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What is Professional Liability Protection Coverage?

Professional Liability Protection (PLP) insurance provides protection against malpractice claims arising from real or alleged errors or omissions, including negligence. This includes financial compensation to members of the public who have been harmed as a result of malpractice or negligence by a nurse. CNO by-law 44.4 requires that all nurses eligible to practice nursing in Ontario must have PLP.

What is legal expense coverage?

Legal expense coverage provides a nurse who has been accused of malpractice or negligence with financial assistance to pay the legal expenses accrued in the course of a legal defense. A nurse who doesn’t have legal expense coverage may have to pay these expenses themselves. Even though the CNO does not require nurses to have this coverage, it is provided by WeRPN’s PLP insurance program. Other professional liability insurance programs may not provide legal expense coverage.

What is my Professional Liability Protection Coverage limit?

There is a $1,000,000 limit for each loss per nurse and $3,000,000 limit for all losses per year per nurse – meeting the mandatory CNO by-law requirement effective March 31, 2014 (CNO by-law 44.4).

What happens if I change jobs, work for more than one employer or volunteer nursing services?

As an active WeRPN member, your insurance will cover you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, whether you’re practicing nursing as a paid employee at one or more jobs or volunteering as a nurse. Our PLP coverage will follow you to any new role, offering a seamless transition, even if there is a gap of time between employers. And all of this comes with zero deductible.

What happens if I don’t renew my WeRPN membership or if my membership lapses?

If you do not renew your membership, you will have a gap in coverage from when your membership lapsed to the date of your renewing. To avoid an incident which may not be covered, it is important to not let your membership lapse. Any incidents/claims occurring prior to you applying for membership will be not be covered.

I’m a new graduate looking for employment. Do I need professional liability insurance coverage?

Yes. Any nurse registered to work in Ontario needs professional liability insurance coverage, even if not currently employed. As part of our commitment to advancing the profession, WeRPN is pleased to offer a significantly discounted rate to new graduates. Please visit our membership application page and select New Graduate Membership for more details.

Is the Legal Assistance portion of the insurance an additional fee on top of the regular WeRPN fee, as it is in other nursing associations?

No. Both parts of the insurance are automatically included with your regular WeRPN membership fee.

How much will I have to pay if I decide to purchase my own Professional Liability Protection Insurance directly from an insurance provider?

A nurse who purchases PLP insurance directly from an insurance provider can expect to pay between $1,000 and $4,000 per year. Because of our special group policy, WeRPN offers PLP insurance at a significantly lower rate with your regular WeRPN membership fee.

If I am required to attend an examination for discovery, mediation, pre-trial or trial, is there expense coverage?

A Registered Practical Nurse will be reimbursed up to a maximum of $500 per day for expenses.

I am already covered under my Employer’s Professional Liability coverage. Do I still need the coverage offered with my WeRPN membership?

Employer coverage may not fully protect you and your practice. WeRPN’s PLP insurance provides additional coverage and benefits that are most likely not provided by your employer’s policy.

What types of situations are covered by the WeRPN professional legal expense coverage?

You are covered for the following: subpoenaed to appear before a legally constituted tribunal in Ontario; subpoenaed to appear as a witness in matters arising out of the Regulated Health Professional Act (1991) and any amending or superseding legislation; subpoenaed to appear as a witness in an incident relating to his/her profession of nursing; received a letter of complaint from the College of Nurses of Ontario as a result of a complaint, laid under Regulated Health Professions Act (1991) and any amending or superseding Legislation.

I’m retiring. Does coverage under the WeRPN program apply to incidents that occurred prior to my retirement?

An extension of coverage will apply with respect to any claim made against you for a period of 36 months from the date of retirement/death/disability or cessation of practice, but only with respect to any insured services performed or omitted (or alleged to have been performed or omitted) by the nurse prior to his/her retirement/death/disability or cessation of business.

What else should I know about my WeRPN PLP coverage?

You receive Legal Expense Extension and access to competent and confidential legal advice as well as Criminal Defense Expense Reimbursement Extension (if you are proven innocent). Both of these coverages are not required by the CNO by-law and may not be included in other insurance plans. You are also covered if you need to respond to an allegation of professional misconduct to the College of Nurses about your practice. Whether it is a letter of response or support related to a pre-hearing or hearing, you will have legal counsel to support you.