Business insurance: Certificate Holder v. Additional Insured – What is the Difference?

certificates-of-insuranceWe get asked all the time to provide certificates of insurance. There are two types: a certificate holder and an additional insured.  It is clear that most of the requests, people often think a certificate holder and an additional insured are the same thing. There is a clear, and measurable difference between these two Certificate of Insurance functions and you should know the differences.

Certificate Holder:  This is simply a proof of insurance. This simply shows that the insured does in fact maintain insurance.

Additional Insured: This is more involved.  This actually provides rights under insured policy in the event of a future claim. Some carriers will charge the insured  a premium for this privilege because they are actually conferring coverage.

Bottom line: Certificate Holder is simply proof of insurance, where as Additional Insured status gives the main contractor coverage and rights under their sub-contractor’s or vendor’s, the “Name Insured” policy.

If you are still unclear when you are asked for a “Certificate of insurance” discuss this with your licensed insurance agent who should be able to clear up any questions. We’d be happy to help too. We offer a wide variety of commercial insurance products including general liability, Business Owner’s policies, Commercial autos, and worker’s compensation. We offer a wide range of carriers for these solutions so we can give you options. We cover all NH and ME. We can be reached at or 603-273-0953.


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