Yes, it can be done, but like all complex processes the proper management of certificates of insurance requires discipline, attention to detail, and consistency.
There are many ways to handle all that paper, but you need to find a system that works for your needs and stick with it. 1) Organizing COIs by renewal dates is logical, then 2) identify all those COIs that aren't in compliance right now and 3) go after the COIs you've never received.
We've seen situations where the certificate holder wants far more insurance coverage from the Insured than is truly warranted. Clearly, a locksmith, for example, doesn't have the same level of risk as the guy working on the roof, so don't expect the same level of coverage for two different levels of risk.
It's amazing how many people are telephone averse. But it works wonders for quick communication and action. Email is great, but a lot of times it gets lost in the pile (or never opened).
The broker speaks the language of insurance, understands what needs to be done, and can move the process along much faster than relying on the Insured.
Don't get behind the eight ball, it's hard to catch up. Set a 10-day advance notice goal for all COIs pending renewal. This keeps the Insured in continuous compliance with no interruption.
Don't ask for more coverage than what is required in the contract. You're only inviting an argument you can't legally win while potentially damaging your relationship with the insured. All the while your compliance rate will suffer.
If someone doesn't have possession of the task then no one does, and we all know how that story ends.
If you don't measure your results you'll never know how you are doing.
See, that wasn't so hard. Now, start your 30-day clock and go!