Coverage Options

What Coverage Do I Need?

As a physiotherapist, you require professional liability insurance to register with your regulatory College. We all know that. But things get a bit more complicated for physiotherapists who are independent contractors or business owners.

Insurance and liability are complex subjects as are the offerings and policies that support them. It is important to understand the differences between the insurance options available to you in order to identify the most appropriate coverage for your practice circumstances.

Coverage Definitions

Professional Liability

Regular interaction with patients is a consistent part of any physiotherapy practice and is a daily occurrence. With this in mind, you may face situations where your patients look to hold you responsible for injuries they deem to have received as a result of your professional services.

Professional Liability insurance (PLI) protects you against liability or allegations of liability for injury or damages that have resulted from a negligent act, error, omission, or malpractice that has arisen out of your professional capacity as a physiotherapist. PLI protects physiotherapists by ensuring that your legal defence is coordinated and paid for if a claim is made against you. Your PLI also covers the cost of patient compensation, or damages.

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Clinic Professional Liability

Clinic Professional Liability provide a separate limit of liability to protect your business assets in the event that your business name is included in a statement of claim or lawsuit.

In the event of an incident, the patient will most likely name not only the treating therapist, but also your business as the larger provider of services. Business owners should consider purchasing this coverage if other health professionals (for example, co-owners, employees, associates) are billing under the business name.

Please note that this coverage should be purchased by one individual on behalf of all business owners, employees, and /or the business entity.

If you work independently or are a sole proprietor with no other health professionals billing under your business name, your CPA individual PLI policy will automatically extend to cover your business name.

Note that for the purposes of the CPA policy, you do not need to purchase Clinic PLI for administrative or support staff.

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Commercial General Liability

Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance protects you against claims arising from injury or property damage that you (or your business, including your staff) may cause to another person as a result of your operations and/or premises. For example, a patient may fall and injure themselves on a wet floor in your office and look to hold you or your business responsible (they have experienced a bodily injury as a result of your premises). That’s why CGL is so commonly referred to as “slip and fall” insurance.

CGL coverage is recommended for physiotherapists who own or operate clinics.

This coverage is also recommended for independent practitioners who contract out their services or bill under their business name. As an example, if you are an independent contractor and accidentally cause damage to the property in which you are working, the property owner may look to hold you responsible for compensating them for the costs of repairs. Your CGL policy would respond under these circumstances.

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Clinic Business Package (Commercial General Liability, Contents, Crime and Business Interruption)

The CPA program offers a Clinic Business Package, which includes Commercial General Liability Insurance (CGL), Contents, Crime and Business Interruption. Alternatively, members are able to purchase stand-alone CGL insurance.

In addition to the CGL protection outlined above, this package also protects your business and the contents within from losses associated with property damage (such as fire) and crime. Contents Coverage protects against damage to property, including professional equipment, and loss of revenues caused by an interruption of business activities arising from an insured loss. Crime Coverage insurance protects against financial loss due to dishonesty, fraud, or theft of money, securities or other property owned by the business/office.

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Building Coverage

Physiotherapists who own the building in which their clinic(s) are located have additional insurance considerations. Building coverage insures the bricks and mortar of your property, protecting you against loss or damage from a broad range of causes, including natural disasters and other threats to business operations, such as vandalism.

Cyber Security & Privacy Liability Coverage

Cyber liability is one of the fastest growing areas of risk, and healthcare professionals are not immune. Participants are now eligible to purchase comprehensive Cyber Security and Privacy Liability coverage to protect against claims arising out of theft, loss, or unauthorized disclosure of a third party’s personally identifiable information. Coverage is designed to manage the risk of holding increasingly large quantities of personally identifiable data of clients, employees, and others, and to mitigate the reputational damage resulting from a data security breach.

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Employment Practices Liability

Do you employ administrative and/or professional staff? Does your clinic engage independent contractors, volunteers, or students? EPL coverage protects you and your business against allegations of employment practice violation, including wrongful termination, discrimination, workplace harassment, and other employment related allegations with Employment Practices Liability insurance.

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Now that you are familiar with the various coverage options available, please identify yourself using the list below to assist in identifying the recommended insurance coverage for your practice circumstances.


I am a:

Physiotherapist – Independent Contractor

(Billing under your own business name; no other health professionals billing under your business name)

  • Professional Liability
  • Commercial General Liability
  • Clinic Package – if you have valuable contents / stock
  • Cyber Security & Privacy Liability coverage

Physiotherapist – Employee

(Billing under your employer’s business name)

  • Professional Liability
  • Cyber Security & Privacy Liability coverage

Physiotherapist – Clinic / Business Owner

  • Professional Liability
  • Clinic Business Package
  • Clinic Professional Liability if you operate a clinic with various healthcare professionals
  • Building Coverage – if you own the building where you operate
  • Cyber Security & Privacy Liability coverage
  • Employment Practices Liability

Physiotherapist Assistant

Professional Liability coverage is available for Physiotherapist Assistants who are trained to assist in the provision of physiotherapy services under the direction of a registered/licensed physiotherapist.

Professional Liability Insurance protects you against liability or allegations of liability for injury or damages that have resulted from a negligent act, error, omission, or malpractice that has arisen out of your professional capacity as a physiotherapist assistant.

It is important to note that coverage is afforded on a “claims-made and reported” basis and will respond to claims made during the policy period. This means that the policy which is in place when a claim is made, will be the policy to respond - regardless of when the incident occurred. Therefore, it is extremely important there is no lag or gap in coverage between policy periods. Coverage needs to be continuously in place to ensure you are continuously protected.


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Foreign Student

Foreign students in Canada can apply for Professional Liability insurance for the duration of their studies in Canada. Please ensure that you meet the following criteria:

Students

  • ✓ Requires a letter from your university or school
  • ✓ Requires a letter from your placement clinic or facility
  • ✓ Provide start and finish dates
  • ✓ Maximum duration of 33 weeks
  • ✓ Work must be performed under supervision of a registered/licensed physiotherapist

Licensed foreign physiotherapists

  • Available to those participating in a course in Canada.
  • Please ensure that you are authorized to study in Canada for the duration of the course by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Application for Foreign Students Click here to download a Brochure

Physiotherapist - Animal Rehabilitation

Professional Liability Insurance program – specifically created for Animal Rehabilitation Practitioners, who are members of the Animal Rehabilitation Division of CPA.

Please contact BMS Specialty Risks if you are working on prized animals and require an individual quotation.

Application for Animal Rehabilitation Practitioners Click here to download a Brochure

Please note that this list provides an initial framework for decision-making but should not be considered comprehensive broker advice, nor should it be relied upon as such. You should always speak with an insurance professional at BMS Group to determine the most appropriate coverage for your specific practice circumstances.

If you require additional assistance in determining the most appropriate coverage for your specific practice circumstances, please contact a BMS representative at 1-855-318-6136 or cpa.insurance@bmsgroup.com.