July 9, 2020
CMTBC has recently been in contact with RMTs who hold practising status but who have let their professional liability insurance lapse because they are not currently treating patients, and therefore believe that they do not require insurance.
This is a concern. Not only are these RMTs in breach of the CMTBC Bylaws (section 61), they may also be exposed to civil liability if any patient who has been treated in the past two years – and possibly longer – decides to sue the RMT. Section 61 of the Bylaws also protects the public, by preserving a patient’s ability to seek financial redress for any harm that may occur in treatment.
Under a “claims-based” insurance policy – the most common type – the RMT will only have insurance coverage if there is a valid insurance policy in place when the claim is made, even if, for example, the treatment happened a year or more ago. This means that if an RMT with claims-based insurance has allowed their insurance to lapse because they are not currently providing treatment, and is sued by a former patient, the RMT will have no coverage. This may also create a severe negative impact for the former patient who pursues a civil claim, as he or she may be unable to recover compensation or damages for injury caused by an RMT– a health professional required to hold liability insurance.
If the RMT has held an “occurrence-based” insurance policy, this type of policy will provide coverage not based on when the claim is made, but rather when the event that gave rise to the claim took place. If an RMT held a valid occurrence-based policy when treating a patient who subsequently sues the RMT, coverage would not be denied solely on the basis that the policy has subsequently lapsed.
For more explanation of the difference between claims-based and occurrence-based insurance, see the Professional Liability Insurance page.
Also see the CMTBC news story on what a professional liability insurance certificate must contain, and how to upload the certificate in the Registrant Portal.
Here are the takeaways:
These requirements protect both the public and the RMTs to whom they apply.