Here are the three main questions you need to answer when shopping for COI management solution: 

  • What features and services are included in the base pricing?
  • Is the solution priced on a flat-fee or usage-based model?
  • How is the cost allocated?

We’ll examine each one of these questions one by one and break down the various pricing structures you’ll encounter when shopping for solutions.

Note: interested in exploring how Jones can help you automate your compliance management end-to-end and de-risk your building? Talk to our team of experts today!

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What You’re Really Getting: Going Beyond the Basic Features of a COI Management Solution

There’s a large difference in the various offerings of COI tracking tools. Some are limited to tracking COIs. Some (like Jones) offer a full suite of features in their base packages, including:

  • Extracting insurance requirements from leases
  • Insurance expert review of COIs for compliance as well as tracking expiration dates 
  • Managing document collection
  • Communicating gaps to vendors and tenants 

Other solutions hide these features behind premium packages or additional fees. What does that mean for you?

Organizations opting to use solutions that don’t offer these capabilities out of the box run into a variety of problems. Low collection rates mean slower time-to-compliance and more non-compliant vendors. Unclear explanations of gaps to vendors means a lower likelihood you’ll receive a correct COI the next time, and if you’re paying per document every error costs money. Finally, minimal reporting makes delivering insights to senior management challenging.

We’ve spoken to customers who report that other COI management solutions exclusively review documents using Optical Character Recognition (or OCR) technology. While OCR and AI are useful tools for reviewing COIs (we use them too), they’re not infallible and still frequently require human intervention. If your solution locks insurance expert review behind additional charges you’re paying for a partial product. Make sure you’re getting a full set of features as a part of the base pricing for a COI management tool.

So what are you getting for the Jones base price versus the other guys?

jones versus competitor pricing matrix

* Jones pricing plans vary based on the unique needs of your company. This number is not an official quote.

** Competitor pricing is representative and based on conversations with current customers.

Per-Document Pricing vs. Square Footage Based Pricing

When shopping for a COI management solution there’s two primary pricing structures you’ll run into.

  • Per assignment: The solution charges per lease or vendor.
  • Flat-fee: Pricing based on either portfolio square footage or total project count 

Pricing a certificate of insurance management solution on a per-document basis might seem like a logical way to build a business model, but a closer look reveals issues. For one, increased usage is punished rather than supported. The fact that each action taken directly costs your organization money disincentivizes usage of the solution which lowers adoption rates and encourages workarounds that could prove costly if they lead to non-compliance.

In addition, accurate budgeting becomes difficult. Fluctuations in day-to-day costs as a result of increased usage makes accurate forecasting difficult. An influx of new projects or rapidly onboarding new vendors and tenants could result in inefficient budgeting or cost overages. 

A flat-fee pricing structure eliminates the guesswork of per-document pricing by giving you a scalable, predictable price while encouraging solution adoption and usage. There are quantifiable benefits to this pricing strategy, including:

  • Enabling increased accuracy of budget forecasting
  • Avoiding unexpected surprises, costs, or fees associated with daily activities
  • Encouraging increased adoption of the tool within your organization

At Jones, our square foot or project based cost scales in conjunction with the growth of your business, like how we helped SavCon win 2x more bids (feel free to read more about that here). We also understand that earning potential and operating costs vary from retail to industrial to office spaces, and have built out a pricing strategy that reflects this.

Let’s do a pricing exercise for 4 million square feet of office space. 

Jones versus competitor comparative pricing calculations

* Jones pricing plans vary based on the unique needs of your company. This number is not an official quote.
** Competitor pricing is representative and based on conversations with current customers.

Passing the Cost on to Tenants, Vendors, and Subcontractors

Some solutions charge tenants, vendors, or subcontractors to upload their COIs. Passing the buck down to the end-user who you’re forcing to adopt your system to stay compliant is a quick and efficient way to ruin relationships. Allowing a service to directly charge tenants, vendors, and subcontractors to upload COIs:

  • Frustrates vendors and disincentivizes future collaboration
  • Leads to a longer time-to-compliance and delays projects
  • Increases costs as vendors and subcontractors will bill higher to offset COI upload costs 

Don’t sabotage your relationships by letting a solution provider nickel and dime tenants, vendors, and subcontractors. Offsetting software spend with additional charges for tenants is an acceptable strategy for property management teams, but allowing vendors to charge them directly is a tough proposition for end users. 

Choosing the Right COI Management Solution for Your Organization

Above all else you need to choose a solution that aligns with your organizational needs and budget, taking into account potential for future growth. Ensure you’re working with a SaaS organization that expedites your COI management while delivering risk and insurance expertise to limit liability. While a per-document pricing structure may look appealing at first glance, now you know why to avoid it. Instead, opt for a flat-fee pricing model that only increases as your business grows, with the right set of features and no cost passed on to vendors, tenants, and subcontractors.