Way too often I get calls from somebody boasting to be a broker who needs to receive a certificate of insurance policies for one of my shoppers so they can dispatch them on a load. I politely advise the broker, “COIs can only be requested by the insured.”
Then: I contact the purchaser to notify them of the broker trying to get a COI. Often, which is when I understand that the supposed dispatch didn’t and wasn’t about to take place at all — it was both an attempt at identity mining or a scam.
A lot of of us glimpse at our certificate of insurance plan and imagine, “there’s very little right here to steal my id.” That is most unquestionably not the situation. Would-be id thieves use numerous sources to gain as a great deal information and facts on us as feasible ahead of executing the theft. Our COIs have our addresses, corporation names, insurance plan plan numbers, car identification figures, our coverage provider, our insurance coverage agency information and much more.
Insurance coverage fraudsters and insurance coverage stalkers can each use COIs to figure out if it is worth their time to attempt an insurance policy claim or lawsuit in opposition to us. We all know what an insurance coverage fraudster is. But I contact attorneys who target trucking firms insurance policy stalkers. Each like to use COIs to determine who they can gather the greatest sum of revenue from with an insurance coverage assert or lawsuit. Insurance policy stalkers can use COIs when a possible shopper ways them with a request to depict them for a declare or lawsuit involving a truck or trucking organization.
The FMCSA only necessitates the minimum amount bodily harm assets damage (BIPD) protection to be detailed on our publicly readily available MCS-90 endorsement. Nonetheless, that volume may perhaps be and usually is fewer that what our actual policy’s BIPD protection is for. These times, most trucking organizations have at the very least $1 million in BIPD coverage. That is why insurance policies stalkers like to have a COI. It reveals that whole amount of money of BIPD protection on the plan. Insurance coverage stalkers use that facts to adjust the volume of the declare and/or lawsuit to an volume nearer to the whole BIPD protection of the policy.
Insurance coverage fraudsters, meantime, can use COIs to discover which vans they desire to goal in a planned “accident” — aka insurance policy fraud.
[Related: How the nuclear verdicts threat rolls downhill to small fleets and owner-operators]
Broker and carrier impersonation are varieties of ripoffs earlier documented on here in Overdrive. I can believe of various ways to use a COI to carry out many identity-theft crimes and scams. Due to the fact I do not want to give a would-be fraud artist or an aspiring id thief a new strategy, I’ll restrict my listing to the most obvious and simple ways our COIs can be employed in opposition to us.
Soon after buying your COI…
- The recognize thief learns your desired lanes of vacation looking at the load boards, contacts you and says he has a terrific load, currently has your COI and only wants a existing W9 to dispatch you on the load. When the would-be determine thief gets your W9, they now have the most vital piece of information and facts to steal your have or your company’s identification.
- The would-be thief learns your most popular lanes of vacation looking at the load boards, contacts a broker on a load, posing as you, accepts the load and gets an advance — a scam which is developed extra frequent in the latest a long time and is usually referred as the gasoline-advance fraud. Fundamentally, while, it is about identification theft, and you may perhaps be held liable for the advance and expected to refund the broker for their decline in the worst instances.
- The would-be thief uses the figured out data for a personal loan in your name and employs the VIN amount on the COI for collateral, securing the loan in your identify. When the bank loan goes unpaid, your truck may be at hazard of repossession by the lender.
[Related: Growing broker/carrier identity-theft schemes reaping millions]
These are but a handful of situations. I’m specified that enterprising scam artists and identity intruders have much more means to use info on the COI against us than I can consider of. The great news is there are techniques you can acquire to shield you.
- Verify with your insurance coverage agent they will not give out any COI for your coverage except the request will come right from you.
- Eliminate all “additional insureds” from you plan. Together with other challenges of obtaining further insureds, these insureds can perhaps ask for COIs be presented to third events devoid of your information.
- Lock all your credit history experiences to prevent creditors from getting a credit score report for a would-be identification thief posing as you.
The previous might well be the most essential between these – and you can do that by way of the links below to credit-freeze web pages with the key credit-reporting expert services:
Using that ultimate step may look drastic but it will not cost you in difficult cash, and it’s one thing I have finished myself. It will, even so, make much more operate for you when applying for credit rating of any variety. You will have to unlock your credit score briefly to permit for a respectable loan company or other entity to accessibility the report, just before locking access once again. But in today’s world, with identity theft running rampant, that tiny bit of headache could be nicely really worth the exertion.
Have a individual insurance-similar dilemma for the writer of this tale, coverage agent/longtime proprietor-operator W. Joel Baker? Fall a comment with any issue beneath the tale or get in contact with Baker immediately through his website.
Uncover additional info about the ins and outs of trucking insurance policies, among a myriad other subject areas, in the Overdrive/ATBS-coproduced “Companions in Business enterprise” manual for new and proven owner-operators, a comprehensive guide to running a small trucking enterprise. Click right here to download the newly current 2022 version of the Companions in Organization guide cost-free of cost.