Group professional liability insurance program
. : Frequently Asked Questions
The following questions and answers were prepared solely to provide information on the key
terms and conditions of the group professional liability insurance plan for Quebec CAs. They are
not to be considered as an insurance proposal and do not reflect the content of the professional
liability insurance policy to be concluded between the Ordre and the insurer.
The terms and conditions of the plan could change before its final implementation scheduled for
April 2008. The application terms and conditions and the final coverage terms offered by the
insurer will be those included in the master insurance policy, a copy of which will be sent to each
Ordre member as soon as it becomes available. We remind you that AICA and Hub International
will administer the group plan.
Q: Will all Ordre members be covered by the plan?
A: All members in good standing of the Ordre will be covered by the group professional liability
insurance program. However, since professional liability risk differs within our membership,
we will create two major categories under the group plan: “members who offer services to the
public” and “members who do NOT offer services to the public.”
Q: Which members offer services to the public?
A: Members who offer to the public one or more of the following services, on a full- or part-time
basis, listed in our Code of Ethics as being part of the practice of the chartered accountancy
Financial reporting assurance,
Investigative and forensic accounting,
Management, information technology or insurance consulting,
Business valuation, acquisitions, sales or mergers,
Administration of successions or trusts,
Liquidation of successions,
Accounting information processing; and
The preparation of tax returns or statutory documents.
For more information, consult the Code of Ethics and the resolution concerning members’
Q: Which members do NOT offer services to the public?
A : Employees, officers or owners of a company, members who work for a federal, provincial or
municipal government, in education, or who offer services to the public that are not listed in
the Code of Ethics as being part of the practice of the chartered accountancy profession.
For more information, consult the Code of Ethics and the resolution concerning members’
Q: What is the annual premium?
A: The annual premiums we negotiated for the first two years of the plan are very competitive in
terms of the coverage being offered. The premiums will be:
$1,500 for members who offer services to the public – The amount of the premium was
determined according to the potential risks of small and medium-sized firms and the AICA’s
experience with such firms. The premium may be paid by the firm on behalf of CA partners or
$50 for members who do not offer services to the public – The amount of the premium was
determined according to the estimated risk for a member who does not provide services to
the public. This amount is tax deductible.
Q: How will I be invoiced?
A: The group professional liability insurance plan will be administered by AICA. Thus, the
premium will be payable annually to AICA as of April 1, 2008. In some cases, financing
arrangements may be offered by AICA. Failure to pay the premium will result in the member
being struck off the Roll, as is currently the case.
Q: I am an inactive member, must I join the plan?
A: Inactive members are members who do not earn any revenue from employment, from the
practice of the profession or from the operation of an enterprise, and who have been
members of the Ordre for a number of years which, when added to their age, equals 90 or
more, provided they have been members of the Ordre continuously during the five years
preceding the year in which they request to be registered as inactive member.
If you belong to this member category, you will be considered as a member who does not
offer services to the public and will be subject to the $50 professional liability insurance
Q: How will the Ordre determine the member category to which I belong?
A: The information you send in for your annual fee renewal will be used to establish the member
category to which you will belong for group insurance purposes and the premium you will
have to pay.
Should the Ordre receive an inaccurate statement, except if it constitutes bad faith from the
member or if the insurer would not have covered the risk had it been aware of the true facts,
the member would still be covered under the group plan, but would be considered as co-
insured, meaning that he or she would be liable for a portion of the settlement and some of
the defence costs. Please refer to the policy for accurate wording and detailed obligations of
If you change your professional liability insurance category during the year, you will
automatically be covered under your new member category and there will be no adjustment
to your premium. You will pay the new premium as of the next annual fee renewal. However,
you must notify the Ordre of your change of status.
Q: I am a member who offers services to the public, what is covered by the group plan?
A: You are covered under the group professional liability insurance plan at an annual premium
of $1,500. Basic coverage is $1 million, with a maximum of $2 million per claim if two or more
CAs are involved in the same lawsuit. There is no yearly limit per insured and no deductible.
All of the services described in the Code of Ethics are covered by the group plan, except for
the following activities:
The supply and installation of computer equipment, although information technology
consulting is covered;
Real estate management unless it is part of the responsibilities of a trustee in
Membership on a board of directors or audit committee of a company. In these
cases, we urge you to be extremely vigilant and to make sure that the company has
adequate protection for these activities. However, the Association of Insured
Chartered Accountants (AICA) can offer additional coverage for board positions with
not-for-profit organizations, for an additional premium of $90.
The final insurance policy will include other exclusions, including the usual exclusion clauses
for dishonest or fraudulent acts, lawsuits against a company in which a CA holds an interest,
lawsuits between CAs, lawsuits resulting from personal bankruptcies, and of course any
claims of which insured members were aware and did not disclose to their insurer as of the
effective date of the group plan. We remind you that the application terms and conditions and
the final coverage terms offered by the insurer will be those included in the master insurance
Q: I am a member who does NOT offer services to the public, what is covered by the
R: Under the group plan, for a minimal annual premium of $50, you will be covered for $1 million.
This is something new since you were not required to take out professional liability insurance
before. However, we are convinced that this new approach will be advantageous because it
will provide you with coverage for the following risks for which you are probably not currently
Your employer may not have liability coverage or the coverage may be insufficient;
When you occasionally offer services to the public: for example, when you prepare
tax returns for parents or friends, audit the financial statements of your children’s
daycare centre, provide business management advice to neighbours or friends, you
are liable even if you offer these services free of charge;
In its resolution relating to members categories the Ordre has included a provision
stating that the value of these services may not exceed $5,000 per year. If the value
exceeds that amount, you must inform the Ordre and you will be subject to the
$1,500 premium and to the other rules that apply to members who offer services to
the public. For more information, consult the resolution on the members’ categories.
Lastly, if you have been self-employed or worked for a firm offering services to the
public, your professional acts of the past six years are also covered by the group
plan, except for claims already disclosed to your insurer and those that were known
but not disclosed to your insurer on the effective date of the group plan.
You should note that your professional liability as a corporate director or member of an audit
committee is specifically excluded under the plan. In these cases, we urge you to be
extremely vigilant and to make sure that the company in which you work has adequate
coverage at all times.
The minimal $50 tax deductible premium will give you peace of mind while protecting you
from almost all professional liability risks, including coverage for prior acts, which was
especially difficult to obtain under the current system.
It should be noted that the amount of the premium was not established on the basis of risks
posed by firms: it was determined according to the estimated risk for a member who does not
provide services to the public.
Q: What advantages does this group plan offer members?
A: We are confident that your group plan will be one of the best and most attractive professional
liability insurance plans in Quebec, for a number of reasons.
The group plan will give all CAs access to the minimum liability insurance required by
regulation, at all times and at a reasonable cost, thanks to the negotiating power of
over 17,000 members;
It will also provide members outside public practice with minimum professional
liability coverage for their regular activities and for services they may offer on
occasion or even free of charge;
The coverage you will enjoy is one of the best on the market, with no yearly limit per
insured, no deductible and an extremely competitive price;
The plan will enhance the protection of the public since all members will be covered
by a single policy whose terms and conditions will satisfy the requirements of
Quebec’s professional system.
Q: What is the Association of Insured Chartered Accountants (AICA)?
A: The Association of Insured Chartered Accountants or AICA was founded in 1989 to
administer the professional liability insurance program of CAs in Canada and Bermuda who
practice public accounting. The AICA currently reports to the national Professional Liability
Insurance Committee (PLIC), which is made up of CA representatives of each Canadian
The AICA’s mandate is to provide a high-quality, stable insurance program specifically for the
CA profession by negotiating highly advantageous conditions with brokers and insurers
specialized in professional liability programs. In 1994, the AICA’s role was expanded to
include claims processing so that the profession could take control of this function and
address escalating claims costs. Currently, the AICA has over 10,000 CA clients in public
practice in Canada and Bermuda, including some 2,000 CAs in Quebec.
For more details, you may consult the AICA website.
Q: Why was the Association of Insured Chartered Accountants (AICA) retained?
A: The AICA was retained following a call for tenders launched by the Ordre in the summer of
2006 to determine the best possible supplier of professional liability insurance for Quebec
CAs. The AICA was selected because of its expertise in the field of insurance for CAs and
claims processing. We are confident that this alliance provides the most benefits for our
Q: When will the new group plan come into force?
A: You have probably received the draft regulation respecting the establishment of a group
professional liability insurance plan and we hope to receive your comments on this draft. After
this consultation process, the final draft regulation will have to be approved by the Bureau of
the Ordre and then by the Office des professions. We expect the regulation to come into
effect on April 1, 2008, the date of the annual fee renewal. The premium will be payable to
the AICA each year. As is currently the case, members who fail to pay their premium will be
struck off the Membership Roll.
It is therefore important for you to negotiate with your current insurer to include a cancellation
clause in your 2008 contract providing for a refund prorated on the number of months
remaining to avoid unnecessary double coverage. This provision automatically applies to
members currently insured through the National Program administered by AICA, since it was
negotiated with this organization.
Q: Will I be able to obtain additional coverage?
A: You will be able to take out additional coverage on the open professional liability insurance
market. However, the AICA has committed to offer, through its broker and the group
insurance plan, up to $10 million in total coverage, which should meet the needs of most
firms, including any additional obligations related to the practice of the profession within a
LLP or joint-stock company.
Q: I am a member of another professional order or regulated association (trustees,
financial planners, etc.). Am I subject to the new group plan?
A: CAs who are members of other professional orders (members of the bar, order of engineers,
etc.) or practice their profession while belonging to regulated associations (trustees in
bankruptcy, financial planners) are subject to and will be covered by the Ordre’s group plan.
They will therefore have to pay the $1,500 or $50 premium, depending on their activities. This
applies even if these other orders and associations have already instituted professional
liability insurance requirements for their members.
This is meant to guarantee that our members have adequate professional liability coverage
since they are not necessarily protected under other plans when they act as chartered
accountants, even on an occasional basis. The group plan coverage ensures that the public
and our members are well protected.
Q: I would like to be exempted from the plan, what are the conditions and procedures?
A: The group professional liability insurance plan applies to all Ordre members. However, specific
provisions will apply to members who work within a partnership or company whose activities
cannot be covered by the group plan and who are unable to obtain professional liability
insurance on the market corresponding to the minimum coverage required by regulation. The
group insurer may, with the agreement of the Ordre, deny a member who practices within a
firm participation in the plan under the following conditions :
the member’s clientele or that of the members of the partnership or company within
which he practices includes international companies or companies that make a
distribution of their securities to the public in accordance with securities legislation
applicable in Quebec or outside Quebec;
the scope of the professional services rendered to such clientele in the areas of
auditing, acquisitions, mergers or restructurings is significant.
In order for these provisions to apply to you, you must demonstrate to the Ordre’s satisfaction
that you hold and will maintain, through an insurance contract or an agreement with the
partnership or company within which you practice, coverage at least equivalent to that offered
under the group insurance plan taken out by the Ordre.
To do so, you must send the Ordre a sworn statement of each year attesting to the following:
first, that you applied for professional liability insurance with the primary insurers who
provide professional liability insurance to chartered accountants and, specifically, the
insurer with which the Ordre entered into the group insurance contract, in view of
obtaining coverage for professional liability at least equivalent to that provided by the
Ordre group plan,
second, that all of these insurers declined to provide such coverage; and
third, that the reason for the refusal was not based on your claims history;
Furthermore, you must also provide a statement attesting that capital held by the
insurer or the firm providing the coverage is sufficient to insure payment of the
When more than one member performs non-covered professional activities within the same
partnership or company, a single statement may be submitted by one of the members on
behalf of all other members. The statement then becomes the statement of each member,
who is responsible for the accuracy of the information provided.
A member who ceases to meet the conditions set out in the special provisions must notify the
Ordre in writing.
Q: I still have some unanswered questions, what should I do?
A: We invite you to contact us by e-mail at email@example.com and we will answer
you as quickly as possible.