Important Information Regarding the New Liability Insurance Program

By May 9, 2014News

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