Regulation Matters 2022 - Issue 1, May

Changes to Liability Insurance Requirements

2022 will be a transition year to allow members to come into compliance

By-law No. 5: Professional Liability Insurance is no longer a stand-alone by-law and is now incorporated into section 15 of By-Law No. 1: General. Sections 15.1 (a), (b) and (c) remain unchanged. Sections (d) and (e) and are new and
are explained below: 

15. Professional Liability Insurance

15.1 Professional Liability Insurance Coverage Requirements: A member engaging in the practice of dietetics must maintain professional liability insurance coverage with the following characteristics:
(a) minimum coverage of no less than $2,000,000 per occurrence;
(b) aggregate coverage of no less than $5,000,000;
(c) any deductible must be $1,000 or less;
(d) if coverage is through a “claims made” policy, an extended reporting period provision of at least two (2) years; and
(e) any exclusionary conditions and terms must be consistent with standard industry practice with respect to insurance of this type.

Section (d)

An extended reporting period (ERP) of two years provides dietitians with the ability to make a claim under their former professional liability insurance policy after the policy coverage ends (e.g., change in employment, change in insurance providers, and/or no longer practising dietetics). The ERP becomes relevant and relates to the insurance coverage that was in place during the active policy and/or active dietetic practise phase.

For example, you stopped practising dietetics on December 31, 2021, and your insurance policy expired on that date. A client sues you for an act or omission that occurred in September 2021 but makes the claim in June 2022. If you have an ERP under your insurance policy, you can report the claim to your insurance provider, even though your liability insurance policy expired on December 31, 2021.

Many insurance policies offer an ERP and many professional regulatory bodies require an ERP out of prudence.

Section (e)

This section relates to ensuring the coverage complies with standard industry practice.

With respect to both sections (d) and (e) above, the College recommends all members verify with their insurance broker and/or employer that their liability insurance coverage is compliant with section 15 of By-Law No. 1: General. The College has been informed that the policy offered through Dietitians of Canada has a 2-year ERP incorporated. Remember: If you are practising dietetics in any capacity, you must have insurance. This requirement applies even if you are:
  • Practising outside of Ontario or Canada
  • Not working directly with patients
  • Completing dietetics-related graduate work
  • Doing volunteer work 

Annual Random and Targeted Selection for Proof of Liability Insurance

Each year, the College conducts a random selection of members to show proof of liability insurance coverage. In addition, any discrepancies identified at renewal (e.g., an RD states they are volunteering in dietetics but indicates they are covered under their employer’s coverage) are included.

Double check that you have sufficient liability insurance coverage. And remember, there are consequences for non-compliance. 2022 will be a transition year to allow members to come into  compliance with section d) noted above.