BMS Group is the official and exclusive broker for the program www.bmsgroup.com. BMS Canada Risk Services, headquartered in Ottawa, is part of the Specialty Risk division of BMS Group, a Lloyd’s of London broker.
Their team of industry experts provide unparalleled risk management and brokerage services while offering a range of insurance products and resources to various Canadian healthcare associations.
BMS is the exclusive broker and provider for professional liability and practice risk insurance to the Canadian Psychological Association and Council of Professional Associations of Psychologists (CPAP). Protecting one of the largest pool of psychological practitioners under a for member, by member program model, BMS provides cost effective and comprehensive protection available to members anywhere in Canada.
CPA will manage the program on behalf of its member participants and on behalf of the participants who are members of CPAP associations. For more information about the process or the new program, contact CPA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The PLI insurer for the psychology insurance program is QBE https://www.group.qbe.com. QBE is one of the world's top 20 general insurance and reinsurance companies, with operations in all the key insurance markets. QBE insures a large volume of health care and professional liability professionals and organizations in Canada. With QBE and BMS, the insurance policy is placed with Lloyds of London and supported by the most guaranteed insurance market in the world.
Crawford is the program adjuster managing claims on behalf of the insurer, QBE. Crawford is primarily responsible for addressing claims brought forward by members, which includes, but is not limited to: processing and assessing claims made by members, acting as an intermediary between QBE and the member and ensuring compensation of the member if applicable.
If a claim is made against you or you are aware of a potential claim you should contact Crawford by phone at 1-877-805-9168 or by email at BMSclaims@crawco.ca.
Participating members in the program are provided with pro bono legal advice, as it relates to practice risk and liability, through Gowling WLG (Canada ) LLP (Gowling) www.gowlingwlg.com. As one of Canada’s largest and the most recognized medical defence firms in the country, members are assured that in the event of a claim they are afforded with best in class legal protection. The Gowlings advantage for defence is available to all members in the event of a legal allegation or complaint to a college regulator.
In addition to psychology practitioners, Gowlings also defend medical doctors and a vast array of other healthcare professionals through a variety of association and group liability programs. More information about this service and instructions for contacting Gowlings can be found at www.psychology.bmsgroup.com.
Professional liability insurance protects you against liability, or allegations of liability, for injury or damages resulting from a negligent act, error, omission, or malpractice that has arisen out of your professional capacity as a psychology practitioner.
Yes, all options include full prior acts coverage. This means that your current policy insures you for any and all incidents that took place in the past. When purchasing coverage for the first time (versus renewing an existing policy) coverage will not apply for a potential claim of which you are already aware.
Employer policies do not provide coverage for a variety of exposures covered under this program, which are tailored to the professional. One example is legal protection and costs associated with complaints made against you and filed with your Regulatory Board/Agency. Without individual professional liability coverage, you would be personally responsible for these costly expenses.
Should you provide advice/or treatment outside the scope of your employment (for instance, volunteer work in the community or work with a secondary employment site), your employer’s policy will not extend to cover you.
The CPA program has full retirement coverage, is not limited to a certain place of employment, and will protect you in a variety of settings include clinical and academic work.
Good news! Your Psychology Practitioner Liability Insurance policy includes 24 months of Extended Reporting Period (ERP) coverage at no additional charge. Extending the reporting period of your policy means that you are securing insurance to respond to potential future professional liability claims arising from prior incidents and exposure that occurred during your past practice.
This means that if you are participating in the insurance program and have discontinued practice because of maternity or parental leave, you will remain protected for up to 24 months following the expiry of your policy. Note that you must renew your insurance and have an active policy in place before returning to practice.
If you are planning to take maternity or parental leave, you are automatically covered for claims for which you are notified of while on leave, but which occurred while you were in active practice. While you are on leave, the only action required for this coverage is to ensure that you have renewed your association membership. When you do return to practice, it is imperative you purchase coverage immediately.
Coverage territory is extended to anywhere in the world at no cost for a maximum of 90 days from the date of departure from Canada, but only while the insured member is:
a. accompanying Canadian patients on trips,
b. attending academic courses, or
c. participating in professional exchange programs with other countries.
However, it is the practitioner’s responsibility to ensure that they have secured any necessary credential or licensure to carry out a psychological activity outside of their home jurisdiction.
The insurer can agree to provide additional out of country coverage, but this must be agreed to prior. If this is a requirement, please contact BMS.
The BMS brokered policy extends coverage (including virtually or in person) but permits the US activity to be up to 20% of the practitioner’s practice. As was the case in previous years, a practitioner who wants this extended coverage must notify BMS. If you are practicing outside of Canada, you must get in touch with BMS in order to ensure that your activity is covered; 1-855-318-6038 or email@example.com. As an additional extension to the program coverage territory, the BMS policy also provides members worldwide coverage for all claims that are defended in a Canadian court. Note, that it is the practitioner’s responsibility to confirm that he or she has regulatory authority to practice in any jurisdiction from which service is delivered and/or in which it is received.
Commercial general liability insurance, protects members from financial loss should they be sued due to property damage, injury, or death caused by your services, business operations, or your employees (not specifically related to your delivery of professional services, which is covered by your professional liability coverage). A typical example of commercial general liability insurance claim is slip and fall coverage, which protects you in the event someone falls at your clinic and claims this was a result of your negligence (water on the floor). Members do not need to purchase this as additional coverage because it is automatically included in the professional liability policy to a limit of $5,000,000.
There are a range of additional coverages available to business owners. Please contact BMS to speak with a broker about your specific practice needs.
Coverage can be purchased online within minutes, over the phone or by mail. Applications and a link to the online tool can be found here.
The group plan allows members to pool their collective risk and negotiate better rates with insurers. With more members paying premiums to a given insurer, the insurance company is able to lower their premiums as the risk is spread amongst more members.
Students enrolled in graduate training programs and who are affiliates of CPA, and/or a provincial or territorial association of psychology participating in the program, are able to purchase liability insurance. It is important to remember that this insurance only covers the student’s activity for which he or she is supervised. In the event that the student is engaged in any other work that might be psychological, but for which he or she is not receiving supervision and/or which is not an activity in fulfillment of a requirement of his or her graduate training , that work is not insured. In the event that a student is engaging in any independent work, or work unrelated to his or her studies or training, insurance is not automatically provided under this program unless the student also holds a license to practice. If you have received coverage in this circumstance under the program please contact a BMS representative who can provide further assistance.
The policy period is from June 1 to June 1 annually. If you were to renew in September, for example, you would only have coverage until June 1, but the amount you pay would be prorated accordingly.
In the event a member retires or discontinues practice and does not renew insurance coverage, the policy will cover claims after the coverage period for an additional 24 months.
An unlimited extended reporting period (tail coverage) option is available for a one time fee of $150. This means a claim filed ten years from the period of retirement is fully covered under the policy.
To purchase the unlimited extended reporting period coverage, please contact BMS directly.
Regulatory Legal Expense Coverage
The regulatory legal expense endorsement provides coverage for legal costs associated with having to respond to a complaint, or appear at a disciplinary hearing with a provincial regulatory organization or agency. In the event of a complaint or investigation, members are provided with superior legal representation and defence protection. Examples include complaints alleging professional misconduct, incompetence, or incapacity.
Criminal Defense Coverage
Coverage will reimburse insured members for defence costs associated with a case filed under the Criminal Code if the professional service was rendered in Canada and the member is found not guilty of the criminal charge.
Abuse Coverage/Sexual Abuse and Counselling Fund
All options include a maximum funding of $20,000 for the rehabilitation and therapy of a person who, while a patient or client, suffered abuse in the course of an insured member’s practice as a psychology practitioner.
Members are also provided with a separate $1,000,000 limit of liability for defence and damages associated with an abuse-related claim under the policy.
Cyber Liability and Privacy Coverage
Cyber liability coverage is provided to meet the increased exposures related to potential data security and privacy breaches. Members of the insurance program are covered for lost or compromised electronic data such as patient information.
Coverage is provided for a qualified locum temporarily hired for a maximum of 30 days as a result of a professional liability claim under the policy.
Loss of Documents
Coverage is provided to replace a third parties loss of physical documents. For example, if a member were to lose patient or client’s files or if they were destroyed due to fire.
Breach of Copyright
Insured members are covered if legally obligated for claims in connection with an actual or alleged breach of patent, design, trademark, trade name or copyright.
Loss of Earnings Coverage
The insurer will pay up to a maximum of $1,000 per day for lost wages (including other expenses) incurred by the insured while assisting or defending a claim under the policy.
Financial Loss Coverage
The insurer will indemnify the insured for claims arising from financial, economic loss or expenses sustained to a third party for a claim under the policy.
Medico – legal liability and practice risk management resources are available at www.psychology.bmsgroup.com or by contacting BMS Group.
Please contact a program representative broker at BMS who can assist you and make any necessary changes to policy.
Specific details such as your name and personal information will not be shared with any of the regulators or associations. Aggregate claims data will be used to develop risk management resources for the program.
Psychologists working within university systems, and psychologists, like industrial-organizational psychologists, whose services are not health-related (e.g. industrial-organizational or environmental psychologists who may be self-employed or employed by other public or private organizations) are eligible to purchase insurance through the BMS-brokered program. This coverage includes their delivery of a psychology-related service(s), or the supervision of a psychology-related service(s). Registration with a regulatory body of psychology will not be required as long as the activity is not one for which registration is normally required or as long as the activity the psychologist is supervising, is not one for which the psychologist would need to be registered. Psychologists who provide psychological services that are not health-related and who are self-employed may also need to consider whether they need additional coverage for property and for the entity that is their incorporated business. For more information on liability insurance for university appointed psychologists and psychologists whose services are not health-related, please contact BMS directly at 1-855-318-6038 or firstname.lastname@example.org