Professional Liability Insurance
The 2015 & 2016 cost of the CSMLS insurance plan is $13/year for medical laboratory technologists and $7 for students* and medical laboratory assistants. Comparable coverage from a private insurance company would cost anywhere from $1,600 to $2,500 per year.
*Students are only covered for their clinical placements and must be supervised by an MLT or clinical instructor. Associate Non-Certified members may be eligible for Professional Liability Insurance. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request more information.
All things considered, it's a small price to pay for peace of mind.
This coverage is on a claims-made basis which means that in order for coverage to apply, the claim must be presented during the current policy period. Thus once coverage ends it is as if you have never had coverage. There are a few exceptions: retirement, death and disability. For these individuals coverage is indefinite for claims arising from services provided prior to leaving the profession. Anyone who is on maternity or parental leave should maintain insurance.
CSMLS coverage includes the following:
Legal Defence Coverage
The following limits apply:
- $50,000 – Legally constituted tribunal in a Canadian province
- $50,000 – Witness appearance
- $50,000 – Coroner’s Inquest
- $500 per day, $1,000 per claim for lost wages due to attending court for an insured loss
An annual per member aggregate of $200,000 for all claims per member applies. For example, if a member has three claims in the same year, one for witness appearance of $50,000 and two for coroner’s inquest at $50,000 and $20,000, the policy would pay $120,000.
Legal Defence Coverage - Disciplinary Hearings
Allegations not involving sexual abuse or misconduct
- $50,000 per member per claim
- Policy will pay costs for legal representation regardless of outcome
Allegations involving sexual abuse, misconduct or anything of a sexual nature
- $20,000 per member per claim
- Policy will pay only if the outcome is acquittal or “not guilty.” If a case 'just goes away', policy will not pay.
Another annual per member aggregate of $200,000 for all claims per member applies for this endorsement.
Penal Defence Reimbursement
- $150,000 per claim and annual aggregate limit per member.
- The defence must obtain an acquittal or a return of a not guilty verdict. If a case is dropped because a plaintiff no longer wants to pursue the case or changes their mind, the policy will not pay.
Professional Liability Coverage Limits
- $2,000,000 per member per loss
- $2,000,000 per member annually per policy period
- Deductible: Nil
Absolute Sexual Abuse and Misconduct Exclusions
A new exclusion was added to the policy in 2006 to make it clear that the insurer will not defend any professional liability claims in civil court that allege abuse. It reads as follows:
“This policy shall not apply to any claim resulting directly, indirectly, in whole or in part from any actual or alleged
- sexual, physical, psychological or emotional abuse, molestation or harassment committed by, at the direction of, or with the knowledge of any person insured by this policy, or
- failure of any person insured by this policy to prevent sexual, physical, psychological or emotional abuse, molestation or harassment
This exclusion applies irrespective of the outcome of the legal proceeding (guilty or innocent)."
- You must immediately report an incident that may result in a claim to Cowan Insurance Brokers Limited or to your association head office so that particulars of the claim may be forwarded to the Insurer for you.
- You may not take any action to defend yourself or to make any kind of settlement without agreement from the Insurer.
Loss Prevention Information
Properly identify the patient. Explain the procedure and what the patient can expect. Make sure you have understanding and agreement before you begin.
Always use clinical terms for anatomical parts.
The best defence you have will be based on your character and professionalism. When other co-workers are present, be careful how you speak to one another in front of the patient. Remember that the patient or the family may be listening. If you are involved in a claim, do not discuss it openly in the workplace because the plaintiff’s investigator may be present.
Do not allow yourself to be pressured into doing anything you are not trained to do, certified for, or that would violate the standards of practice for medical laboratory technologists.
Take time to document everything properly. A daily diary recapping unusual circumstances can be valuable if you are being accused of a negligent act.
For more information on your Professional Liability and Legal Defence Insurance call:
Sigrid Neumann Cowan Insurance Group Limited.
1-888-474-7592 ext. 42250