Frequently Asked Questions

What is professional liability insurance and why do I need it?

Professional liability, also called malpractice liability insurance, protects you from incidents arising from your counselling services in Canada, subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions under the policy. It is a third-party policy for lawsuits arising from "negligence" in the rendering of, or failure to, render professional services. If you are a counsellor qualified to practice in Canada, whether practicing for a week or for a year, full-time or part-time, you need professional liability insurance. You are still liable for your services, regardless of whether you are being paid for the service you provide, working on a volunteer basis, or even offering casual advice to friends or acquaintances.

If my employer provides professional liability insurance, is there a need for me to carry my own coverage?
You need to be aware of what you may not be covered for. In the event someone files a lawsuit against you, you may not be covered through your employer's insurance in order to defend yourself. If you have insurance only through your employer, you may be required to pay these awards and legal expenses yourself. Keep in mind that you may only be covered in your capacity as an employee of the facility where you work. This may exclude coverage for "casual" advice to friends. To minimize your risk, ask your employer exactly what you are covered for.
What steps should be taken to prevent a complaint/claim?

There are several steps you can take to prevent a complaint:

  1. Keep up-to-date on the regulatory requirements in your province and comply with them.
  2. Keep up-to-date records. This is the most common cause of error and omissions claims.
  3. If in doubt, you may obtain legal advice with respect to professional conduct issues such as: sexual abuse, conflicts of interest and dual relationships, custody and access assessments, delegation and supervision, termination of treatment, and fee arrangements.
  4. If you think that there is potential for a possible complaint or claim, please contact your insurance broker, Aon, at 1.866.488.3451 as soon as possible. Steps you take in the early stages could help mitigate a potential claim
I no longer live in Canada. Is there a need for me to continue to carry professional liability insurance?
Claims or complaints can still be filed against you even if you are not living in Canada. If you want to insure against the risk of a claim being filed during your absence, you must keep your insurance current.

The above description was prepared for educational and informational use only. Please refer to the policy for specific conditions, limitations, and exclusions.