In 2019, the College conducted an audit of liability insurance. A stratified random sample of 226 full and interim physical therapists were asked to submit their evidence of liability insurance. More than five percent of registrants sampled were found to be in breach of the Bylaw. [Bylaw #84: All full, interim, student and temporary registrants must be insured against professional liability for negligence in an amount of at least $3,000,000 per occurrence.]
Two registrants did not provide evidence of valid liability insurance. Ten provided evidence of valid insurance but with gaps – seven provided insurance with an effective date that was after the receipt of the notice of audit.
Take home messages:
- The liability insurance requirement is determined primarily by registration status, not by employment status, employment geography or by role or responsibilities at work. Examples of situations where a registrant may choose to maintain full registration and is therefore still required to have liability insurance include:
- Maternity leave, or other types of leave from employment
- Working in a non-clinical role
- Working outside of Canada
- The ‘extended reporting period’ or “tail” coverage offered by some insurance providers does not meet the requirement for full registration.
- If you work in a public setting your employer might provide liability insurance; you are still required to be able to produce that evidence if the College asks for it. Typically, this is a standard letter from the health authority or facility.
- If your primary workplace is in the public sector, but you also work or volunteer as a physical therapist in a private setting, you are required to have private liability insurance for your practice in the private setting.