Monthly Archives

May 2014

Increased Coverage for the CPA/CPAP Insurance Program by BMS

By | News

Dear MPS member:

In our most recent correspondence, we informed members that we would be providing an update on the Canadian Psychological Association (CPA) and the Council of Professional Associations of Psychologists (CPAP) insurance program. MPS is a member of CPAP, so eligible MPS members are able to purchase insurance through this program. The CPA/CPAP professional liability and clinic insurance program offers the most comprehensive coverage to psychological professionals available in Canada.

BMS Group (BMS) is the exclusive insurance broker for the CPA/CPAP program and is the broker of choice for over 100,000 healthcare professionals. BMS, along with new program providers such as Gowlings, are experienced in professional liability insurance and legal defence, offering more protection than ever before to psychology association members.

CPA/CPAP and BMS are committed to providing psychological practitioners with the most comprehensive, sustainable coverage available. BMS and QBE (the Lloyds of London insurer of the CPA/CPAP program) closely examined all other professional liability insurance products available to our members, including the new program offered by the Canadian Register of Health Service Psychologists (CRHSP) brokered by McFarlan Rowlands, to determine if the CPA/CPAP plan could be adjusted accordingly while still providing members a sustainable price point for premiums.

An updated comparison document that reflects these NEW enhancements can be found http://www.psychology.bmsgroup.com/en/downloads/1391-B%20CPYA%20Comparisons.pdf.

As of May 9, all new and existing policy holders will be provided with a minimum $7 million limit, with additional coverage options meeting or surpassing any other policy available to Canadian psychology practitioners.

BMS and QBE pricing for this program was established using actuarial analysis of a decade of profession-specific claims data. The premiums for the BMS-brokered program are sustainable but still significantly lower than those historically paid by the psychology community when the CPA/CPAP program was brokered for decades by McFarlan Rowlands. Had CPA not reviewed and revisited this program (and ultimately moved it to a new broker), Canada’s psychologists would be renewing their certificates for the previous limited program at historically expensive premiums.

When CPA/CPAP transferred the insurance program from McFarlan Rowlands(MR) to BMS we asked MR in writing not to use any personal information they may have collected to administer the CPA/CPAP programs for any other purpose. You may have recently received an emailing, as well as a surface mailing from CRHSP and MR. CRHSP opted not only to promote its new program to its own members but, with coordinates provided to them by McFarlan Rowlands, they reached out to members of the CPA and members of provincial and territorial associations as well. These mailings were not undertaken with CPA or CPAP’s awareness or consent. The information and application included in that mailing are not associated with your insurance renewal. Your current policy as well as the renewal policy are all with BMS. The CRHSP mailing has caused significant confusion among members. If you have any questions at all, we urge you to contact BMS, 1-855-318-6038.

When renewing your coverage:

CPA and CPAP (i.e., MPS) members who renew with BMS in our association program ensure continuity of past coverage and management of any current and future claims. The broker of record for the current policy and the one that renews in June 2014 is BMS.

Although the insurance company (Novex) remained the same during transition to BMS, McFarlan Rowlands is no longer associated in any way with your current policy. If you opt to purchase insurance with the new CRHSP program, you are not renewing coverage, you are purchasing new coverage. By not renewing coverage with BMS, you are letting your current insurance lapse and expire.

CPA believes strongly that BMS, in partnership with QBE (Lloyds of London) and Gowlings, the program’s preferred and trusted legal provider, is the best option available to Canadian psychology practitioners needing liability insurance protection. All of these partner organizations have broad and deep experience when it comes to health care professional liability and defence.

BMS has been able to provide psychology professionals with a comprehensive program at a low but sustainable price. Thousands of members have already renewed and voiced their enthusiastic support for the service received from BMS. CPA has also had excellent feedback from members who have already accessed Gowlings services. CPA believes that a new program, such as the one offered by CRHSP will not be able to offer our profession the same quality of service as can BMS. For example, BMS has committed to working with CPA and CPAP to provide psychology-specific risk management resources. The newly released college complaints article (http://www.psychology.bmsgroup.com/en/downloads/Gowlings%20article%20(May2014).pdf), and the presentation planned for the CPA annual convention, are just two examples of what will be regularly available to BMS-brokered policy subscribers.

MPS strongly encourages members to renew with BMS this year and experience first hand the superior policy and services that CPA/CPAP have worked to make available to psychology practitioners in Canada.

For further information about the BMS-brokered program, for renewal applications or to renew your policy online, please visit the dedicated program website (http://www.psychology.bmsgroup.com/en/renew-your-coverage). BMS can also be reached by phone at 1-855-318-6038 to address any questions you may have. You should also feel free to contact the CPA offices for any further information about the CPA/CPAP program; executiveoffice@cpa.ca.

Andrea Piotrowski, Ph.D., C. Psych.
President-Elect, MPS
Representative to CPAP

Important Information Regarding the New Liability Insurance Program

By | News

Dear MPS member:

Some of you may have recently been informed that the Canadian Register of Health Service Psychologists (CRHSP) has partnered with McFarlan Rowlands to offer a liability insurance program to CRHSP members.

This is not the same program endorsed by CPA and CPAP (an organization that includes the provincial and territorial associations of psychology as well as CPA).

MPS is a member of CPAP, so eligible MPS members are able to purchase insurance through this program (i.e., BMS).

For decades, CPA in partnership with CPAP has offered a liability insurance program exclusive to members of CPA and members of the provincial and territorial associations (i.e. MPS). This was part of a member benefit effort to maintain a high value insurance package protecting professional practice, available to members at an advantageous price.

In 2014, after a thorough process of investigation and consultation that included several discussions with our previous broker, McFarlan Rowlands, CPA and CPAP transferred the program to a new broker, BMS. This was done in order to deliver a better program with enhanced coverage at a lower price to psychology practitioners. McFarlan Rowlands did not offer any policy enhancements or premium reductions that, in the view of CPA/CPAP, measured up to what BMS proposed. As a result, the policy was moved to BMS who provided a number of coverage enhancements and premium reductions for the June 2014 renewal. The program that McFarlan Rowlands is now offering with CRHSP was never offered to CPA and CPAP. It was developed only after McFarlan Rowlands lost the CPA and CPAP liability insurance account.

Once CPA and CPAP decided to move to BMS but before renewals were being accepted, CPA contacted the Executive Director and President of CRHSP. CPA explained the rationale and process of moving to BMS and conveyed that the better program and reduced premiums were clearly in the best interests of Canadian psychology practitioners regardless of their organizational membership. Although CPA did not offer CRHSP a partnership in the policy (they have never historically sponsored an insurance program), CPA did open the door to discussion and invited them to come back with thoughts and suggestions. They did not do so.

As you consider renewal of your liability insurance for 2014/2015, please consider the following:

It is through the advocacy of CPA and CPAP (including MPS) which has provided the opportunity for reduced practice insurance. Without the initiative of CPA and the considerable work expended in investigating and revising a psychology insurance program, there would be neither the BMS program nor the most recent one promoted by CRHSP and brokered by McFarlan Rowlands. Instead, every psychology practitioner in Canada would be renewing with a McFarlan Rowlands-brokered program similar to previous years; one which offered significantly less coverage at much higher premiums.

The BMS Group is a specialist broker with a demonstrated record of providing sustainable member liability insurance programs with associations and represents many of Canada’s largest health professions. BMS created a health professions insurance alliance that has significant advantages for the associations of professional psychologists.  It will enable CPA/CPAP to move to a self-funded, for member by member model next year; creating a resource for more program enhancements and reduced premiums over time. This is a trend increasingly common among health professions. Your MPS leadership is very pleased that with BMS, Canadian psychology has an option to participate in this kind of insurance opportunity. This will be another tremendous step forward for the profession as it relates to liability protection.

Finally, a word about membership: Membership in any association should be based on the value proposition it holds. The professional liability insurance program offered through BMS is an important member benefit. To be successful in delivering high value and low sustainable premiums, it requires a critical mass of practitioner participation. This participation in turn allows MPS, CPA and each of the other provincial and territorial associations to grow its member benefits in the future.

Please expect a second email in a few days from us in which we will respond more specifically to the McFarlan Rowlands/CRHSP offering. It is our belief that MPS members will want to know further about how the CPA/CPAP program can meet and exceed the McFarlan Rowlands/CRHSP offering.

For any further information about the CPA/CPAP BMS-brokered program, please contact executiveoffice@cpa.ca or http://www.psychology.bmsgroup.com/en/faqs.

Thank you for your attention to this issue, and to your ongoing support in all our efforts at advocacy for the profession of psychology, and expansion of MPS Membership benefits.

Respectfully,

Andrea Piotrowski Ph.D., C. Psych.
President-Elect MPS
Representative to CPAP