(updated March 5, 2022 from the Executive Director's office)
We are please to provide members with an update to the RAC's new insurance program. This program took effect in January, 2003, and we thank all those who have returned their application forms and payment.
Our objective is for the program to be of maximum benefit to as many members as possible. Many members have called our office for further information, in order to fully understand the program. Summarized below are program changes/clarifications:
Higher Malpractice Liability and Commercial General Liability limits are now available
A new Liability insurance program application form has been developed, which allows the member to select the option required (existing members can simply call Pottruff & Smith to make the changes).
We have augmented the original FAQ section of this web page to include some of the most commonly asked questions posed by members since the program started. Please refer to this section, which should help you better understand the new program.
Clarification of the Retroactive Date which forms part of the policy
Clarification of R.M.T. certification with respect to coverage for Massage Therapy
Please feel free to contact our office with any questions.
Reflexology Association of Canada
Insurance Update to Reflexology Association of Canada Members
The Malpractice coverage under the RAC Liability insurance program is insured under a Claims Made wording. A Retroactive Date feature is available to provide coverage for claims brought against the member practitioner based on past professional services rendered prior to inception of coverage under the RAC Malpractice program policy. In the earlier Special Announcement to members mailed to members and posted at the RAC website, the reference to Retroactive Date should have read:
included where necessary, back to the date that the member first carried medical malpractice insurance (rather than first certified to practice ), provided that such insurance was continuously in force up to the date of the member's application for the new insurance program policy".
Members must have carried continuous Medical Malpractice insurance up to the point that they enrol in the RAC insurance program and indicate the Retroactive Date on the insurance application, in order for this clause to apply. Members having Occurrence policies immediately prior to enrolment in the program policy have no need to declare a Retroactive Date.
The RAC Malpractice program policy covers Reflexology, and Massage Therapy by members holding an R.M.T. designation (i.e. 2200 hours with successful certification in Ontario, 300 hours in B.C.). In the earlier Special Announcement to members mailed to members and posted at the RAC website, the reference to or its equivalent is incorrect, as it is not clear in its meaning. The words or its equivalent have been removed so as to eliminate any confusion.
Frequently Asked Questions
I belong to another professional association which also has a requirement for members to carry their medical malpractice insurance policy - the coverage that it provides is the same as what the RAC insurance program offers and it covers me for all the modalities I practice. The RAC insurance program is also mandatory. What do I do now?
It was never the intent of this program to force members to give up satisfactory insurance coverage or to accept coverage that does not meet their needs. If your situation is similar to that described above, simply call the RAC office for clarification, or complete the insurance application and indicate in writing your situation, attaching a copy of your current insurance policy or Certificate of Insurance - the application will be reviewed and the member contacted to discuss a possible exemption. The purpose of making the program mandatory was first and foremost to encourage sufficient participation to keep the program rates competitive large premium volume means lower rates and continued program viability.
I already have malpractice insurance, and my insurance broker tells me your program policy does not compare favourably to my current insurance policy because your policy has a Claims Made wording.
Malpractice insurance is written in two types of policy wordings: Occurrence and Claims Made. The RAC insurance program has a Claims Made wording. Claims are covered differently depending on the type of wording:
Occurrence wording coverage is triggered by the date upon which a professional service causing an injury was rendered. If the policy was in force at the time the service was rendered, then the policy will respond. Therefore, members who leave their practice temporarily or permanently have no need to buy further insurance at the time they leave practice.
Claims Made wording - coverage is triggered by when a claim is made (i.e. law suit) and reported to the insurance company, which in some cases, may be months or years after the professional service is rendered. For this reason, it is important that care is taken when changing policies from type of policy wording to another. Claims Made wordings were developed by insurance companies for professional liability policies covering professions where the potential exists for claims to be brought months or even years after a service was rendered. Insurers are trending towards offering the Claims Made wording more frequently than the Occurence wording in professional liability (medical malpractice) policies.
Following are some examples that illustrate what happens when a practitioner changes policies:
1. Practitioner lapses an Occurence policy, and purchases a Claims Made policy no problem with the transition any claims brought in the future for services rendered prior to purchase of the Claims Made policy would be covered under the Occurence policy.
2. Practitioner lapses an Claims Made policy, and purchases another Claims Made policy provided that the new policy includes a Retroactive Date that dates back to when insurance was first purchased, and provide that insurance was carried without interruption, there would generally be no coverage gaps claims brought in the future for services rendered prior to purchase of the second Claims Made policy would be covered under the new Claims Made policy (exceptions apply where it was known by the practitioner that a future claim was forthcoming)
3. Practitioner lapses a Claims Made policy and purchases an Occurence policy. Either the old Claims Made policy must have a clause included that will provide for coverage after the policy is terminated, or the new Occurence policy must be modified to provide Retroactive coverage. In most cases, there is an additional premium charged under either policy, and this option is not always available.
The timing of the claim is key in determining which, if any policy, will respond. Care must be given when terminating one policy to replace it with another, or with the decision to not replace the old policy at all. This is a very important consideration when a Claims Made policy is terminated.
The RAC program policy contains an automatic provision to cover future claims brought for practitioners who have terminated the program policy coverage because of: (a) retirement; (b) permanent disability; (c) death.
I practice other modalities, such as Aromatherapy and Reiki. Can I get coverage for other modalities?
The basic Malpractice program policy covers claims brought arising from:
Massage Therapy provided by R.M.T. certified practitioners (Registered Massage Therapists)
Additional modalities are available at an additional cost contact Pottruff & Smith Insurance Brokers Inc. at 1-800-263-2369, ext. 349 (Geoff Haddock) or ext. 367 (Charlene Barnes) to apply for additional coverage. Additional modalities can be covered under a separate policy purchased directly from Pottruff & Smith.
Certain specific modalities are excluded under the policy. These modalities are as follows:
Additionally, sun-tanning services are not covered.
If it is determined that Reflexology is, in fact, not a key component of the member's practice, the insurer has the right to refuse the coverage for additional modalities. Additionally, certain modalities may be refused due to potential for harm or other reasons.
I am a student member am I covered in practicum?
Yes, the RAC Malpractice Program policy will cover your activities, provided you practice in accordance within the Reflexology student certification guidelines, which currently stipulates that students must work
on at least sixty feet in order to be certified as a Reflexologist.
I teach Reflexology. Am I covered under the Malpractice insurance program if someone makes a claim against me?
Yes, the RAC Malpractice Liability program policy provides coverage for claims alleging faulty training of Reflexology. For that matter, any modality for which you provide training, provided that the actual modality is covered under the scope of services that you have applied for and had approved under the policy (all modalities outside of Reflexology and massage therapy provided by a certified R.M.T. must be applied for by the practitioner to Pottruff & Smith Insurance Brokers Inc., the endorsed insurance program broker). Of course, you must also have received accreditation in order to be approved to teach the modality. Additionally, the policy is not intended to cover trainers if they do not actually practice Reflexology or other modalities. The primary coverage is intended to cover actual practise of the modality.
If I provide reflexology services to a friend or someone else at no charge, could I still be liable in the event of a claim against me?
Yes, whether you charge for services rendered or simply provide treatment for free to a friend, you could be found responsible for negligence. However, whether or not you are ultimately found liable, legal defence costs will ultimately be incurred.
I am an R.M.T. practicing in Ontario, and am required by the College to carry at least $2,000,000 malpractice coverage. Can I buy a higher limit of coverage than the standard $1,000,000 program limit?
Yes, the program now offers both $2,000,000 and $3,000,000 optional limits. The recently revised insurance application lists the additional cost to increase the coverage. The higher limits are not available, however, for additional modalities not taught as part of an R.M.T. program a policy limit of $1,000,000 would apply (separate policy is issued for additional modalities).
I'm interested in buying the optional Commercial General Liability coverage for my clinic, but my landlord requires me to carry $2,000,000 coverage. Can I buy a higher limit of coverage than the standard $1,000,000 program limit?
Yes, both $2,000,000 and $3,000,000 optional limits are now available at additional cost - please refer to the recently revised insurance application.
My practice is home based and I have coverage under my homeowner's policy to continue to practice. Can I continue to keep this coverage despite enrolling in the RAC insurance program?
It is important for members to determine not only if their homeowner's insurance policies will provide liability coverage for incidents such as patient slip and falls, but also whether the home policy is actually rendered void by the existence of the practice in the home. Also, a home based business extension offered under a Homeowner's policy may not include products liability coverage for injury or sickness caused by any products sold by the member out of his or her home.
The RAC insurance program policy is designed to provide Commercial General Liability coverage for clinic, home based or mobile practitioners, so there is no need to duplicate this coverage by purchasing a home business insurance extension under the member's home insurance policy.
Members are encouraged to contact their local insurance provider to determine their best alternatives, and Ontario members may apply for Homeowner's insurance through Pottruff & Smith, who can determine eligibility for coverage, in the event that members are unable to find coverage through their own sources.
How do I know if I need the optional Commercial General Liability coverage?
The Malpractice Liability insurance only covers claims alleging professional negligence, that is, claims for injury, death, sickness or disease allege to have been caused by a failure to render professional services. Claims such as slips and falls, damage caused by your equipment, injury caused by your products, and damage to rented premises are not covered under the Malpractice Liability coverage. Commercial General Liability insurance covers these types of claims.
You likely need the Commercial General Liability coverage for the following situations:
Home or Mobile Based Practice the standard Homeowner's or tenant's insurance policy does not provide coverage for liability claims brought by clients - in some cases, home based business coverage extensions are available at additional cost, but the coverage may be more limited than buying Commercial General Liability coverage
Clinic or Other Away from Home Based Practice where you are self-employed or on contract with the owner of the clinic (in some cases, insurance companies will extend the General Liability coverage for a clinic/spa, etc., for a contract employee ). The General Liability policy will cover you, your employees, your contract employees, or your business partners, provided all of these individuals are conducting similar businesses to yours. The policy will not cover associates or independent businesspersons or organizations.
If I have questions concerning the program or about completing the insurance application, do I call Lombard Insurance Company?
No, you should call either the RAC office, or Pottruff & Smith Insurance Brokers Inc. Lombard Insurance Company should not be contacted except where a claim has been reported, and in that case, their company claims adjuster is the main contact person.
Members are encouraged to call either the R.A.C. office, or alternatively, Pottruff & Smith at 1-800-263-2369, ext. 349 (Geoff Haddock) or ext. 367 (Charlene Barnes) with any further questions.