What is a Home Insurance Binder?

What is a Home Insurance Binder? An insurance binder, also known as a certificate of insurance. This is a temporary legal document provided by your insurance company or agent that serves as evidence of insurance coverage. While your application is being reviewed during the underwriting process. This document is typically valid for a period of 30 to 90 days. It is determined by state laws or until the formal insurance policy is issued or denied.

What is a Home Insurance Binder?

Insurance binders can be utilized for various insurance policies, including auto, homeowners, and business insurance. These documents are often presented to lenders or other third parties to finalize loan or contract agreements. However, some financing entities now exclusively accept authorized evidence of property insurance (EOI or EOP) forms instead.

How Does it Work?

An insurance binder is a formal document issued by your insurance company or agent after you apply for an insurance policy. Essentially, an insurance binder acts as a temporary validation of insurance. This indicates that coverage is contingent upon the formal approval and issuance of the official policy. However, coverage is in effect – or bound – from the date the binder is issued and during the underwriting process while the application is being reviewed.

Insurance binders are typically created once your application is submitted and can be acquired from your agent or insurer. It is important to note that insurance agents must hold valid licenses. Also, be authorized representatives of the insurance carrier to have the ability to bind coverage. Conversely, brokers, despite being licensed, do not have the authority to issue insurance binders as they advocate for their clients rather than the insurance companies.

Who Needs an Insurance Binder?

People often seek an insurance binder when they’re in the process of financing various assets such as a new home. Or business property equipment, vehicle, boat, or other similar items. Lenders typically mandate proof of hazard insurance for mortgages and physical damage coverage for vehicles and boats – often requiring comprehensive and collision coverage – before finalizing a loan.

During this period of policy review, processing, and issuance, an insurance binder can serve as a suitable document to meet these prerequisites. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that certain lenders now demand a more formalized document known as evidence of property insurance (EOP or EOI) for closing procedures.

Additionally, businesses may utilize a binder when engaging in contracts with third parties until the appropriate certificate of insurance (COI) is obtainable. Upon receipt of your complete policy, COIs, or auto ID cards, if applicable, it is advisable to replace all insurance binders with the official documentation.

Information Included in a Home Insurance Binder

An insurance binder for home insurance serves as evidence of your coverage, and as such, it should contain comprehensive details. This typically includes:

  • The property’s address
  • The name of the policyholder
  • Information about the insurer, such as the name of the insurance company and agent
  • Types of coverage, such as dwelling, personal property, loss of use, personal liability, and medical payments
  • Coverage limits
  • Deductibles for the policy
  • Perils covered, such as fire, hail, and wind
  • Effective dates, including the start and end dates of the coverage

By providing this detailed information, the insurance binder ensures that you have a clear understanding of your coverage and can fulfill any requirements set by lenders or other parties.

Obtaining a Home Insurance Binder

You can typically acquire a home insurance binder by carefully following the steps and guidelines below:

  • Review the documentation provided to you upon completion of your homeowner’s insurance application.
  • If the binder is not included, reach out to your insurance agent or company to request the issuance of a binder.
  • The binder can usually be promptly delivered to you via email, fax, or downloaded from your online account. It may also be sent by mail to you or directly to the lender. Your agent may also provide you with a copy of the binder.
  • At your request, the binder can be electronically sent to the mortgage lender or any other party that needs it.
  • As the binder is temporary, you may need to furnish a copy of the policy declarations page or other finalized documents once the policy is officially issued. These documents can be accessed online or requested in the same manner as you requested the homeowners’ insurance binder.


Why do I need a home insurance binder before closing on a property?

A home insurance binder is required by mortgage lenders to ensure that the property is adequately insured before closing. It serves as proof of insurance coverage, allowing the loan process to proceed smoothly.

When should I obtain a home insurance binder during the home-buying process?

It is advisable to touch base with an insurance agent early in the home-buying process, ideally soon after signing the purchase and sales agreement, which typically occurs around 45 days before the closing date. Obtaining a binder early allows time to resolve any issues and prevents delays in the closing process.

What is the difference between an insurance binder and a certificate of insurance (COI)?

An insurance binder is a temporary proof of coverage issued by the insurance company; while a certificate of insurance (COI) is a summary of the insurance policy details. The binder is temporary until the official policy is issued, whereas the COI provides a snapshot of the policy’s coverage after underwriting is complete.