Firms and sole practitioners are at greater risk than ever of negligence claims that could leave lawyers personally exposed to liability. Errors and Omissions insurance is your best solution for transferring the risk of legal liability away from you and your firm. When considering excess insurance, ask yourself how will respond if you have a claim that exceeds the mandatory limit but have no coverage beyond that limit. Moreover, retiring from practice does not exempt you from the risk of liability. LIANS’ staff and the Canadian Lawyers Insurance Association are available to assist you with any questions or concerns regarding excess insurance.

The Lawyers’ Insurance Association of Nova Scotia is a subscribing member of the Canadian Lawyers Insurance Association (CLIA), a reciprocal insurance exchange established in 1988. CLIA provides long-term professional liability insurance solutions for the legal profession in many Canadian jurisdictions. See the post, So What is CLIA Anyway?, for more information about CLIA and its member law societies. As a reciprocal, CLIA can only insure its members, those lawyers who are licensed by a member law society.

As a lawyer in a CLIA subscribing jurisdiction, you have:

  • Mandatory Errors and Omissions (E&O) insurance with a limit of $1M per claim and a $2M annual aggregate limit; and
  • Mandatory Cyber insurance ranging from $100K to $250K for various common cyber claims. See CLIA’s Cyber Insurance Overview to better understand the mandatory cyber coverage.

CLIA’s Voluntary Excess Program (VEP) now offers the flexibility of additional coverage limits, now extending up to $35M per claim, with an annual aggregate limit of $35M. Coverage options under the VEP include limits of $1M, $2M, $3M, $4M, $6.5M, $9M, $14M, $19M, $24M, $29M, and $34M, in excess of the $1M mandatory base. The $24M, $29M and $34M excess limits are new this year.

In addition, CLIA continues to offer a stand-alone cyber insurance product with higher limits than the cyber coverage we offer with the mandatory insurance. The stand-alone cyber insurance can be purchased in conjunction with the excess liability coverage or on its own. See Cyber Insurance Overview materials for more information.

Do You Need Excess Coverage?

As the value of client’s transactions increases over time, so too does the need to maintain adequate levels of E&O insurance. One large claim could quickly erode the primary policy leaving you or your firm exposed to significant personal liability.

Factors to consider:

  • The type of transactions and the potential impact on your clients;
  • The size and frequency of large transactions;
  • Whether former associates and partners have coverage that is either inadequate or excludes their past activities; and
  • Whether the impact of the advice you’ve provided (and therefore potential liability) may grow over time.

Don’t Forget:

  • Low Investment in Added Security: Professional liability insurance is the cheapest form of insurance that there is. Lawyers can purchase $1M in excess coverage for $500.00 (2023) and the price per million goes down as the limit increases. For example, in 2023, $19M coverage = $102.00 premium/million (total $1951.00 premium).
  • Assess Risk of Firm, Not Individual: Assess the risk for the firm, not just you individually.
  • Retirement: Retiring from practice does not exempt you from the risk of liability. You continue to be liable for the professional services you provided in the past.
  • Claims Based vs Occurrence Based: Like most liability policies, the CLIA excess liability program is “claims made”, meaning the excess insurance needs to be in place when a claim is made and not when the work is done. It is not transactional based coverage. Statutes of limitations provide for a time period in which to present claims, and firms that do not renew their insurance will not have coverage for losses reported after the expiry date of the policy. As such, excess coverage purchased out of the need of a single transaction will need to be purchased as long as the possibility of a claim still exists. See Claims Based vs. Occurrence Based: Understanding Your Coverage Needs for more information.
  • Not Just for ‘Higher Risk’ Areas or Large Firms: All legal work can have exposure to large value claims. Don’t equate the amount charged to a client with the potential claims amount if an error occurs. Even ‘small matters’ like a will prepared by a small firm in a rural community could result in a claim over the $1 M limit.

Why Choose CLIA For Your Excess Coverage?

  • Convenience: CLIA has a convenient and responsive online buying experience and focuses on delivering exceptional service.
  • Experience: CLIA specializes in E&O insurance and has been providing quality affordable E&O coverage to Canadian lawyers for over 35 years.
  • Relationship with Reinsurers: The relationships CLIA has developed with reinsurance companies are invaluable. They provide the program with flexibility to manage claims without interference from the reinsurer and provide pricing stability when insurance markets become difficult or the program’s claims become excessive.
  • Relationship with Law Societies: The relationships that have developed with the provincial and territorial law societies have helped CLIA understand their mandate and CLIA has worked with them to resolve many difficult situations. Renewal meetings are conducted annually to ensure lawyers can take advantage of current pricing trends that are reflective of our efforts to manage claims effectively.
  • Claims Consistency: Excess insurance from CLIA ensures a seamless, consistent, and convenient approach to managing claims. CLIA offers a one-stop shop for both mandatory and excess claims. If you buy excess insurance with CLIA:
  • Only one claim notification is required. If you have a different insurer(s) for excess above $1M, you may need to file different claim notices.
    • The same person manages the claim all the way up from $0 to the level of excess that you’ve purchased. If you don’t buy excess from CLIA, then the insurer may want to take-over the claim if it gets above $1M.
  • Personal Touch: The CLIA team prides itself on the personal touch provided to its customers. When you have a question, you will receive a quick response from a real person.
  • Customer Satisfaction: 92% of CLIA’s survey respondents said they are either likely or very likely to recommend CLIA’s excess program to other lawyers.
  • Referral Program: If you refer a new client to CLIA for excess E&O coverage, you will receive a 10% discount on your following year renewal.
  • Retiree Discount: As a retiree you remain responsible for work performed prior to retirement. We want you to be at ease during your retirement. CLIA provides all retired inactive lawyers with a 25% discount on excess errors and omissions insurance.

How Do I Apply for Excess Coverage?

Designed by CLIA for law firms, the online application is quick and easy, and can be completed in a few minutes. Over 90% of those surveyed agreed that they were able to complete the online application trouble free.

The online application to apply for excess Insurance products can be completed any time after May 1, 2024, by going to the Excess insurance section of the CLIA website. 

Before Applying

  • Gather the following information:
  • Have any of the lawyers listed on your application or their predecessors been the subject of disciplinary proceedings, suspended or disbarred from practice?
    • During the past 12 months (if renewal) or past 5 years (if new application), have any claim related matters been reported to the law society by the firm, its predecessors and/or present and former lawyers?
    • After inquiry of your Firm’s lawyers, is the firm aware of any circumstances which would likely give rise to a claim against the firm, its predecessors and/or present and former lawyers, which has not been reported?
  • If applying for excess cyber coverage, your firm must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible. Some of the questions in the application form may require the assistance of your IT department. If you would like the questions in advance, contact


For more information on the CLIA VEP program and/or excess coverage for practising and retired lawyers, Visit the Excess Insurance section of the CLIA website.

Existing Customers

  • The renewal period will be open until June 30, 2024.
  • Pricing can change year to year – request a quote before you apply.
  • When you’re ready, Sign In To Your Account to access the application form. Note that the form will be prepopulated with your previous information. Please update if needed. 

New Customers

  • Submit applications until July 31, 2024 – applications submitted after that date will be prorated. Note: Cyber coverage cannot be prorated.
  • Request a quote before you apply.

If you have any questions, please contact CLIA at