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Certificates of Coverage
Certificate Basics
 
What is a Certificate of Coverage?
  • It is a document that provides proof of the state's insurance to another party.
When do you need a Certificate of Coverage?
  • When your agency enters into a contract or agreement with someone else. And, that other party requests proof of insurance from your agency.
  • The other party may be public or private.

When do you NOT need a Certificate of Coverage?

  • When your agency enters into a contract or agreement with another state of Oregon agency.
 
Covered Activities
 
What types of activities does a Certificate of Coverage cover?
  • Certificates of Coverage are issued for official state programs or activities and cover only the negligent acts of state employees, agents and volunteers.
  • On occasion, a certificate is issued for primary coverage for physical damage to property that is rented, leased or borrowed. This property must be deemed necessary to accomplish a mission critical use by an appointing authority (or delegate) within the state agency.
Examples of covered activities include:
  • Setting up a booth at a trade show, conference or other special activity.
  • Renting vehicles or other heavy equipment.
  • Leasing office space in a non-state owned building.
  • Renting copy machines, faxes, cell phones.
  • Premises liability for a sporting event held at a state facility.
  • Equipment or vehicles loaned to a state agency for a specific activity or purpose.
Examples of situations and/or people that are not covered:
  • Independent contractors.
  • Student or employee events, unless they are part of a state agency officially sanctioned event and are necessary to accomplish the mission of that agency.
  • Outside organizations.
  • Non-state activities.

 
How to Request Certificates
 
How do I request a Certificate of Coverage?
  • Review your proposed agreement.
  • Look for potentially damaging language. Make any needed changes to language to which your agency cannot agree.
  • If the agreement requires a Certificate of Coverage (Insurance), or proof of insurance, contact Risk Management. Email your request with complete documentation to DAS Risk Management.
  • Provide the following documentation at least one week before you need the certificate issued:
    • A legible copy of the entire agreement or contract that requires the proof of insurance.
    • Official name and address of the state agency to be covered.
    • The name and address of the other party, as contained in the contract documents, requesting proof of insurance.
    • The date(s) that coverage is needed.
    • A description of the work that you will be performing that requires coverage. For example:
      • Rent the Spinning Room at the Mission Mill Museum, Salem, Oregon for a meeting on 5/23/05.
      • For use of a booth at the Annual Home Show at the Lane County Fairgrounds, Eugene, Oregon 2/11/06.
      • For the lease of a vehicle from Lassen Chevrolet – Toyota Inc., 1205 Price Rd SE, Albany, Oregon 97322 for the time period March 1–31, 2005.
    • For agreements requiring that the state name the other party as loss payee, please provide the replacement value of the property to be covered.
  • A Certificate of Coverage is issued by Risk Management based upon the contract terms. Contractual terms that affect a certificate are the types and limits of insurance as well as any requirement to name the other party as additional insured (indemnitee) or loss payee. Note: This is the information that Risk Management will review to help you identify inaccurate or unacceptable contract language.
  • Normally the Certificate of Coverage is sent via e-mail in a pdf format to the state agency. It is the responsibility of the state agency to provide this certificate to the requesting other party. In situations where time is of the essence, a certificate may be sent by Risk Management to the requesting other party.
 
Certificate of Coverage Checklist.pdf

 
Time Needed for Processing
 
How much time does the Risk Management need to process requests for certificates?
  • Send requests for certificates at least one week before you are required to provide them to the requesting other party.

 
Blanket Certificates
 
Are blanket Certificates of Coverage issued?
  • Blanket certificates are not issued, except under limited circumstances. Examples include: Leases, proof of insurance kept in state vehicles, price agreements, etc.

 
Agreement Formats
 
Is the format of the agreements normally standard state templates?
  • It depends on the situation. Most leases of state office space are procured with a standard template agreement.
  • Vendor initiated agreements are used in most cases. These agreements vary widely. It is your job to read through the entire agreement to insure that it is appropriate for your agency to sign.

 
Agency Responsibilities
 
What types of changes should the state agency make to the insurance limits contained in their agreements prior to requesting a Certificate of Coverage?
  • Change inappropriate insurance limits that are in conflict with the Oregon Tort Claims Act (OTCA), ORS 30.260 to 30.300.
  • OTCA tort liability limits are “per occurrence limits.” If the contract states that liability insurance limits are “combined single limit”, change this terminology to “per occurrence.”
  • Many entities routinely ask for a million dollars of Commercial General Liability coverage. Due to the limitations of the Oregon Tort Claims Act, our liability exposure to third parties is capped. Ensure that the limits of insurance are changed to reflect the OTCA limits.
  • Make any needed changes to the agreement before you send your request for a Certificate of Coverage to Risk Management. This will help us to quickly review and issue the certificate.

 
Other Considerations
 
Are there any other changes that agencies should consider?
  • Look for inappropriate indemnity/hold harmless language. This language may be found in numerous places throughout the document, and may not necessarily be in a font large enough to easily read.
    • Do not indemnify an independent contractor. The state is subject to the Oregon Tort Claims Act (OTCA). OTCA limits state liability.
      • Contractors have unlimited liability. Indemnifying a contractor may make the state subject to unlimited liability.
      • If the independent contractor insists upon replacement language, an option for your agency would be to use the State of Oregon Responsibility Clause. The use of this clause may require the approval of your legal counsel.
    • If the vendor is another Oregon Public Entity, make it clear that in the indemnity language that each entity is acting independently of each other, and who will be responsible if a loss occurs.
    • If your agency is entering into an agreement with another Oregon state agency, this clause may be appropriate.
    • Consult with your agency’s legal counsel when there are questions about indemnity clauses and/or other contract language.
  •  Look for potentially damaging language. If you see this language in your agreements, consider talking with your agency’s legal counsel or agency contract personnel to determine the impact on your agency. It may be appropriate for your agency to negotiate changes to this language. Examples include:
    • "Assumes any and all liability"
    • "Entirely responsible"
    • “Responsibility regardless of fault”
    • “Of whatsoever nature”
    • “Liquidated damages”
    • “Loss of use”, “rental payments for time periods that the vehicle and/or equipment are not usable”
    • Division of attorney fees between the state and other entity
  • Beware of language that includes words like guests and/or invitees such as "arising out of the activities of guests and/or invitees."
  • Remember Risk Managment only reviews contract language and clauses related to insurance and indemnification. We are not attorneys nor contract experts. 

 
Sample Certificate
 
What does a certificate of insurance look like?
Sample Certificate FY1415 (pdf)

 
Risk Contact for Certificates
 
Contact Risk Management at 503-373-7475, or e-mail Risk Management.