If you’re moving to a new apartment or condo, you might hear from your new building management that you need to provide a certificate of insurance before you can move-in. In fact, many luxury buildings require you to provide a certificate of insurance (COI) for moving, which means you’ll need to hire professional NJ movers. NJ Great Movers provides our COI directly to the management team, but we also send it to you so you can keep it in your files. Even though you don’t have to worry about the COI, it’s still a good idea to understand the form.
What is a COI and Why Do You Need It?
A certificate of insurance (COI) essentially is proof that the movers you are using have insurance and are able to cover issues should something go wrong. It will list out the insurance the movers have along with the liability and loss coverage. This way, if anything happens to the building, such as a damage or injury, the mover’s insurance covers the cost of repairs or accidents.
Most reputable moving companies, like NJ Great Movers, can easily procure and provide a COI to your building management company. Although there is no standard for what a certificate of insurance should look like, most businesses use the form created by the Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development (ACORD). A COI generally includes the following information:
- Date of issue
- Information about the certification of insurance
- Insurance agent or broker that produced/issued the certificate
- Name and address of the business covered by the policy
- Liability insurance coverage (general, commercial auto, umbrella, and worker’s compensation)
- List of insurers
- Coverage in dollars each policy provides
- Description of operations, locations, and vehicles
- Expiration date of insurance
- Signature of agent, broker, or authorized representatives
While not all buildings will require a COI, if you live somewhere with a doorman or hands-on super, chances are your move won’t happen if you don’t provide one. That means you’ll have to scramble for last-minute storage space for your belongings and reschedule your movers. That’s extra money you probably don’t have! Even if your building says they don’t need one, it’s still a good idea to provide a COI just in case. Why? Because a COI also protects you!
As an example, let’s say you move into a building that doesn’t require a COI. You then move your stuff in but damage the walls and maybe even the elevators! Maybe you even get a parking ticket during the move. You will be held liable for these damages and have to pay for any repairs and tickets out of pocket. This could cost you thousands of dollars! There’s also the matter of your belongings. If it gets damaged during your own DIY move, you will have to cover the entire cost of replacement or repair. This can get costly if you own a lot of high value items.
On the other hand, you don’t have to worry about any of that if you hire professional movers. They will shoulder the responsibility for any damages done to the building and, of course, take care of any parking tickets that were for their vehicles. Your items are also automatically protected by something called released value protection, which will cover up to $0.60 per pound per item for free. If you want, you can spring for the more expensive full value protection. If something gets damaged, the movers will either try to fix, replace, or eventually reimburse you for the damaged items. Ideally the professional NJ movers wouldn’t damage anything since they are highly experienced and know how to maneuver tight corners and narrow hallways.
Even if you don’t think your building needs a COI, call up your super or building management company and ask. They will probably appreciate the heads up and most prefer their tenants to use moving companies anyway as it reduces the chance of potential issues in the future.
There’s also another hidden benefit of asking for a COI. It shows whether the company you chose is reputable or not. All legitimate moving companies are required to carry a minimum amount of insurance. The best moving companies provide more than that. For example, NJ Great Movers has the following insurance:
- $1 million limit for commercial general liability
- $1 million limit for automobile liability
- $5 million for umbrella liability
- $1 million for workers compensation
Asking for a COI early on in the moving process is a good litmus test to see how trustworthy the movers are. If they aren’t able to provide one or they only provide the bare minimum when it comes to insurance coverage, you’ll have enough time to look for other movers.
When requesting a COI always ask for a copy. That way you can also check the information. While most movers are legitimate, there’s always the chance you could run into a scam company. So even if they do provide a COI, it could be fake or not up-to-date. When looking at the COI check to make sure the name and address matches what is listed on the company’s website. Also, check the expiration date of the insurance to make sure the company is still covered. You should also make sure the COI is filled out exactly like the sample. Otherwise, the building will reject it! While most buildings will find these errors immediately, you can save yourself a lot of back and forth and potential stress by catching these things early.
NJ Great Movers Simple COI Process and Steps
If you work with NJ Great Movers, we make the process of requesting a COI as seamless as possible. With that said, you’ll still need to do a little legwork. Naturally, your first step is confirming with both your buildings whether you need a COI to move in and/or out. While you’re on the phone, see if a COI is needed to reserve the freight elevator. If that’s the case, let us know so we can expedite the process. You’ll want to reserve a time as soon as possible to avoid conflicts with other people. After all, you don’t want to waste an hour or two waiting for the freight elevator! After that, get in touch with your property manager(s) and get a sample of the COI and then send it over to us.
We’ll take over from there. We’ll send the sample COI over to our insurance company so that they can fill the forms out properly. Our team will also check to make sure all of our insurance has expiration dates after your move date and provides the appropriate insurance and coverage amount. Once we’ve double-checked everything, we’ll send a copy to your management company and to you. That way, if they somehow miss the email, you will have a copy on file. We do ask that at least a week before your move date you confirm with the property managers that they received the COI and that everything is in working order. Just in case, we’ll also bring a hard copy of the COI with us on the move date as there have been a few occasions where the security guard and/or doorman on duty did not have the COI we had sent on file. This way, we can prevent any delays in your move!
Our goal as professional and trusted NJ movers is to make your move as smooth and easy as possible. That’s why we triple check everything to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. Thanks to our decades of experience, we can cover even the most complex building management requirements. Just let us know as soon as possible so we can get the process started!
Getting a certificate of insurance might sound daunting at first, but if you work with trustworthy moving companies like NJ Great Moving, we make the process as easy as possible. You can rest assured knowing that we will take care of everything come moving day and that if anything should happen, you won’t have to worry about paying.
What happens if you get a parking ticket?
If the ticket is issued to our vehicles, we will pay for the fine. However, if you are driving to your new home and get a ticket you are responsible for paying it.
What happens if I don’t get a COI?
For buildings that require a COI, it is non-negotiable. We will not be able to enter the premises and will then have to wait around for the building, our COI department, and insurance company to sort out the certificate of insurance. If this takes too long, it could overlap with another person moving in, which could mean you would have to reschedule your move.
If I have renters insurance, do I need a COI?
Yes! Renters insurance covers specific types of loss against theft, fire, flood and even some liability against injury. However, it does not cover damages to the building itself or automobile liability. Essentially, renters insurance protects you while a COI protects the property owners.