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.

shutterstock 7370364 ECMx8 1024x535 What is a Certificate of Insurance (COI) for moving? 

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.