Insurance agents can now file proof of contractor registration online with L&I

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TUMWATER — The Department of Labor and Industries (L&I) has created an easy way for insurance agents to create, cancel and reinstate general liability insurance certificates online for contractors registered in Washington state.

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

L&I's new online system will allow insurance agents to electronically submit the required proof a contractor has insurance, called general liability insurance certificates, instead of printing and sending the original certificates.

The online application will be available around the clock seven days a week and will update in real time.

"As soon as an insurance agent submits the insurance certificate, our website 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 is expected to reduce the number of contractors working with suspended registrations due to expired insurance.

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 email.

To provide this real-time service to their clients, insurance agents must first complete an application with L&I to process their insurance certificates online.

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For media information: Selena Davis, L&I, 360-902-6878.

UPDATE 7/19/2011:

Insurance agents can contact any of the following people about this process:
Sherrie Young at 360-902-4492, email sherrie.young@Lni.wa.gov
Phyllis Cooper at 360-902-5293, email phyllis.cooper@Lni.wa.gov
Melissa McBride at 360-902-5263, email melissa.mcbride@Lni.wa.gov

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