How EZ CERT Positioned Itself as the Certificate Tracking Brand to Beat
How EZ CERT Positioned Itself as the Certificate Tracking Brand to Beat

The franchise supplier’s expert team ensures that a brand’s franchisees are in compliance with updated insurance policies.

In order for a franchise concept to be successful, all of its franchisees need to follow the system. And that doesn’t end with following training instructions and adhering to standard operations—it also means handling the necessary paperwork, including insurance compliance. But as franchises grow, it becomes more difficult for them to keep track of their local owners’ insurance policies, especially as they’re updated and changed. That’s why EZ CERT has become one of the franchising industry’s most indispensable suppliers.

Founded by principal Doug Groves, EZ CERT was established with a mission to fill the gap that the industry’s certificate tracking systems were missing. Before launching the company, Groves gained years of experience in the insurance industry by working with home builders. However, he noticed that while the relationship between home builders and their subcontractors was simple with regards to insurance, that wasn’t the case in other industries. So, after becoming a franchisee himself, Groves realized that there was a way to make insurance compliance more intuitive across the franchising industry.

“What makes EZ CERT essential to the franchising industry is its ability to maintain constant communication with franchisees. It’s increasingly difficult for brands to keep up with insurance certificates as they expand and update their FDDs—that’s where we come in,” said Groves. “We take an incredibly proactive approach to ensuring that franchisees have the right coverage. At the end of the day, an error in insurance can lead to legal problems for a brand. It’s our job to prevent that from happening.”

That lightbulb went off for Groves after working as an area developer for both Boneheads and The Tilted Kilt. He realized that insurance in the franchising industry was in a unique position—franchisors can easily become overwhelmed with tracking compliance, and it’s often overlooked because it’s not a revenue generating aspect of their businesses. However, it’s essential to ensure long term success. That’s where EZ CERT comes in—it serves as a certificate tracking system that keeps insurance top of mind.

“Insurance renews for a franchisee every single year. They are free to buy from any agent, and as a result, brands can get overloaded when a franchisee uses multiple agents for the four to five different coverages required,” Groves said. “It’s a lot to keep track of. We’re essentially an extension of the brand, taking care of this often overlooked and misunderstood task.”

Today, EZ CERT works with a wide variety of franchise brands, including Sport Clips, Rent-A-Center, Tropical Smoothie Café and Kitchen Solvers. And the brand’s team is comprised of experts—EZ CERT’s staff members bring 50-plus years of experience to the table, and have backgrounds as customer service representatives, insurance consultants, insurance agents and multi-franchise area developers. That’s what ultimately allows franchisors to benefit from EZ CERT’s services.

Besides time saved, Monica Love, Legal Administrator for Tilted Kilt, says that the brand has seen another big change. “Insurance compliance has risen about 20% since EZ CERT started providing services. That is a significant increase. And having more franchisees in compliance not only makes my job easier, it also minimizes the brand’s exposure to risk.”

Nékter Juice Bar agrees with Love—their brand has also seen a spike in compliance since partnering with EZ CERT at the beginning of the year.

“New franchisees coming into our system don’t know anything else. EZ CERT is built right into our system now—from day one, our local owners are aware of what they need to do in order to be in full compliance with our insurance standards,” said Chris Turpin, vice president of franchise operations for Nékter Juice Bar. “EZ CERT’s insurance certificate tracking solution is an integral part of the Nékter Juice Bar brand. They’ve taken that work off of our plates, and their expertise is leading to results.”

Going forward, Groves and the rest of the EZ CERT team plan to continue helping franchise concepts get one step closer to full insurance compliance across their entire systems. While the company’s niche as a franchise supplier seems small, there’s no doubt that its role has the potential to make a big difference.

“This is a non-revenue generating task for a franchise, but it’s a task that has to be done. EZ CERT exists to act as that safety net and support system—we have the brand’s best interest at heart,” Groves said. “EZ CERT takes this often neglected job and takes care of all the dirty work. This means better, proactive compliance at the hands of dedicated insurance experts.”