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Stay on track – The secret to managing vendor insurance

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Posted By Katherine Freedman

To spruce up your space for the holidays, you hire a vendor to repaint the ceilings of your building. Unfortunately, the ladder comes loose, cracks a window in the lobby, and the painter accidentally falls and has minor injuries. When you proceed to file a claim with the paint company for the accident, you realize that the company you hired does not have updated vendor insurance. Suddenly, you are at a high risk for liability and lawsuits – and stuck paying for the window repair out of pocket.

As a property manager, it is your job to be absolutely certain that every company you allow on your property has the correct insurance for the services they are going to provide. Being organized and thorough about certificates and vendor insurance will ensure that you minimize liability for any damage that might happen on your property. If an incident results in a lawsuit, it may be impossible to win, because damage was done on your property without proper insurance – and this string of events will cost you time, money, and ultimately tarnish your professional reputation.

But how can you rigorously and systematically monitor the insurance standards of your vendors?

Make sure to document what kinds of vendors need which kinds of insurance and how often certificates need to be updated. Many property management firms require that vendors purchase their own Worker’s Compensation, General Liability, Automobile Liability, & Employer Liability insurance in various amounts from $500K upwards. For certain vendors who are deemed “high-risk” (e.g. toxic waste removal vendors), the requirements should be more stringent because the risk of accidents can be high. On the certificate itself, ask vendors to name the management company and the entity that owns the building as Additional Insured and as Certificate Holders. You should have all certificates updated and in hand before any work begins on your property.

Circulate this list among your organization, or place it in a shared folder to make sure you have a standard that you hold every single vendor to, regardless of who on your team is working with a vendor. This way, when you head out of town on a (much-deserved!) vacation, everyone on your team knows exactly what is required of vendors.

Make technology do the work for you. Many property management firms publish their vendor requirements on their website (cutting down the number of requests you may get for what exactly you require), allow vendors to submit COI via an online database, and store vendor information electronically so they know exactly when a vendor policy is expiring and needs updating.

We understand that being on top of everything you need to do is easier said than done. You are likely contract several vendors at once, and certificates and insurance can easily get lost in the piles of paperwork you manage on a daily basis. That’s where we’re here to help

Tracking Vendor Insurance in InCheck allows you to track all insurance certificates from vendors who regularly work on your building – painters, roofers, window washers, exterminators, masons, etc. – and give you regular updates on when a certificate is expiring, needs an update, or doesn’t fit the requirements the owner of the building requires. Tracking certificates can be as simple as confirming that your organization has received a certificate from any vendor or as complicated as evaluating all elements of your risk management program.

Automating vendor insurance tracking is just one way to make your life easier – reach out to our team & learn more about how InCheck can help you avoid repercussions in the event of an accident!

Katherine Freedman

Katherine Freedman is a Marketing and Event Intern at SiteCompli. When she isn't researching property trends and real estate compliance, you can find her singing a tasteful mix of 18th century choral works and outdated 80's disco

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