Professional Liability Insurance
Applicants for registration
All applicants for registration are required to have proof of professional liability insurance (PLI) coverage in the amount and in the form required under the by-laws, either individually or through their employer. Alternately, they may undertake to provide proof, within 30 days of the issuance of the Certificate of Registration, of having PLI. The insurance must be effective from the day on which the Certificate of Registration is issued.
Once registered, members are required to maintain PLI in the amount and in the form required under the by-laws. Members must provide the College with written details within two days of becoming aware of not having PLI as required under the by-laws. The Registrar may suspend a member’s membership if s/he does not have the coverage required under the by-laws. Members will be asked to provide details of the coverage each year when applying for renewal of registration.
PLI requirements in by-laws
The by-laws require that all members, other than an Inactive member, have PLI coverage that meets the following requirements:
- a minimum of no less than $1,000,000 coverage per occurrence;
- annual aggregate coverage of no less than $5,000,000;
- a deductible of no more than $4,000 per occurrence;
- run-off coverage (sometimes called enduring or tail coverage) for a minimum of two (2) years;
- the insurer must be licensed with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario or the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Canada;
- must include coverage for therapy and counselling for every person eligible for funding under subsection 85.7(4) of the Health Professions Procedural Code (the Code), i.e. every person eligible for counselling/therapy due to sexual abuse by the member for the maximum amount of funding that may be provided for the person under the RHPA.
Applicants and members are responsible for determining whether their coverage meets the above requirements.
Individual insurance coverage
The College strongly encourages members to obtain individual PLI coverage, even if their employer’s insurance coverage protects them as employees. Several insurers have designed coverage for CRPO members that are not restricted to a particular employment setting or practice site. Insurance policies are available at group discount rates through various Canadian and Ontario psychotherapy professional associations. Contact your professional association for information.
Employer-specific insurance coverage
The College will accept coverage provided through an applicant’s or member’s employer. Coverage must meet the requirements set out in the by-laws. A member with employer-specific PLI must not practise the profession in any other setting unless s/he obtains PLI that covers the other setting.
Counselling/therapy funding for clients who were sexually abused by members
If a PLI policy does not explicitly refer to coverage for therapy and counselling for persons eligible for funding under subsection 85.7(4) of the Code, i.e. every person eligible for counselling/therapy due to sexual abuse by the member, the applicant or member is well-advised to obtain assurance from their employer that a covered claim would include such funding. In the absence of such an assurance, applicants and members should obtain their own individual PLI coverage that meets the requirements set out in the CRPO by-laws.
PLI coverage audit
The College may conduct audits seeking proof of members’ PLI coverage. During such an audit, and upon request, the member must provide proof (generally a copy of their insurance certificate or a letter from their employer), which must include the following information:
- policy number;
- name of the insured that matches the name of the member;
- address of the insured;
- policy period; and
- coverage details.
An Inactive member who has practised the profession within the previous two years must carry PLI run off coverage (sometimes called enduring or tail coverage) consistent with the by-laws for a minimum of two (2) years after the Member last practised. Likewise, former members who have retired from practice are well-advised to maintain run off coverage for a reasonable period of time.
How do I get professional liability insurance?
Most professional associations serving psychotherapists and clinical counsellors offer access to professional liability insurance for their members.
Can I use professional liability insurance coverage provided by my employer?
Yes, if it meets the requirements of the College. A member would be well advised to obtain documentation from her or his employer demonstrating the appropriate coverage. However, if you work in other settings not covered by an employer (e.g. in private practice) you will need to provide proof of insurance coverage for each setting.