2015 Annual Review issue of LAWPRO Magazine
Stable. Advice. Trustworthy. Security. Professional. Coverage.
The words that appear on the cover of the May 2016 issue of LAWPRO Magazine describe how LAWPRO served its insureds in 2015.
An insurance company can call itself a success if it provides stability in an unpredictable environment. Insurance allows the economy to grow by providing a place where it is safe for insureds to navigate day-to-day challenges and unpredictable events. With a primary professional liability premium that has remained constant for 6 years, LAWPRO’s stability is a strong platform for the success of our insureds.
However, stability can be threatened by all types of changes. For instance, thousands of pre-2012 civil lawsuits will be automatically dismissed January 1, 2017. LAWPRO developed resources to give advice on how to best avoid a dismissal. as the January 1, 2017 deadline approaches, an increased number of motions for status hearings is expected. To avoid the anticipated end-of-the-year rush, LAWPRO strongly encourages lawyers not to wait until October, November or December to bring a last-minute motion. Our Rule 48.14 Transition Toolkit, which can be downloaded at practicepro.ca/rule48, provides advice and tools lawyers and law firms can use to lessen the risk of a claim under the new rule. In 2016, we will take every opportunity to remind our insureds of the administrative dismissal deadlines. This includes speaking engagements, articles, social media and LAWPRO alerts.
When LAWPRO was created as a result of the 1995 Insurance Task Force, it was decided that the new insurance entity would be accountable to an independent Board of Directors that ensures the company satisfies regulatory requirements and is managed in a commercially reasonable manner. This kind of mature governance structure testifies to LAWPRO’s commitment to trustworthiness and accountability.
In “Financial results explained”, you will see that our prudent and studied approach to management has resulted in security for LAWPRO and for our insureds. In 2015, our financial strength merited an a rating (Excellent) from a.M. Best Co. and provided a predictable foundation on which to plan for continued security for our insureds in the years to come.
The results you will see on the pages of this issue of the LAWPRO magazine, taken together, demonstrate our commitment to professionalism. The “Primary E&O program review” articles discuss the stand we took in influential cases, the efforts we made to repair claims as well our innovations to improve how we work. We are proud to stand behind our insureds and the insurance coverage we offer.
And what about that coverage? The primary E&O coverage provided by LAWPRO is tailored in many ways to changes in the profession. The policy is updated every year to address issues that arise. In 2015, that meant expanding the range of programs approved for the LAWPRO Risk Management Credit and providing those same credits to qualifying paralegal partners. Beyond that, the TitlePLUS title insurance coverage is unique in the marketplace. Because of its legal services coverage that includes all professional services the lawyer provides for the real estate transaction, it is the most comprehensive title insurance policy broadly available in Canada.
Looking back on 2015, the primary program’s 20th anniversary celebration year, I am proud of the sustained level of comfort LAWPRO has offered to the Ontario bar and I look forward to facing the challenges and opportunities of 2016.
By Kathleen Waters, President & CEO of LAWPRO.