BY GEORGE LEE
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
this PEGG by Ben Novak, P.Eng., outlines the value of peer
reviewing. Watch for upcoming stories on professional liability,
and visit www.apegga.org/members/member_services.html 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
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.