Wash. Agents Can File Contractors’ Proof of Insurance Online

May 17, 2011

Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) has created an online system for insurance agents to create, cancel and reinstate general liability insurance certificates for contractors registered in the state.

In Washington, all contractors must carry liability insurance and a bond. They also must be registered with L&I. Any change in insurance status, such as a cancelation, will automatically suspend a contractor’s L&I registration, making it illegal for the person to work, L&I explained. Even if a contractor renews his or her insurance, under the current system it could take days for the information to be relayed to L&I so the contractor’s registration can be reinstated.

Thus, L&I said its new online system will allow insurance agents to electronically submit the required general liability insurance certificates, instead of printing and sending the original certificates. The system will be available 24/7, and update in real time.

“As soon as an insurance agent submits the insurance certificate, our Web site will reflect that new information,” said Steve McLain, assistant director of L&I’s Specialty Compliance division. “This allows any registered contractor with expired insurance to quickly get their insurance renewed, and get them legally working again as soon as possible.”

The new system also is expected to reduce the number of contractors working with suspended registrations due to expired insurance.

To provide this real-time service to clients, insurance agents must first complete an application with L&I to process their insurance certificates online. L&I will still accept insurance certificates that are hand delivered or sent by mail. Beginning June 30, L&I will no longer accept certificates sent by fax or e-mail.

For information, visit www.lni.wa.gov.

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