BMS Group is the exclusive broker for the CASW’s Professional Liability Insurance Program. BMS Canada Risk Services is headquartered in Ottawa, and is part of the Specialty Risk division of BMS Group, a Lloyd’s of London broker. Their team of industry experts provides unparalleled risk management and brokerage services while offering a comprehensive range of insurance products and resources to Canadian organisations. BMS provides coverage for more than 250,000 healthcare professionals across the country and has ensured CASW members have comprehensive coverage and access to a range of other benefits.
Professional liability insurance protects members against liability or allegations for injuries or damages to a third party (such as a patient or client) that have resulted from a negligent act, error, omission, or malpractice that has arisen out of your professional capacity as a social worker.
Commercial general liability insurance (CGL), protects members from financial loss should they be sued due to property damage, injury, or death caused by your services, business operations, or your employees (not specifically related to your delivery of professional services, which is covered by your professional liability coverage). A typical example of commercial general liability insurance claim is slip and fall coverage, which protects you in the event someone falls at your clinic and claims that it was a result of your negligence (e.g. water on the floor).
In the event of a claim, both the treating social worker and the business name are likely to be named in a statement of claim or lawsuit. Legal Entity Coverage protects the clinic and its assets in such circumstances. This coverage is applicable if you are a business owner or employ other social workers.
Yes! All CASW members who participate in the CASW Professional Liability Insurance Program are automatically covered for E-Services provided in their counselling practice. E-Services coverage protects CASW members for claims that may arise from clients who reside out-of-province and require the Social Worker's professional services, or from clients who are located outside Canada. Typical examples of E-Services may include the following activities: skype, tele-video conferencing, text messages, or telephone. (Essentially, any social media platform that allows you to connect with your client when an 'in-person' meeting is not available).
Please note that should an action be made against you from one of your clients, the statement of claim will need to be filed within courts of the United States or Canada.
Also, please ensure that you abide by the professional requirements and regulations of the regulatory body in the province or location in which your client resides, as this may differ from your own provincial regulator.
Coverage can be purchased online within minutes, over the phone or by mail.Applications and a link to the online tool can be found here
In order to be eligible for this insurance policy, you must be a member of one of the designated provincial or territorial social worker associations or be an affiliate member of CASW. If you are not a member, this policy is null and void. Select the provincial/territorial association of which you are a member.
Out-of-country coverage is automatically included for 90 consecutive days at no extra charge for members who travel outside Canada while attending academic training/courses. Please contact BMS if you require coverage beyond 90 days.
Students are not eligible for coverage however, any insured member can add students acting on their behalf and only while under the insured member's supervision at no additional charge.
The CASW Liability Insurance Program has two renewal dates for all members. Members joining between May 1st and October 30th renew on May 1st and members joining between October 31st and May 30th renew on October 31st.
In the event of a claim, your employer’s policy will respond to defend your employer’s interests first as the named policyholder, and your interest as second priority depending upon sufficient funds.
In addition, most employers’ policies do not provide coverage for the defence costs associated with complaints made against you and filed with your regulatory college. Without Professional Liability coverage, you would be personally responsible for these costly expenses.
And lastly, should you provide advice/or treatment outside the scope of your employment (for instance, volunteer work in the community or work with a secondary employment site), your employer’s policy will not extend to cover you. You need your own Professional Liability insurance to protect yourself and your reputation.
Your CASW Professional Liability insurance policy is issued on a “claims-made and reported” basis, meaning that the policy in place at the time that the claim is reported is the policy that will respond.
If you are planning to retire, go on maternity/parental leave or take a sabbatical (and will no longer be practising), it is recommended that you protect yourself against future claims by purchasing Extended Reporting Period coverage. A one year Extended Reporting Period is offered for no additional premium. If you are retiring or require a longer Extended Reporting Period, this can be arranged by contacting BMS Group, who can extend your policy for the desired length of time in order to provide coverage for future claims arising from prior incidents and exposures that occurred during your past activities as a social worker.
Note that this coverage must be purchased within 60 days of the expiry of your last active policy.