Insurance Coverages

Practicing lawyers in Nova Scotia (with a few exceptions) are required to have $1 million in professional liability coverage as provided by the Lawyers’ Insurance Association of Nova Scotia (LIANS). This coverage is for errors that arise from the provision of professional services, subject of course to the policy’s terms and conditions. All insured lawyers should read the policy to understand what is, and is not, covered. The coverage continues when you retire provided you had the coverage when the occurrence took place. (Words in bold in this paragraph are defined in the insurance policy.)

As with any insurance policy, you must comply with its terms and conditions to obtain the benefit of the coverage. This includes reporting any claim, real or potential, as soon as you become aware of it.

And as with any insurance policy, there are exclusions you should be aware of. LIANS’ insurance levy also includes a limited first party cyber coverage.

For some lawyers, this is all the insurance they have for risks that arise from their practice of law. And for many it may be adequate. But for many others it is not.

Accordingly, you should review the policies to determine for yourself whether you should obtain excess liability insurance or additional cyber coverage. This is a risk assessment you should do for yourself / your firm.

Excess liability. Excess liability insurance is available from the Canadian Lawyers’ Insurance Association (CLIA), a reciprocal that LIANS subscribes to. It is also available in the commercial insurance market. The decision to obtain excess professional liability insurance is yours to make and you should do your own risk assessment to determine if you have a need. LIANS and CLIA can provide guidance on this. Unlike the mandatory LIANS coverage, excess liability insurance is only provided on a claims-made basis which means that the coverage only continues for as long as you pay for it. In other words, to have the benefit of your excess insurance you must maintain the coverage and pay the premium.

Cyber Coverage. You should also decide for yourself and your firm whether you need additional first-party and/or third-party cyber coverage as there are several cyber coverages available beyond what is contained in LIANS’ cyber policy. In addition to providing excess professional liability coverage, CLIA also provides a standalone cyber policy with broader cyber coverage.

For any other insurance you may need for your law practice, or you personally, such as an office policy or if you sit on outside Boards, you should contact a commercial insurance broker or the CBA insurance program.


To chat about insurance call LIANS at (902) 423-1300.