Q. Does CPA PLI offer other types of insurance: auto, commercial property, residential property, group health plan?
A. CPA PLI offers only professional liability insurance for CPAs in public practice. Some of the Provincial CPA Associations sponsor other insurance plans.
Q. This will be my first year in public practice, how do I complete Sections D and E?
A. Please provide us with estimates of what you expect your gross billings will be and a sample of the services that you expect to be rendering.
Q. Define public accounting.
A. CPA PLI does not define public accounting for coverage purposes. The CPA PLI policy protects professional services rendered by Chartered Professional Accountants. If you are rendering services that may not fall under the 'public accounting services' as defined by your Provincial Association/Ordre, we recommend that you consult with your Practice Advisor on your insurance requirements.
Q. Do I require professional liability insurance if I am performing 100% tax return preparations?
A. Even if the services that you render are not 'public accounting services', we recommend that you obtain professional liability insurance to cover your exposure.
Q. My spouse who was a CPA passed away. Do I need to maintain a Discovery Policy?
A. Yes. Provincial Association/Ordre by-laws require that CPAs maintain insurance for six years upon the termination of practice to cover services they rendered while in public practice. The estate of a deceased practitioner may be held liable for damages arising out of an error or omission committed during the member's active practice.
Q. When must I report a situation?
A. You must report a claim in the following circumstances:
- if there is a verbal or written allegation made against you or your firm with respect to professional services rendered; or
- if you become aware of an error made which may lead to damages suffered by a client or lead to a claim.
CPA PLI must receive NOTICE IN WRITING. Please send a fax or a letter to our offices with a minimum one page summary of the situation, identifying the parties involved, the problem, the potential damages and any deadlines of which we should be aware.
You are free to contact the claims department and discuss your problem prior to providing us with written notice. However, VERBAL CONVERSATIONS DO NOT CONSTITUTE NOTICE FOR CLAIMS REPORTING PURPOSES. There will be ample opportunities to discuss a claim or a potential claim with a claims examiner once the claim has been reported.
Late Reporting can only lead to problems.
Do not try to rectify the situation and only report a claim after you have been unsuccessful.
Insurers use experienced counsel, experts and examiners who have probably dealt with a similar situation and can assist you in rectifying the matter if possible.
If late reporting prejudices your insurer's position, it could lead to coverage problems.
Q. If I do report a situation, will my premiums increase?
A. Reporting a claim does not automatically result in increased premiums. Please contact your program representative to discuss if your claim or potential claim will impact your premium.
Q. What do I do if law enforcement authorities are in my office with a warrant to search and seize my working papers?
A. The following is a checklist of matters you should consider doing if ever you are served with a search warrant.
- Call your lawyer immediately.
- Ask police for identification and details of the search.
- Request that the search cease until your lawyer arrives.
- Ask to review your files before they are searched and identify and set aside any documents that may be protected by solicitor-client privilege.
- Ask the police to provide you with photocopies of all documents that are seized.
- Say nothing else to the police unless and until advised to do so by your lawyer.
Q. My client informs me they are aware of a problem with the professional services that were rendered by the firm. What should I do?
A. Identify the problem. Advise your client that you will look into the problem and get back to them. Do not admit liability. Ensure that you report the claim promptly to your insurer.