Certificate of Insurance adds an organization and/or location to the BSA insurance policy for a specific time and reason. For example, if a unit holds a family dinner at a local church, that church can be named additionally insured for the duration of the family dinner. A location can be named additionally insured for up to one year to cover all official Scout meetings and functions, if the unit meets there regularly (see below for details on how long a COI is good for).
A Proof of Insurance looks similar to the COI but is intended to be used only as proof that the unit has insurance. It does not name any organization or location as additionally insured. These are used primarily for service projects.
If you have questions about when you need a COI or how to fill out the form, please see the FAQ below or contact the Albany Service Center (518-869-6436)
Certificate of Insurance Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between $1 million and $2 million COIs?
Most organizations only require a $1 million for each occurrence policy, while a few (including the Town of Colonie) require a $2 million aggregate. While either are possible (and free of charge), the $2 million aggregate takes longer to produce. The Council asks units to request a $2 million ONLY when required (written proof of requirements from the Certificate Holder is required to process the request).
When do I need a COI?
In general, you’ll only need to request a COI from the Council if an organization that you’re working with or visiting requests you obtain one. Usually, the organization will have its written insurance requirements in a contract or agreement. It is helpful to supply a copy of this to the Council when making your request. (A copy of written requirements is required for $2 million COIs to be processed. See above.)
When can a COI not be issued?
COIs can not be issued for service projects, including Eagle Service Projects. We can provide a POI for a service project though.
Can a Chartered Organization be issued a COI/POI?
By definition of the Chartered Organization Agreement, signed during each recharter process, your Chartered Org is covered under the BSA insurance policy. There is a Chartered Organization Endorsement included in each Recharter Packet every year, which covers all official Scouting activities. Chartered Orgs should not need an additional COI. If you need a replacement Chartered Organization Endorsement, please contact Karen at the Albany Service Center. Karen can be reached at 869-6436 x22 or [Click for member's page].
How do I get a COI and/or POI?
The easiest way to request a COI or POI is to fill out the Council’s online request form. The Council will send the certificate to the email provided. Unless specifically requested and contact information provided, the Council will not send the COI to the Certificate Holder. The unit will need to do that. Please note that we must have a physical address, including the house number, in order to issue a COI.
How long will I have to wait to receive my COI?
We ask for a two week lead time from the time you’ll need to provide the COI to the Certificate Holder. For example, if the Certificate Holder requires the COI two weeks before your event, we request you send us the request two weeks prior to that, so four weeks before your event. We ask this to give us time to gather any missing information, deal with problems that may arise and produce the certificate.
$2 million COIs must be produced at the National Council office and may take longer to produce. The National Council requires a two-week notice. Please plan accordingly.
How long are the COI/POI good for?
COIs and POIs are good for only the date and location specified on the certificate. However for certificates issued to cover a unit’s regular meetings, the effective date is March 1 to March 1. Once a COI is issued in February or March, the certificate is good until March 1 of the following year. If the certificate is kept on file with the unit and/or the certificate holder, another COI will not need to be issued until the following spring. If the COI is provided in the fall at the start of the Scouting year, your unit will be covered only until March 1 of the following year and you’ll need to make a second request in February before your COI expires.
How can we get around making more than one request each year to cover our unit’s regular meetings?
If you make your request when you go through the Re-charter process in late fall or early winter, we will provide you with a COI once the updated COIs are available to us from the National Council. This usually happens in mid-February. Requests are processed in the order they are received but you will have your COI before March 1. By requesting a COI once a year at Re-charter Time, you’ll only need to make your meetings request once a year.
Who is the certificate holder?
The Certificate Holder is the organization asking to be named Additionally Insured. Another way to think of it, the Certificate Holder is the place where your meetings/events/visits are taking place. Sometimes the Certificate Holder will have a parent company that will need to be named as the Certificate Holder. The Certificate Holder is not the unit or the person filling out the request form.
What does “Use of Facilities” mean?
On the Online COI Request form, the line asking for the “Use of Facilities” wants to know what facilities at the location is the unit using. Some examples are: which school of the school district, which areas of a park, what buildings (or areas of a building) will you use?
My question wasn’t answered here. Who do I contact?
The Albany Service Center (518-869-6436).