All lawyers in private practice must purchase the Law Society’s mandatory professional liability insurance coverage. Excess insurance coverage is voluntary. Further, all practicing lawyers must pay an annual fee to maintain the Assurance Fund.
Mandatory Insurance, Part A
Part A provides each insured lawyer with up to $1 million of coverage for each occurrence, to an annual maximum of $2 million for all errors reported during the year.
Excess Insurance, Part B
In addition to the basic coverage, CLIA offers a Voluntary Excess Program to lawyers and law firms through its subscriber law societies. The Voluntary Excess Program offers limits ranging from $1,000,000 to $9,000,000 in excess of the underlying mandatory limit. To apply for excess coverage, complete the application found here and submit to the Insurance and Risk Manager.
Assurance Fund, Part C
Part A of the errors and omissions insurance policy will not cover theft by a lawyer. For this reason, public protection coverage against theft is provided through the Law Society’s Assurance Fund. The Fund is comprised of cash reserves accumulated over many years (contributed by members as part of their annual fees) and, as well, coverage by an insurance policy on the Assurance Fund under Part C of the Society’s policy with CLIA. Rule XIII of the Law Society Rules provides information about the Assurance Fund and an application for an innocent member of the public to assert a claim for fraud or theft against a practicing lawyer.
Cyber Liability, Part D
Part D may provide cyber coverage protection for lawyers and their clients, such as damage from disclosure of client information, privacy breach notifications, system and data rectification costs and cyber threat and extortion costs. The amount of coverage and the deductible will vary depending on the size of the firm at the date the incident is discovered and the nature of the claim. The coverage is conditional on your firm taking certain steps to protect itself from cyber attack. Your firm must have:
- a firewall between the firm’s systems and the internet;
- up-to-date antivirus and malware endpoint protection on computers and laptop; and
- weekly data back-ups