Professional Liability Insurance

Bulletin, Nov. 2003

It is a condition on every certificate of registration that the optometrist obtains and maintains professional liability (malpractice) insurance. This condition is seen as protecting both members and the public alike. It protects members in the event of an untoward incident: the Insurer will cover the costs of defense and any payment ordered by the Court in the event of a large payout, having insurance could save a member from financial ruin. This condition is also seen as protective of the public. It is felt that, again, in the event of a large award made to a patient, the insurer would be in a better financial position to make the payment.

The College Bylaw with respect to professional liability insurance is as follows:

11.1 A member who engages in the practise of optometry in Ontario shall maintain professional liability (malpractice) insurance, in a form acceptable to the College, of not less than

i. $2, 000,000 per occurrence; and

ii. $5,000,000 per year in the aggregate.

11.1.1 The policy of insurance shall

i. have a deductible of not more than $5,000 per occurrence, and

ii. continue to provide coverage for (occurrences which took place when the policy was in effect despite the fact that the insured was not a member or did not have coverage in effect when he or she first became aware of the existence of the claim.