Risk Management & Insurance


UC Insurance

Quick Tips: Understanding the Acord Certificate of Insurance

Certificates of Insurance

University agreements and contracts generally require the parties to the contract to carry insurance and to provide each other with evidence of the types and limits of insurance coverage they carry. Contractors and vendors with whom the University does business must submit certificates of insurance to the University that show that they meet the University’s insurance requirements. They obtain certificates of insurance from their insurance brokers and agents. The University issues its own certificates of self-insurance, when required by written agreement, to demonstrate its compliance with contract insurance requirements.

What is a Certificate of Insurance

A Certificate of Insurance provides evidence that the contractor, consultant, or facility user with whom the University is doing business is covered by an insurance policy or policies that meet the requirements of the contract. The certificate provides evidence that the insured has the financial wherewithal to satisfy its obligations (1) under the indemnification provisions of the contract, (2) to pay for loss of or damage to property, (3) to pay judgments or settlements, and (4) to protect The Regents if costs are incurred as a result of the insured's negligent acts or omissions. One of the most common certificates is the ACORD Certificate of Insurance form. See FS: Understanding the Acord Certificate of Insurance.

Why are Certificates Important

A certificate of insurance is proof of insurance coverage. Insurance coverage demonstrates that a contractor, consultant, vendor, or facility user can meet their financial responsibilities when their negligent acts or omissions result in claims, losses, liabilities, damages, or injuries. Without a certificate of insurance, the University does not know if a business partner has the financial wherewithal to take responsibility for liabilities and losses that it causes. If a business partner has no insurance, the University may have to pay the losses or liabilities caused by its business partner. Put another way, the University obtains certificates of insurance from its business partners to protect itself from the liability arising out of their activities.

UC Insurance Program for Vendors & Facility Users

The University of California CampusConnexions Program provides liability insurance coverage for individuals and groups that want to use University facilities and vendors and contractors who are working under contract for the University of California who do not have insurance and cannot meet the University’s insurance requirements. For information about the CampusConnexions Insurance Program facility users can go to UCSB: Tenant User Liability Insurance and vendors and contractors can go to UCSB: Vendor/Contractor Insurance.

What is an Additional Insured?

The University requires that it be named as an "additional insured" on the certificates of insurance it obtains from its business partners. As an additional insured the University has coverage under the business partner’s insurance policy for claims and suits alleging that a loss or liability was caused by the business partner. The additional insured coverage provides that the University will have legal representation for a claim or lawsuit in which the University is named, but is not negligent. Without this coverage, the University would have to provide its own defense. This is important as it is not unusual for litigation defense costs to exceed the cost of settlements and judgments.

How to Review a Certificate of Insurance

A certificate of insurance must meet certain minimum requirements (see Understanding the Acord Certificate of Insurance for help with the following):

  1. Is the name and address of the Insured, the legal name and address of the business partner?
  2. Does the business partner carry the types of insurance required by the contract (usually general liability, auto liability and workers compensation insurance)?
  3. Is The Regents of the University of California named additional insured under the general liability insurance coverage?
  4. Is the name and address of the Certificate Holder properly indicated?
  5. Do the effective and expiration dates of the insurance policies cover the period of the contract?
  6. Do the limits of coverage meet the requirements of the contract?
  7. Is the certificate signed?

UC Certificate of Self-Insurance Coverage (COC)

The University of California self-funds its liability exposures. A Certificate of Self-Insurance Coverage (COC) is available on-line for use by entities conducting business with the University as evidence of UC’s self-funded retention levels, coverage terms, and limits. The self-insurance limits specified in a specific written agreement or contract shall be the limits that apply should a loss arise, regardless of the limits provided in the on-line COC. The University of California COC provides evidence of UC’s self-insurance policies, coverage terms, and limits and can be found at OPRS: Certificate of Coverage.

Campus Risk Management Issues UC Certificates

When necessary the University of California issues certificates of self-insurance to non-University parties that are specific to a particular contract. Like the COC, these certificates provide evidence that the University carries the types of coverages under its self-insurance programs that are required by contract. The campus risk management office is responsible for issuing certificates of self-insurance to non-University parties.

The campus risk management office will not issue a UC certificate of insurance absent a properly executed agreement. To obtain a UC certificate of insurance, complete the Request for UC Certificate for Insurance form and submit it, along with the agreement, P.O., contract, license, permit, or other document that requires it, to the UCSB Risk Management office. UC Certificates of Insurance are issued subject to the provisions of the Bylaws and Standing Orders of The Regents, which do not permit any assumption of liability that does not result from and is not caused by the negligent acts or omissions of its officers, agents, or employees. No certificate of insurance can be issued against an agreement that contains indemnification language under which the campus assumes liability not permitted by The Regents.