry as you don’t want to deal with additional stress on your moving day.
Overall, getting a certificate of insurance for moving, regardless of whether the management company requires one or not, helps protect you during the move. It provides evidence to you and the building management that the movers you have chosen have the appropriate insurance, which protects you, your belongings, and the building during a move. More importantly, it’s a requirement for most buildings. Unless you want to deal with last minute scrambling for a COI or storage solution, make sure you notify the professional NYC movers they need to submit a certificate of insurance.
With this, you are now armed with some knowledge about what to look for in a certificate of insurance and its importance. This should give you some more confidence when navigating another aspect of the moving process.
Does every building need a certificate of insurance?
It depends. For the most part luxury and newer buildings tend to request them as these buildings cost a lot of money to build and maintain. However, if you’re not sure you should ask.
What is in a COI?
In simple terms it will tell you your moving company has insurance, the amount of coverage they have, the types of insurance they hold, and the address of the property you are moving into and/or out of.
What Happens If I Don’t Get a Certificate of Insurance for Moving?
It depends. If your building doesn’t require one, then the worst thing that will happen is that the movers will damage something in the building and you will be held liable for the cost of repair. As well, if one of the movers gets injured during the move and the company doesn’t have worker’s compensation, you might be on the hook to pay for their hospital fees! If your building does require one, it might mean that you can’t move in or out that day as most buildings turn anyone away who hasn’t submitted the COI.
What are some common issues that I should look out for?
Even the best laid plans can go awry. Even if NYC Great Movers sends the COI to the management team, they might lose it or the email could have been accidentally deleted or gone into the junk folder. It’s always good to have a digital copy sent to you. That way, if your building manager says they never received it, you can send a copy. You should also double check the COI coverage amount. Most buildings require around $1-2 million in coverage (which NYC Great Movers has), so if the moving company’s insurance doesn’t cover the amount for the building, they will turn the movers away!