I am sometimes asked to add the person/entity for whom I am doing work to add them as an additional insured. What does that mean?

This is always a little confusing. What this means and what is being requested is to add the individual/entity as an insured on your policy so that if the individual/entity is sued because of negligence caused by you while performing work for them, they will be defended by your insurance carrier. It does not mean that the individual/entity is insured for their negligent acts under your policy.

If I hire a subcontractor, is the sub covered under my insurance policy?

No. In the case the insurance contract provides coverage for the named insured only and a few others, (corporate officers) indicated in the contract. If on the application you indicated that you only hire subcontractors who are insured and you hire one that is not, the insurance company could deny any coverage for you resulting from a loss caused by your subcontractor. Always, utilized a contact for the work to be done, get a certificate of insurance and asked to be added as an additional insured.

What is an independent contractor?

There is no real definition, but a list of criteria spelled out in Florida law. If the sub-contractor can successfully meet 4 of the following then Florida law deems the sub and independent contractor and not an employee.

  1. Maintains a separate business with his/her own work facility, truck, equipment, materials or similar accommodations
  2. Holds a FEIN number, unless not required to do so because sub is sole proprietor
  3. The sub receives compensation for work per formed payable to a business rather than individual
  4. The independent contractor holds one or more bank accounts in the name of the business entity for purposes of paying business expenses or other expenses related to services rendered or work performed for compensation
  5. The independent contractor performs work or is able to perform work for any entity in addition to or besides the employer at his or her own election without the necessity of completing an employment application
  6. The independent contractor receives compensation for services on a bid basis or completed work status via a contractual agreement, which states the contractor is independent

What is a certificate of insurance?

Certificate of insurance are used to demonstrate to a third party that the insured has specific type of liability policy in place. The certificate is prepared in a manner such that it exactly reflects the coverages and provisions of the policy for which it was issued.


I have been asked to change/modify some of the language on the certificate. Can this be done?

The certificate is an exact reflection of the contents and provisions of the policy. If the requested changes have not been endorsed to the insurance policy, then, since the certificate is an exact reflection of the policy, the certificate is worthless.