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Does Your Building Require a COI? A Step-by-Step Guide


In the moving industry by definition, a certificate of insurance (COI) is a document that shows proof of insurance to make sure the building is covered in the event of any damage during the move. 

If you’ve chosen a reputable moving company a COI shouldn’t be complicated. The biggest thing to check is the level of coverage required by the building. It is then your responsibility to make sure the moving company can provide this level of coverage. Usually, it is $2 million in coverage, but certain luxury buildings require more.

How to Proceed

  • Step 1: Talk to your building management company and obtain a sample COI from them. 
  • Step 2: Once you’ve chosen a moving company, give them this sample of the COI for the origin and destination building if needed. The moving company can handle things with management from here usually.  
    • Note: The purpose of a COI is to legally protect buildings in case of damage when moving items through doors and hallways. The COI also shows proof of workers’ compensation. This means, if one of the movers is injured on the job, the building is covered.
  • Step 3: The final item that some buildings require is a “Hold Harmless” or an Indemnity Agreement. This tends to be more overarching between moving company and building management that if anything unforeseen goes wrong, everyone is covered. Not all buildings require this. However, if your building does make sure your moving company can provide it. 

Importance of a COI

In the most basic sense, without a COI you simply can’t move into or out of many buildings, especially in NYC. The biggest differentiating factor when it comes to COIs is the policy limit. Smaller companies may cover up to $2 million (as mentioned above). Certain luxury buildings will require $10 million in coverage. The key is to communicate with both the moving company and building management. 

TIP: Your building may not require $10 million in coverage but it’s still a good question to ask. Realistically, knowing a moving company can go into hyper-luxury buildings gives peace of mind when choosing them to move your prized possessions. 

Elevator Reservations and Other Restrictions

Some buildings require a COI a day before the move. However, some require the COI weeks before simply to reserve service elevators. We recommend reserving your elevator in advance to get the right time slot. 

This will make it much easier to get items to their destination on time and within the elevator restrictions at the destination. Not doing so could result in fees for moving after-hours from either building. 

Some other building restrictions to consider are days of the week when moving. Many luxury buildings don’t allow Sunday or weekend moves in general. These are simply questions to ask your building management company. Equipped with the right information finding the right moving company should be a breeze. 

Thanks for reading!

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Unpakt Team