The Fourth Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined there were questions of fact about plaintiff’s reliance on a certificate of insurance and whether the certificate was issued by the carrier or its agent. Although a certificate of insurance is not a contract, the carrier may be estopped from denying coverage if the party named as an additional insured in the certificate relied on the certificate and the certificate was issued by the insurer or its agent:
“It is well established that a certificate of insurance, by itself, does not confer insurance coverage, particularly [where, as here,] the certificate expressly provides that it is issued as a matter of information only and confers no rights upon the certificate holder [and] does not amend, extend or alter the coverage afforded by the policies” … . “A certificate of insurance is only evidence of a carrier’s intent to provide coverage but is not a contract to insure the designated party nor is it conclusive proof, standing alone, that such a contract exists” … .
” ‘Nevertheless, an insurance company that issues a certificate of insurance naming a particular party as an additional insured may be estopped from denying coverage to that party where the party reasonably relies on the certificate of insurance to its detriment’ ” … ” ‘For estoppel based upon the issuance of a certificate of insurance to apply, however, the certificate must have been issued by the insurer itself or by an agent of the insurer’ ” … . County of Erie v Gateway-Longview, Inc., 2021 NY Slip Op 02631, Fourth Dept 4-30-21