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Difference between Certificate Holder and Additional Insured

Difference between Certificate Holder and Additional Insured

When purchasing insurance, you may be asked if you want to add additional insureds. This can be a confusing term, so let’s break down the difference between certificate holders and additional insureds. A certificate holder is someone who has been named on a certificate of insurance. This document proves that the named individual has insurance coverage. An additional insured is a person or organization who is not originally named on the policy, but who is protected by the terms of the policy. For example, if you are driving your friend’s car and get into an accident, your friend’s car insurance policy would cover you as an additional insured.

What is Certificate Holder?

A certificate holder is an individual or organization that possesses a certificate of insurance. The certificate of insurance is evidence of the existence of an insurance policy and provides proof of insurance coverage. The certificate holder is typically named on the certificate as the entity that will receive notice of any cancellation or changes to the policy.

What is Additional Insured?

In the insurance world, the term “additional insured” refers to someone who is not the primary policyholder but who is covered by the policy in certain situations. For instance, if you have a business with employees, you may add them as additional insureds on your liability policy in case they are sued in connection with their work for your company. Adding someone as an additional insured usually requires the consent of both parties and may involve an additional premium. In some cases, such as when you are renting a car, you may be automatically added as an additional insured on the owner’s policy.

Difference between Certificate Holder and Additional Insured

There is often confusion regarding the difference between a certificate holder and an additional insured on an insurance policy. A certificate holder is simply someone who has been provided with a copy of the insurance policy, demonstrating that coverage is in place. An additional insured, on the other hand, is someone who is actually included in the coverage of the policy. This means that they have the same protection under the policy as the primary insured. In most cases, an additional insured will be added to a policy at the request of the certificate holder. This ensures that the certificate holder will not be held liable if there is an accident or incident covered by the policy.


While the terms Certificate Holder and Additional Insured are often used interchangeably, there is a distinction between the two. A Certificate Holder is someone or an organization that has been named on a certificate of insurance as being insured under that policy. An Additional Insured is someone who, while not named on the certificate, is nevertheless protected by the insurance policy because they have a contractual relationship with the Certificate Holder. Knowing the difference between these two designations can be important when it comes to liability protection.

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