What Insurance Do Ontario Paralegals Need?

What Insurance Do Ontario Paralegals Need?

October 19, 2023 / 5 mins read

Paralegals are part of Ontario’s legal system and can provide an affordable option for those in need of legal services or representation. Your job as a paralegal is not without risk, though. Paralegals are typically required to carry appropriate professional liability insurance.

An error in a document or an error in the legal services you provide could result in a lawsuit against you or your legal firm.

Are you working as a paralegal who needs business insurance in downtown Toronto or are you located in one of Toronto’s many neighbourhoods?

Are you in Scarborough, Etobicoke, North York, York, East York or are you in Mississauga, Brampton, Vaughan, Markham, Newmarket, Orangeville, or Milton?

Wherever you are working as a paralegal in Toronto, Greater Toronto Area (GTA) or anywhere in Ontario, your Western insurance expert will give you top-notch business insurance advice to protect you as a paralegal. We will get you a paralegal insurance package at the right value for you.

How will paralegal insurance protect me?

Western’s Toronto business insurance experts will make sure that your paralegal insurance package gives you comprehensive protection against the specific risks you face when offering legal services, including negligence and malpractice. It will also meet the Law Society of Ontario’s requirements for paralegal insurance.

A paralegal insurance package can help protect you from these 3 common claims:

1. A corporate client is suing you because you didn’t notice that the word “Limited” was left out of its official name and there was also spelling error in the corporation’s name. Professional liability insurance (also known as Errors & Omissions insurance) may cover the cost of your legal expenses and the outcome of the third-party lawsuit against you.

2. A client visiting your Toronto office falls and breaks her ankle on your office’s icy sidewalk. The client is suing you for third-party bodily injury. Commercial general liability insurance may cover your client’s medical expenses, your legal fees, and any court-ordered financial settlement.

3. An employee you work with has been siphoning off money from your accounts receivable, stealing a fair bit of money over time at your Toronto paralegal firm. Crime insurance, also known as fidelity insurance, helps protect you against money, property, stocks, or securities being stolen by either employees or third parties.

How much does paralegal business insurance cost?

The cost of paralegal insurance will depend on what types of coverage you need based on the work that you do.

The cost also depends on:

  • Do you work in a law firm, a company’s legal department, or are you self-employed in Toronto or elsewhere in Ontario?
  • Do you have any past claims?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • How much revenue do you expect to make in the upcoming year?
  • Where is your office located?
  • Do you work full-time or part-time?
  • Do you travel for your work?

Here’s a business insurance checklist for paralegals:

  • Do you have the best business insurance rate that suits your work as a paralegal in Toronto?
  • Do you have the right amount for your deductible and regularly review it to make sure it’s the right amount for you?
  • Are you or your employees using personal vehicles for work?

At Western, we are business insurance experts. We will save you time and money by doing the insurance shopping for you to find the right package at the right value for you as a paralegal.

What do I need in my paralegal insurance package?

Professional liability insurance

You will also hear this type of insurance called errors and omissions (E&O) insurance.

Paralegals who provide legal services to the public must carry paralegal professional liability insurance in Ontario, whether you are working in Toronto or elsewhere in the province.

Professional liability insurance protects paralegals against claims or lawsuits that allege financial loss due to a service you provided, or professional negligence, misconduct, or failure to deliver services as promised.

This type of insurance will help cover your legal costs, judgments, and settlement fees up to your policy limit. Professional liability insurance does not cover deliberate misrepresentation or criminal acts.

Paralegals often choose “claims-made” professional liability insurance policies, which cover claims that both occur and are reported during the policy coverage period.

Insurance policy that covers claims made outside of the policy period are called “occurrence-made” and cover the claim regardless of when it is reported.

The minimum requirements for professional liability insurance for Ontario paralegals is policy limits of at least $1 million per claim and $2 million in the aggregate per year.

Paralegals who run their own businesses would need to have additional coverages, such as the following:

Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance

Without commercial general liability insurance (CGL), you would be responsible for paying any liability costs out of your own pocket if a client were to get injured or her property damaged at your paralegal office. CGL insurance is also known as “slip-and-fall” insurance.

This type of coverage can also help protect you against allegations of false advertising, libel, or slander as a paralegal.

It’s recommended that you have at least $1 million in CGL coverage.

Cyber liability insurance

If you are a self-employed paralegal and you store your customers’ names, addresses and credit card information digitally and your computer system is hacked, cybercriminals can sell this information on the dark web.

Without cyber insurance, you will have to pay out of your pocket for the cost of restoring your system. You may also be liable for damages to third parties whose information has been stolen and you may have to pay for notification expenses to inform your clients affected by a breach.

Crime insurance

Crime insurance is also known as fidelity insurance. It protects your paralegal firm against money, property, stocks, or securities being stolen by either employees or third parties.

Commercial property insurance

If you are a self-employed paralegal and have your own Toronto office, this type of insurance helps with the cost of repairing or replacing your commercial property in the event of an accident or natural disaster.

Typically, commercial property insurance covers theft, vandalism, and fire.

You can also add earthquake insurance, sewer backup or flood coverage extensions to protect your business.

Commercial auto insurance

If you use your car to meet clients, you need commercial auto coverage as part of your insurance package. Personal car policies will not cover you or any employees using your car for work.

Did you know that Ontario paralegals are licensed to independently represent people in small claims court, traffic court, some criminal matters and before tribunals

What do I do if I need to make an insurance claim?

  • Contact your broker immediately after any business-related mishap. Waiting to file a claim can confuse insurers about the severity of the damages to your business.
  • Know your policy so that when you contact your broker you are familiar with what will be covered or not.
  • If there’s any damage, document it. Take photos right away and write down what happened.
  • Do not throw away damaged goods after taking photos. Keep the physical evidence so that your adjustor can see it.
  • Do not invite lawsuits. Don’t say anything that could be used against you, especially if you aren’t sure what happened.
  • Be honest about what your damaged property is worth. Damaged commercial property is generally valued according to its actual cash value or replacement value.

Western Insurance has licensed BUSINESS INSURANCE EXPERTS to get you the right insurance package as a Toronto paralegal. Our experts are available now to help you navigate the business insurance journey to protect you as a paralegal.

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