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Run-Off coverage and exemption from premiums

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Run-Off Coverage

What coverage do I have when I am retired?

Retired insureds receive free Run-Off coverage of $250,000 per claim and in the aggregate, subject to a $5,000 deductible per claim, and any prior claims for which notice was provided while on exemption. This coverage is a one-time limit and is not re-instated annually.

Run-Off coverage applies only to claims arising out of professional services provided while you were in private practice or maintained the full ongoing practice coverage.

Run-Off coverage does not provide coverage for claims arising out of professional services that you provide while exempt from paying the insurance premium. The only exceptions to this are with respect to pro bono services provided through a LAWPRO approved Pro Bono Ontario program, and where you have applied for and purchased additional coverage specifically for certain ongoing services as estate trustee, trustee for inter vivos trust or attorney for property.

Do I have to buy additional Run-Off coverage through LAWPRO or can I buy it elsewhere?

You do not have to buy any optional insurance coverage through LAWPRO. You are free to buy your run-off insurance from the insurer of your choice.

I’ve decided to increase my Run-Off coverage limit to $500,000 for five years. Is the $250,000 Run-Off coverage still there for me after five years, even if LAWPRO pays out more than $250,000 in claims between then and now?

No. If claims made against you exhaust the $250,000 Run-Off coverage and you do not apply to renew your limit buy-up after the five-year term, you will have no coverage in place for any future claims that may be made against you.

I am retired but occasionally provide professional services to my family and friends. Am I covered under my Run-Off Coverage or do I have to buy insurance coverage?

If you plan to continue providing professional services in private practice, even on an occasional basis or on a pro bono basis to family or friends, you must obtain LAWPRO practice coverage.

Being exempt from premiums

I am an in-house corporate counsel for an organization. Am I exempt from having to pay the insurance premium?

If you are employed by a single employer providing professional services only to the employer, or any affiliated, controlled or subsidiary companies you are exempt. However, if your contract requires that you provide professional services to your employer’s customers or clients, you are deemed to be providing professional services in private practice and must pay the insurance premium.

Among the criteria that LAWPRO would consider in determining if you are eligible for an exemption are:

  • whether or not you work a fixed number of hours
  • whether you are compensated on a fee-for-service or fixed amount basis
  • whether or not you are provided an office in the place of employment

Generally, contract employees who work on a fee-for-service basis and/or work irregular hours are not eligible for exemption. Please contact LAWPRO for assistance in determining your eligibility.

I am an employed lawyer in a law firm but do only legal research. Do I qualify for an exemption?

Whether or not you are exempt depends on the nature of your work product and who is likely to see or use it. If you work in a firm environment and do legal research exclusively, do not provide any legal opinions but merely a statement of the law, do not meet or correspond with any firm clients, and if none of your work is provided to clients or others outside of the firm you are, in LAWPRO’s opinion, acting as a resource only to the law firm lawyers and qualify for an exemption. If you provide freelance work to one law firm or more, you require coverage.

Most lawyers who provide research services give opinions that are subsequently provided to clients of the firm. These lawyers are considered to be practising law and are required to pay the insurance premium.

As an exempt lawyer do I have coverage for any pro bono work that I do?

If you are a lawyer who is exempt from requiring LAWPRO coverage, you have the standard Run-Off coverage of $250,000 per claim/in the aggregate for pro bono professional services offered through a LAWPRO-approved Pro Bono Ontario program. However, the work of an exempt lawyer not associated with an approved LAWPRO Pro Bono Ontario organization is not insured for those services.

See our page on providing pro bono professional services for more information.

I act as in-house counsel and therefore am claiming exemption. My employer now wishes me to provide legal advice to the company’s clients. Can I maintain my exemption?

If you provide professional services to your employer’s clients, this is third party legal advice and you need to have practice coverage.

You may qualify for the Part-Time Practice Option, at a 40% premium discount. As corporate counsel, these criteria would apply only to the professional services you provide to unrelated third parties. If you are currently on exemption and wish to apply for practice coverage please complete a New Applicant Application form.


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