Staff Actions Follow Council Approval of Insurance Recommendations


APEGGA is renewing and improving its emphasis on risk management to help members improve the quality of their practices. At the same time, the Association is encouraging government and the insurance industry to make insurance more available and affordable to members.

At its Sept. 16 meeting Council approved a long list of implementation items that come out of the work of the Insurance Review Task Force. The task force has held a dozen or more meetings since it was struck a year ago to address the insurance troubles many members face.

“In the original terms of reference, Council wanted the task force to find out whether APEGGA’s mandate to safeguard the public’s interest was being negatively affected by conditions in the insurance industry,” said IRTF Chair David Chalcroft, P.Eng.

The problem is that professional liability insurers grew leery of engineering firms after significant losses in their industry. For APEGGA members, in some cases that’s meant less selection, higher premiums, greater limitations and more exclusions.

Some members have ended up buying policies they don’t want because of the way insurance is bundled.

The task force and Council decided against creating a self-insurance system for errors and omissions insurance, which amounts to competing with private insurers. So far, the Canadian Council of Professional Engineers has not supported self-insurance, either. However, the task force did not rule out supporting the national body if it moves in that direction.

The main thrusts for APEGGA are educating members; working with the government to change laws that make insurance difficult and unaffordable for some members; and encouraging industry to improve service to members.

Members can expect:

A continuing flow of PEGG stories and website postings on various aspects of insurance. The list of peer review service providers has been updated online. A story of this PEGG by Ben Novak, P.Eng., outlines the value of peer reviewing. Watch for upcoming stories on professional liability, and visit to view a standard insurance contract template.

In the next revision of the APEGGA Continuing Professional Development Program Guideline, reference to risk management training as a good CPD choice. Also, the Risk Management Guideline will be updated.

Continued hosting of risk management seminars through the APEGGA Professional Development Department.

Starting next year, a risk management overview in mandatory Permit to Practice Seminars.

Encouragement of universities to include risk management in their curricula.

Continued encouragement of the province to make “tied selling” of comprehensive general liability insurance and professional liability insurance illegal. Council’s position is that, at the very least, members should be able to buy the two types of insurance separately.

Continued work with other associations on a number of other insurance packaging and sales issues.

Monitoring of the situation to see whether it’s improving.

Advertising of insurance provider seminars online, in The PEGG and elsewhere.

“APEGGA will need to monitor this situation in the future to satisfy us that these measures do have the desired effects,” said Mr. Chalcroft. “We want to see the incidence of poor quality professional practice lowered, and we want to see the level of service provided by the insurance industry raised, so APEGGA can continue to safeguard the public’s interest.”

In addition to Mr. Chalcroft, APEGGA Vice-President, on the IRTF are Doug Bassett, P.Eng., John Boyd, P.Geoph., Public Council Member Hugh Planche, Paul Ruffell, P.Eng., Dimitri Papanicolas, P.Eng., APEGGA Internal Affairs Director Len Shrimpton, P.Eng., APEGGA President Linda Van Gastel, P.Eng., and APEGGA Past President Mike Smyth, P.Eng.

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