2020 insurance coverage for lawyers in private practice
Standard insurance coverage
The base program
Required of all lawyers¹ providing services in private practice.²
$1 million per claim/$2 million in the aggregate (i.e., for all claims made in 2020), applicable to claim expenses, indemnity payments and/or costs of repairs together.
$5,000 per claim, applicable to claim expenses, indemnity payments and/or costs of repairs together (some exceptions apply).
$2,950 per insured lawyer (plus PST).
Mandatory innocent party sublimit coverage³
Required of all lawyers practising in partnership (including in MDPs or LLPs), in association, in law corporations with more than one lawyer, or as sole practitioners practising with employed lawyers.
Also required of licensed paralegals practising in partnership with lawyers or as shareholders in combined licensee firms (CLFs).
$250,000 per claim/in the aggregate, applicable to claim expenses, indemnity payments and/or costs of repairs together.
$125 per lawyer or eligible paralegal licensee (plus PST).
Mandatory Real Estate Practice coverage (for real estate practitioners)
Required of all lawyers practising real estate law in Ontario in 2020.
Lawyers not eligible for the Real Estate Practice Coverage Option are:
- those who are in bankruptcy;
- those who have been convicted or disciplined in connection with real estate fraud; and/or
- those under investigation, where the Law Society obtains: an interlocutory suspension order or a restriction on the lawyer’s practice prohibiting the lawyer from practising real estate; or an undertaking not to practise real estate.
$250,000 per claim/$1 million in the aggregate, applicable to claim expenses, indemnity payments and/or costs of repairs together.
$100 per lawyer (plus PST).
Optional insurance coverages
Innocent Party Sublimit Buy-Up4
Optional for all lawyers and eligible paralegal licensees practising in association or partnership (including MDPs, LLPs, and lawyer/paralegal partnerships), law corporations (with more than one
lawyer and/or paralegal shareholder) and sole practitioners practising with employed lawyers.
Coverage sublimits & premiums:
Innocent Party Sublimit Coverage can be increased as follows:
- to $500,000 per claim/aggregate for an additional $75 per insured ($200 total Innocent Party premium); or
- to $1 million per claim/aggregate for an additional $125 per insured ($250 total Innocent Party premium).
Optional Innocent Party Sublimit coverage4
Optional for sole practitioners and lawyers practising alone in a law corporation. Provides protection for ongoing liability that these practitioners can have in situations such as the following:
- if you’ve acted as back-up counsel or had others act as back-up counsel for you;
- if you’ve taken a temporary leave of absence from your practice and have delegated your work to others;
- if you’ve practised as a partner or associate in the past;
- if your practice once included employee lawyers;
- if you’ve practised in any situation in which you could be seen as lending your name to others;
- as an assurance to others if involved in electronic registration and escrow closings;
- if acting as a locum, (you must carry at least the same amount of innocent party sublimit coverage as is carried by lawyers in the firm that has hired you).
LawPRO offers optional Innocent Party sublimits of:
• $250,000 per claim/aggregate;
• $500,000 per claim/aggregate;
• $1 million per claim/aggregate.
Underwritten on an individual basis, based on a risk assessment of information provided in the Innocent Party Sublimit Buy-Up application.
1. Includes paralegals practising as partners or shareholders in combined licensee firms.
2. Lawyers who are on temporary leave and qualify for exemption (c) are provided with the full limit coverage of $1 million per claim/$2 million in the aggregate provided under the base program.
3. Coverage for dishonest (as defined), fraudulent, criminal or malicious acts or omissions.
4. LawPRO strongly recommends that lawyers increase their optional coverage protection to the maximum sublimit offered, to provide comprehensive coverage and reduce the likelihood of gaps in coverage.