Certificates of Insurance

Statement and Purpose

Understanding when a certificate of insurance is required and how to request one. 

Table of Contents

Frequently Asked Questions regarding Certificates of Insurance

What is a certificate of insurance? Certificates of insurance are documents that provide evidence of insurance coverage.  They are similar to automobile insurance cards. 

How will I know if a certificate is needed? Usually, the contract counterparty will ask for it.  It is frequently a part of contract agreements between Seattle Pacific University and other parties, meaning it is a contractual obligation.

Why is a certificate of insurance important?  Certificates of insurance are important because they provide proof of financial resources to meet liability obligations that may arise. If a counterparty does not have insurance and an accident or injury occurs that is the fault of the counterparty, SPU and/or the people injured may not have any means of financial recourse. 

What does "additional insured" mean?  Contracts occasionally request one party, Party A, to name another party, Party B, as "additional insured."  This generally means that Party A's insurance policy will then cover Party B for any claims resulting from the contracted activity.

When will a certificate not be issued?  A certificate generally cannot be issued unless there is a contract. Also, a certificate can only reflect the liability insurance coverage that SPU possesses - if a contract specifies different insurance coverage, the contract may need to be revised or additional insurance may be necessary. 

​I have a certificate of insurance from another party. What do I do with it?  Send any certificates received from another person or company to OPA@spu.edu.​​  You will be notified if anything further needs to be done.

Policy Version: 1.0

Responsible Office: Office of Risk Management
Responsible Executive:
  Asst. VP for Risk Management and Legal Counsel

Effective Date: July 1, 2019
Last Updated:  
July 1, 2019

Entities Affected By This Policy:  All University faculty and staff.

SPU Certificate of Insurance Request Form