Message Regarding the CPA/CPAP BMS Liability Insurance Program

BMS, CPA logo
Dear Members,

We hope that you are continuing to stay healthy during this challenging time.

On or around May 1st, you will receive the 2020-2021 CPA/CPAP[1] Liability Insurance Program renewal from the program’s broker, BMS. You will see that Professional Liability Insurance (PLI) premium has increased this year. We regret that the increase comes at this challenging time of COVID-19, but please know that the increase is not related to the pandemic but to the increased cost of claims on the psychology program. There has been a steady increase in the cost of claims on the program year over year, with several years where the costs of claims paid by the Insurer have exceeded the premium they collected.

When BMS presented CPA/CPAP with this year’s renewal terms, we requested that they conduct a marketing exercise and approach different Insurers to provide alternate quotes. Several Insurers declined to provide terms due to the volume and frequency of claims and costs paid under the program. Two Insurers did provide alternate terms; however, they did not offer comparable coverage and were not competitively priced. The premium charged this year is substantiated by actuarial analysis and has been renegotiated several times to keep the increase to the lowest amount acceptable to the Insurer to renew the policy.

We recognize the financial difficulty that a premium increase may present, particularly given the timing and impact that the current COVID-19 pandemic continues to have on individuals and businesses. Given this, CPA/CPAP and BMS, have collectively negotiated with the Insurer to offer members the option to defer a portion of their PLI premium to lessen the immediate impact of this change. To support CPA members, and members of CPAP associations during this time, there is an option to pay 50% of your Professional Liability / Commercial General Liability premium by June 1st, with the remaining half deferred to November 1, 2020. This is not mandatory, and premiums can be paid in full for the June 1st renewal, however we wanted to provide an option for members seeking assistance.

2020-2021 Professional Liability Insurance coverage

Our goal at renewal, was to give members the best coverage at the best possible premium. One of the ways to keep premiums as low as possible was to offer only the $10M/$10M Professional Liability (PLI) limit rather than both the $7M/$10M and $10M/$10M options as in previous years.

Your CPA PLI policy continues to include $300,000 of Regulatory Legal Expense coverage to protect members by covering defence costs if you are investigated by your regulatory body (College). This is an essential piece of coverage as over 80% of claims under the CPA/CPAP program in any given year are College complaints. We are aware that in an effort to reduce insurance claims, other programs or policies for psychologists have removed coverage for defence against College complaints and disciplinary hearings. While this may result in lower premiums, it also leaves psychologists without the kind of insurance coverage they are most likely to need. BMS is committed to ensuring that members areprovided with comprehensive coverage that represents the needs and greatest practice exposures for psychologists.

With some members shifting to deliver professional services via telepsychology, we would also like to confirm that the CPA/CPAP PLI policy will cover you for services delivered virtually. As with the coverage generally, you must be acting within your scope of practice and licenced jurisdiction(s). If you are delivering your services via telepsychology, however, BMS recommends that you purchase additional cyber security and privacy liability coverage so that you have adequate coverage for the kinds of exposures specific to a virtual practice.

Retiring members, or those discontinuing practice, will also benefit from an increase in the Automatic Extended Reporting Period coverage from one year to two years. You also continue to have the option to secure unlimited reporting period (tail coverage) to protect you indefinitely following retirement. To our knowledge, this is the only program for psychologists where this is offered.

Psychologists who are members of both CPA and a participating provincial/territorial association will continue to receive a discount on their premiums. Please feel free to connect with BMS at 1-855-318-6038 or psy.insurance@bmsgroup.com if you have any questions about the policy. To share any queries or concerns with the management of the program, contact executiveoffice@cpa.ca

We thank you for your participation in this program and the confidence you have placed in Canada’s associations of psychology. Be safe, stay well.

[1]The CPA/CPAP program is available to members of CPA as well as members of the provincial/territorial associations of psychology who make up the Council of Professional Associations of Psychologists (CPAP).

BMS Article: Considerations When Resuming Practice

BMS logoBMS is producing an ongoing series relating to COVID-19.

This article includes an overview of considerations for health professionals who are able to re-open their businesses. There are also links to provincial resources and information relating to liability.
Considerations When Resuming Practice 05/07/2020

See all of the articles here.


Articles & Resources from BMS

BMS logoBMS is producing an ongoing series relating to COVID-19.


CPA/CPAP: COVID-19 Telepsychology & Business Interruption Insurance

Canadian Psychological Association / Council of Professional Associations of Psychologists co-hosted webinar on the current state of COVID-19 Telepsychology & Business Interruption Insurance. Dr. Karen Cohen of the CPA and Dr. Judi Malone of CPAP moderate this presentation by BMS and Gowling.

https://youtu.be/RtG63Jx717E

COVID-19: Virtual Health Care Services
Ensuring Continuity of Care

BMS has provided a paper on ensuring the continuity of care via virtual health care service during the CORONA-19 outbreak.

“In the wake of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), health professionals are exercising all efforts possible to ensure that there is no disruption in service or breakdown in patient care. The Ministry of Health in Ontario has released health-sector specific guidelines to assist health facilities minimize the risk of infection within their respective practices.

Current public health directives advise against direct patient care in non-urgent situations. In these circumstances, health professionals may consider the delivery of health care via tele-practice.” …

Read the full position paper here: https://cpa.ca/docs/File/Insurance/COVID-19_Telehealth Resource_2020 (PSY).pdf

COVID-19 Insurance Coverage Position Statement

BMS has provided a position statement document as it relates to COVID-19 and insurance coverage within the CPA/CPAP program member policies.

“We continue to work collaboratively with our various stakeholders and partners including your Association to keep you informed during this evolving and unprecedented time.
This letter addresses specific aspects of policies purchased by CPA/CPAP members, including Business Interruption, Commercial General Liability and Professional Liability.” …

Read the full paper here: https://cpa.ca/docs/File/Insurance/COVID-19_Position Statement_CPA CPAP March 19 2020.pdf