Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists


CAOT and BMS set out to improve and change professional liability insurance services and protection for occupational therapists.  CAOT’s for-member by-member insurance program offers the best product for occupational therapists in the country.

In partnering with BMS Group and the Healthcare Professionals Insurance Alliance (HPIA), CAOT has invested significantly to provide occupational therapists with the most cost effective and comprehensive coverage available, specialized resources, and best in class legal defence.  CAOT has optimized your professional liability insurance program and has become the primary source for the protection, advice and practice risk needs of Canadian occupational therapists.

Professional Liability Insurance at a Glance -


CAOT offers members two levels of insurance coverage:

  • Option 1 includes $5,000,000 in professional liability insurance for only $59 per year. 
  • Option 2 includes $10,000,000 in professional liability insurance for only $97 per year.

Professional liability insurance protects you against liability/allegations for damages resulting from a negligent act, error, omission or malpractice arising out of your profession as an occupational therapist. Liability insurance offered through BMS Group includes sexual abuse therapy and counseling fund endorsement. This coverage also meets the requirements of all Canadian regulatory bodies.

We are pleased to offer special rates to new members during the first two years after graduation. Enjoy 50% off in your first year and 25% in your second.

We also offer a 50% discount for individuals on maternity/parental leave who will work less than six consecutive months during the membership year.

Here are few reasons why the CAOT program exceeds anything else available to occupational therapists in Canada:

Full and cost-effective coverage -


All policies now offer the most malpractice errors and omissions liability coverage available, meeting all regulatory requirements.  With a minimum of $5 million per claim limit and $5 million limit for total claims per member, rest assured that no money will come out of your pocket to top up claims payments;

Enhanced coverage -


Coverage has been enhanced based on the recognized needs of our members.  We’re listening!  And not only that, we’re acting on what you tell us too.

Considering starting or growing your family? We now offer a 50% discount for members on maternity or parental leave who will work less than six consecutive months during the membership year - saving you money!

Teaching or participating in a course?  Your policy will cover you for a claim arising in the workplace, but will also cover you when teaching or participating in a course, or when providing advice to someone outside of the employment setting.  CAOT’s policy offers coverage that follows you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is not limited by province or place of work.

Looking towards retirement? CAOT’s program provides occupational therapists with the opportunity to purchase unlimited coverage for a nominal fee upon retirement.  With this protection in place, your policy will automatically extend to respond to any claim made against you for insured incidents that occurred before retirement.  One less thing to worry about!

Worried about security of client information?  Cyber liability coverage is now included to meet the increased exposures related to potential data security and privacy breaches, such as loss of electronic client or employee information.  The CAOT program is the only policy in Canada to provide this protection.

Guaranteed limits of liability and policy coverage -


As the largest professional liability insurance program for occupational therapists in Canada, funds are in place to provide clients with appropriate compensation for valid claims in a timely manner.  Coverage for damages is comprehensive and is not restricted to clients who sustain physical harm.  This is particularly relevant for clients who claim financial loss not resulting from an injury, but instead due to some other action (often related to wording in an occupational therapist’s written report);

Enhanced risk management materials and education -


We care about patient safety! Risk management and insurance professional staff use real data to develop evidence-informed educational and practical patient safety resources.  These resources are used to promote delivery of safe care across Canada.

Professional Liability Insurance Claims Reporting -


Prompt claim reporting is not only critical to the process of bringing claims to a successful resolution; it is also a condition of the members’ professional liability policy that must be adhered to for insurance coverage to adequately respond.

For further information about CAOT’s PLI program and other member-specific insurance coverage, visit or call BMS Group at 1.855.318.6024 or email

Professional Liability for Clinics -


If you are incorporated or employ OTs and OTAs, you should consider this additional coverage, which protects your business assets in the event that your business name is included in a statement of claim or lawsuit. Think of it as malpractice insurance for your business name.

In the event of a claim, both the professional(occupational therapists) and the clinic are likely to be named in a statement of claim or lawsuit. The Clinic Malpractice Insurance protects the clinic and its assets in such circumstances.You should purchase this coverage, if you have other occupational therapists working for or on behalf of your clinic and billing under your clinic name.You should also purchase this coverage if you are incorporated, regardless of any additional employees. Coverage is provided on a “claims made” basis and will respond to claims first known and reported during the policy period.Each employee rendering a professional service must provide confirmation that they carry their own individual professional liability insurance. 

Coverage is also available for multi-disciplinary clinics if you have other health professionals beyond OTs and OTAs providing services on behalf of your clinic.

Find out more:

Commercial General Liability Insurance (CGL) -


In addition to clinic liability insurance, you may want to consider purchasing CGL insurance to protect your other business concerns. CGL is insurance that protects you in case of bodily injury and/or property damage to a third party that is not caused by negligence. Think of this as your ‘slip and fall’ insurance. It’s also the policy that would respond if you or your staff accidently damage a client’s property while providing in-home treatment. CGL might seem like an obvious choice for business owners, but it is also recommended for occupational therapists who are self-employed. If you treat or consult with clients in their homes, or contract your services to hospitals, clinics, or other health care providers, you may want to consider CGL.

Find our more:

Specialized legal services - Click here for more information.


You have access to the expertise of highly recognized legal defence firm in medical defence and professional liability in the country.  In changing to BMS Group and the Healthcare Professionals Insurance Alliance (HPIA), CAOT has centralized legal representation and services and has retained Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP (Gowlings) as the exclusive provider of legal services for the program.  Legal representation is provided at no cost and without having to pay a deductible or any fees. Gowlings represents a large number of Canada’s professional groups such as physicians, physiotherapists and psychologist.  They will work with you to achieve the best possible outcome for all involved;

If you have a practice-related question and are participating in the CAOT Professional Liability Insurance Program, please contact: 1-855-783-8825.

When you make this call, you will hear a recording asking you to leave a detailed message. Please be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Name, telephone number and address
  • Certificate and policy numberGowlings
  • A brief summary of the issue

For more information on Gowlings, please visit:

Gowling WLG (Canada) LLP, Suite 2600, 60 Elgin Street, Ottawa, ON K1P 1C3

The Risks Associated with Relying on Employer Insurance Coverage -


Employers carry liability insurance for the protection of their organizations' assets while an individual policy through the CAOT member program protects the personal assets of the member. What does this mean? An employer's professional liability insurance policy is in place first and foremost to protect the best interest of the employer. This may not always be in the best interest of the employed occupational therapist. While the policy held by an employer may cover some costs associated with a claim against an employee, it does have limitations, putting the individual employee's assets at risk.

Beware that employer policies may not provide coverage for -

  • Claims made when employer coverage reaches its maximum in terms of the number of claims or amount payable per annum.
  • Actions on the job that are deemed to be outside of the scope of the employer's "best practices" for the circumstance in which the claim arose.
  • Complaints taken to a regulatory organization (which on average may cost $25,000 in legal fees to resolve).
  • Services provided outside of the workplace (e.g. advice to a neighbor, another paid or volunteer position).
  • Defense against work related criminal charges.
  • Compensation for lost wages.
  • Sexual abuse therapy counseling fund.

The above list includes only some of the significant reasons it is important to protect yourself! The only way to ensure complete malpractice protection is by securing an independent policy like that offered through CAOT members program. The CAOT program responds to numerous complaints on an annual basis and it safeguards the assets that you have worked so hard to acquire and don't want to lose.

Remember, CAOT is here for you and offers the most comprehensive and affordable insurance program in Canada. Should you have any questions concerning malpractice insurance, please contact the Member and Associate Services.

Avoid a Lawsuit with Professional Liability Insurance -


The importance of individual professionals protecting themselves properly has never been greater than it is today. Client expectations of health care services are frequently escalating as training and services continue to evolve. A professional liability claim against an occupational therapist can be financially devastating to their livelihood and economic status if he or she is not insured adequately.

BMS Group and CAOT provide members and associates with an affordable and all-inclusive insurance program. All claims, both actual and potential, must be reported as soon as possible or within 30 days of the member being made aware of the claim.

Personal Home and Auto Group Insurance offers you personalized coverage, attractive discounts and quality service. The Personal is proud to partner with the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists to bring you home and auto insurance designed to suit your needs. In business since 1974, The Personal works with over 600 of Canada’s most prominent organizations.

For more information, click here. The Personal’s home and auto group insurance offers you personalized coverage, attractive discounts and quality service. What’s more, your spouse and dependents can benefit from your group offer.