The term COI tracking is used broadly by insurance professionals and related organizations that manage and maintain insurance certificates for their third parties, but the definition has evolved over the last 10 years. As new types of software have been introduced in the market, COI tracking options for companies that leverage contractors, suppliers, vendors, and tenants have become more efficient, cost-effective, and provided more visibility into risk and compliance.
So what is COI tracking?
COI Tracking – Yesterday
Like many documents, for years, insurance certificates were tracked in binders or folders that were stored in file cabinets and could be accessed when needed. Like dental records in a dentist office or a card catalog in a library, COI tracking was the process of physically managing and maintaining hard copies of each document – it was not a scalable document management program. There were limited options for document efficiency and storage beyond alphabetizing insurance certificates by company and having to physically be in the room to review individual certificates.
COI Tracking – Today
Today, there are a number of options available efficiently tracking insurance certificates. Some companies use general purpose solutions to centralize and track their insurance certificates, like Excel or SharePoint, but there’s also purpose-built software built specifically to digitize COIs, track requirements, report expired vendors, and even notify users of upcoming expirations. These solutions include email communications tools that can be sent directly to insurance agents with instructions for providing new COIs. In addition, purpose-built COI tracking software now includes OCR (optimal character recognition) technology that can reduce the administrative burden and process of inputting data from COIs from several minutes to seconds.
COI Tracking – Tomorrow
While there are literally hundreds of software options available for COI tracking today, only a small fraction of companies have prioritized and invested in a tool. Why? Like most things, change can be hard. Going through a vendor review and selection process, as well as the onboarding of new technology can be overwhelming.
Even if your organization doesn’t have any insurance certificate tracking tools in place today, the companies that develop a strategy and a plan now are going to be much better positioned for COI tracking tomorrow. It doesn’t matter how mature your compliance program is today, as long as you have a plan on how to advance your program using people, process, and technology, a proactive strategy will position your organization for success when tracking COI’s tomorrow.
Wrapping Up a Discussion on COI Tracking
COI tracking will continue to evolve and we’re only in the infancy stages of how to efficiently manage insurance certificates. Wherever your company is in their journey, there’s a ton of resources to lean on to learn more, develop a plan, and execute the strategy. If you have questions on how to start or advance your COI tracking program, contact our insurtech experts today.