Practice Risk Solutions


What Coverage Do I need?

As an optometrist, you require Individual Professional Liability insurance to register with your regulatory College. We all know that. But things get a bit more complicated for optometrists who are independent contractors or business owners.

Insurance and liability are complex subjects as are the offerings and policies that support them. It is important to understand the differences between the different insurance options available to you in order to identify the most appropriate coverage for your practice circumstances.

Coverage Definitions

  • Professional Liability

    Regular interaction with patients is a consistent part of any optometric practice and is a daily occurrence. With this in mind, you may face situations where your patients look to hold you responsible for injuries they deem to have received.

    Professional Liability insurance protects you against liability or allegations of liability for injury or damages that have resulted from a negligent act, error, omission, or malpractice that has arisen out of your professional capacity as an optometrist.

    It is important to note that coverage is afforded on a “claims-made and reported” basis and will respond to claims made during the policy period. This means that the policy which is in place when a claim is made will be the policy to respond – regardless of when the incident occurred. Therefore, it is extremely important there is no lag or gap in coverage between policy periods. Coverage needs to be continuously in place to ensure you are continuously protected.

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  • Clinic Professional Liability

    In the event of a claim alleging negligence or malpractice, both the treating professional (any regulated health professional) and the business are likely to be named in a statement of claim or lawsuit. Clinic Professional Liability Insurance protects the business and its assets in such circumstances.

    If you are a sole proprietor, this coverage is included at no additional cost and your individual PLI policy will automatically extend to cover your business name. However, this coverage is recommended if you have employees and/or contractors working for or on behalf of your business and/or billing under your business name.

    Please note that this coverage should be purchased by one individual on behalf of all business owners and / or the business entity. Coverage limits are shared between yourself and your business name and are subject to an additional premium of $75 per regulated health professional (no charge for opticians).

  • Commercial General Liability

    Commercial General Liability insurance provides coverage to protect against claims arising from injury or property damage that you (or your business) may cause to another person as a result of your operations and/or premises (for example, a patient may slip and fall on a wet floor and injure themselves).

    This member-exclusive coverage is recommended for CAO members who own or operate clinics. Coverage is also recommended for independent practitioners who contract out their services or bill under their business name.

  • Business Package

    This CAO member-exclusive policy provides insurance coverage for members who are operating a business. The Business Package provides coverage to protect your office and the contents within from losses associated with property damage (such as fire) and crime. It also provides coverage if your business is sued for bodily injuries to a third party that occur within your workplace. Included are Commercial General Liability coverage, Property Insurance and Crime protection to ensure comprehensive coverage for your business.

    Commercial General Liability insurance provides coverage to protect against claims arising from injury or property damage that you (or your business) may cause to another person as a result of your operations and/or premises (for example, a patient may slip and fall on a wet floor and injure themselves).

    Property coverage protects against damage to contents, including medical equipment, and loss of revenues caused by an interruption of business activities arising from an insured loss.

    Crime coverage protects against financial loss due to dishonesty, fraud; or theft of money, securities or other property owned by the office/clinic.

  • Building Coverage

    Optometrists who own the building in which their clinic(s) are located have additional insurance considerations. Building coverage insures the bricks and mortar of your property, protecting you against loss or damage from a broad range of causes, including natural disasters and other threats to business operations, such as vandalism.

  • Cyber Security & Privacy Liability

    Cyber liability is one of the fastest growing areas of risk, and healthcare professionals are not immune. Participants are now eligible to purchase comprehensive Cyber Security and Privacy Liability coverage to protect against claims arising out of theft, loss, or unauthorized disclosure of a third party’s personally identifiable information. Coverage is designed to manage the risk of holding increasingly large quantities of personally identifiable data of clients, employees, and others, and to mitigate the reputational damage resulting from a data security breach.

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  • Employment Practices Liability

    Do you employ administrative and/or professional staff? Does your clinic engage independent contractors, volunteers, or students? EPL coverage protects you and your business against allegations of employment practice violation, including wrongful termination, discrimination, workplace harassment, and other employment related allegations with Employment Practices Liability insurance.

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  • Legal Services

    Specialized legal advice for personal and/or business matters.

    For $30/year - CAO members now have access to:

    Unlimited Telephone Legal Advice
    Unlimited access to a confidential 24/7 toll-free line to speak with a lawyer about any legal issue, both personal and professional. Upon calling, you will be connected with a lawyer who is geographically close to you and who is an expert in the area of law you are calling about.

    150+ Legal Documents and templates online, anytime you need them
    Take advantage of an online library of customizable templates and up-to-date legal documents that have been drafted by lawyers. The document library includes employment contracts, partnership agreements, loan agreements, promissory notes, and more.

    Legal Document Reviews
    Lawyers will review your short legal documents (e.g. contracts) or legal letters and can draft simple legal letters on your behalf.

    ID Theft Case Management Service
    If you fall victim to identity theft, the Legal Services package provides access to an identity restoration lawyer to help resolve the matter.

  • 24 Hour Accident Insurance

    Although we don't like to think about it, accidents can happen. If the accident is serious enough to limit your ability to work, you may be faced with financial stressors in addition to physical ones. This coverage is designed to provide you and your loved ones with financial assistance in the event of an accident that results in injury or death.

    24 Hour Accident Insurance provides a lump sum benefit where:

    • a loss or death occurs due to an Accident, and
    • where, as the result of accidental injury, the disablement results in a permanent total disability

    The policy also provides coverage for:

    • Repatriation costs, and
    • Rehabilitation (training) costs should you require special training in order to be qualified to engage in a different occupation following an insured accident