A certificate of insurance (“COI”) is a document that shows proof of insurance coverage for a given entity.

A COI isn’t all that complicated provided you’ve chosen a reputable moving company with the right level of coverage. This is the biggest restriction when it comes to moving into or out of almost any NYC apartment building, especially any luxury/high-rise.

The first step is to talk to your building management company and obtain a sample of the COI from them. The moving company will fill it out from there. The purpose of a COI is to legally protect buildings in case of damage when moving items throughout. The COI also shows proof of worker’s compensation. If one of the movers is injured on the job, the building is covered. The insurance (rather than the building management or moving company) is the one providing coverage.

The final piece to check for is what’s generally called the “Hold Harmless” or an Indemnity Agreement. This is a more overarching agreement between the moving company and building management that officially assigns liability should any damages occur during the move.

Why is a COI Important?

First off, without a COI you simply can’t move into or out of many buildings. The building won’t even let the moving company onto the premises without this document. The biggest differentiating aspect of each COI offered by moving companies in the insurance policy limits. Smaller companies may cover up to $2 million, certain luxury buildings will require $10 million coverage limits. Something (incidentally) FlatRate can offer.

Pro-Tip: Your building may not require $10 million in coverage. It adds an extra layer of safety knowing these hyper-luxury buildings allow only certain companies to do moves into and out of them. Wouldn’t you want the same company that can carry out moves at this level to move your prized possessions?

While this doesn’t apply to all buildings, some require a COI just to reserve the elevator in your building for a time slot to perform your move within the building. We recommend reserving this elevator as in advance as possible to make sure you will be able to get your things to the new location on time and avoid any fees for moving after-hours from either building.

Finally, the COI must be approved (generally based on the level of coverage) by the management or board in the building. While this all may seem complex, your building management and a reputable moving company are generally happy to cut through the jargon and make sense of it for you.

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Other Building Restrictions

Aside from elevator restrictions and Certificates of Insurance, moving to/from a luxury building generally has other restrictions. For example, the day of the week plays a large part. Most of these buildings don’t allow moves over the weekend.

When performing moves in upscale buildings caution is of utmost importance. We make sure the building isn’t damaged by placing floor and wall protection wherever needed! Getting a reputable moving company could not be more important here. The best companies will have already had experience moving into luxury buildings and understand the nuances of them. Moving companies have relationships with management to make sure every aspect of the move is done professionally.

If you’re unsure about any part of moving that requires a COI, you’re now armed with some extra knowledge. How to navigate yet another aspect of the stressful moving process! If you want more information on how to pick the right moving company we have a great blog article on just that topic! Feel free to give FlatRate Moving a call with any questions, and we’d be happy to help!