6 Things to Know Before PLI Becomes Mandatory on February 1, 2019
As of August 1, 2018, there are only six months remaining until all certificate of practice holders, such as architectural firms, must be compliant with the AIBC PLI Bylaws. The bylaws have been in effect since August 2017, with compliance not required until the February 1, 2019 annual renewal deadline.
In March 2018, AIBC Council approved Council Rules 8: Terms and Conditions for Mandatory Professional Liability Insurance, which established minimum insurance amounts, coverage and the mechanism by which evidence of insurance is provided. In addition, the rules contain refined procedural requirements and consequences for non-compliance.
To help ensure all certificate of practice holders are compliant by February 1, and given that the 6-month countdown has now begun, this Regulatory Review outlines six frequently asked PLI questions:
- When do certificate of practice holders need to be compliant with the professional liability insurance bylaws? Is there a grace period?
Certificate of practice holders must be compliant with the PLI bylaws by the February 1, 2019 annual renewal deadline. The bylaws came into effect in August 2017, which was approximately an 18-month lead time to allow for members to research, review, and select the appropriate coverage for their practice.
- How much coverage is required?
As per Council Rules 8: Terms and Conditions for Mandatory Professional Liability Insurance, the minimum amount of PLI coverage is $250,000 per claim, with an annual aggregate limit of not less than $500,000. Coverage must be in place for all projects undertaken by the firm in British Columbia during the certificate of practice period.
- Which Professional Liability Insurance Providers are available in B.C.? Can I shop around?
There are many different Professional Liability Insurance Providers in British Columbia. Members are able, and encouraged, to shop around and compare rates from different insurance brokers and select the best option.
- Would contract consultants be covered under my policy?
They may or may not be covered by your PLI policy. Please discuss this and other coverage details with your insurance broker.
- What would happen if an architect or firm forgot or failed to remember to renew their insurance during the term of their certificate of practice?
Further to the procedure embedded in Council Rules 8: Terms and Conditions for Mandatory Professional Liability Insurance, the firm must immediately notify the Institute, in writing, and provide written confirmation of return to PLI compliance within 10 days of the non-compliant event. Fees may apply for non-compliance with the Rules and the lapse would be reported to the professional conduct department for review and investigation.
- I’m an Architect AIBC who practices in a provincial/territorial jurisdiction that has required PLI for years. Will my insurance policy transfer to B.C.?
Many Architects AIBC who practice outside of B.C. are already familiar with mandatory or compulsory PLI. Please talk with your insurance broker in order to determine if your existing policy has the appropriate insurance coverage applicable to B.C. projects. If coverage is provided for BC projects, we will accept coverage provided by captive insurers in other provinces.
Members are welcome to contact the AIBC with any specific questions or concerns regarding professional liability insurance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Council Rules 8: Terms and Conditions for Mandatory Professional Liability Insurance (PDF)
- Read more about the PLI Bylaw initiative
Please email email@example.com if you have any questions.
Issues of AIBC Regulatory Review will be published on a regular basis, announced via Connected and archived on the AIBC website.