Written by Attorney Charlie Perkins
Unfortunately there have been contractors in Massachusetts requiring subcontractors and other parties to alter insurance certificates in a way that misrepresents the actual coverage provided under the insurance policy.
Governor Patrick, prior to leaving office, signed into law Senate Bill No. 2402 which Amends M.G.L. c. 175K by adding a new section which addresses Certificate of Insurance.
The new legislation has three important aspects:
- It prohibits any person from preparing or issuing a Certificate of Insurance that contains false or misleading information concerning the underlying policy, one that purports to alter, amend, extend or one that purports to alter, amend, and extend coverage of a policy.
- This bill also now applies to third parties. According to Daniel Foley, Vice-President of Government Affairs and General Counsel at the Massachusetts Association of Insurance Agents, general contractors and lenders make unreasonable requests to insured parties which result in the alteration of the Certificate of Insurance.
- The law provides that a Certificate of Insurance is distinct from an insurance policy and specifically states that a Certificate does not alter amend or extend an insurance coverage or independently confer rights on any party requesting such a certificate.