Biz: Errors and omissions insurance in Canada? Summary

Subject: Biz: Errors and omissions insurance in Canada? Summary
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 08 Mar 2005 11:02:09 -0500

Several weeks ago, I asked for suggestions on possible sources of affordable errors and omissions insurance, _specifically for Canadians_. Life happened, and I didn't get a chance to follow up and report back. Here, belatedly, is what I found:

Nobody who replied to my original message mentioned any cases in which an editor or technical communicator has been sued for professional liability. I'm sure these cases exist, but they're almost certainly very rare, even in the highly litigious U.S.* Just to be clear on this point: I'm not worried at all about being sued; my inquiry about this insurance was to satisfy a standard boilerplate clause in a contract, and I was able to convince the client to waive that clause.

* STC doesn't offer this insurance to its members. They consider it unnecessary if you write your contracts wisely, and (to paraphrase) they're concerned that once we possess this insurance, we're suddenly worth suing by lawyers looking to create a precedent.

As I noted in my original message, most such requirements (at least for governments) are just standard boilerplate that is part of _any_ contract, and as is true of any contract, you can always try negotiation: some clients let you strike out and initial the clause on the contract. That worked for me both times thus far, with the caveat that it may not work in the future.

The results of my research: I turned up a company called Halpenny Insurance Brokers Ltd. in Ottawa that offers a few options. My very helpful contact, Lucia Falcucci (lfalcucci -at- halpenny -dot- com / (800) 635-3508) noted that policies vary quite a bit depending on the nature of your business and various other factors, but typically start at C$1500 for Errors and Omission and C$1000 for Commercial General Liability. Only the former is likely to be necessary in my case.

Thanks to Lyndsey Amott, Barb Einarsen, Sharon Stewart, and Don White for their suggestions. (If you wrote to me and didn't receive a reply, my apologies; I never saw your message. Please share your own findings with other members of the group.)

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Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca
(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)
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