Overview

SLIA Overview

Saskatchewan Lawyers’ Insurance Association Inc. (SLIA) is a non-profit corporation and a wholly owned subsidiary of the Law Society of Saskatchewan. SLIA provides mandatory errors and omissions insurance to the members of the Law Society of Saskatchewan pursuant to The Legal Professions Act, 1990.

SLIA is a member of the Canadian Lawyers Insurance Association (CLIA). CLIA is a reciprocal insurance exchange which offers liability insurance to lawyers licenced by a law society. CLIA also offers a voluntary excess insurance program.

The program is run by in-house counsel and a claims coordinator who report to a Board of Directors comprised of both Bencher and non-Bencher members.

Purpose

SLIA was established to administer the professional liability insurance program for members of the Law Society of Saskatchewan who face claims and to participate in a system of protection for the public who may suffer damages as a result of lawyer negligence.

While the Law Society of Saskatchewan and SLIA together provide one comprehensive, over-arching scheme of public protection, member communications received by SLIA are kept entirely confidential from the Law Society of Saskatchewan unless member consent to disclose is obtained. The same is true of the Law Society of Saskatchewan vis a vis SLIA.

History

Saskatchewan Lawyers’ Insurance Association Inc. was incorporated in June 17, 1988 pursuant to The Legal Professions Act, section 11. SLIA administers the insurance program and reports to a Board of Directors.

Professional liability insurance for Law Societies across Canada was initially obtained through commercial insurers who issued master policies to the Societies for the benefit of its members. Gradually, Law Societies entered into self-insurance by retaining risk through a deductible on each claim. The liability associated with the retained risk was funded by reserves accumulated from the difference between the levy on members and the premium paid to the insurer. As a result Law Societies established reserve funds and comprehensive information on claims against lawyers within their jurisdiction.

Due to increasing fluctuations in the market and the demand for higher coverage limits Law Societies sought a more effective alternative. That alternative caused Law Societies across Canada to come together to form a reciprocal insurance exchange. The creation of a reciprocal allowed for direct access to the insurance market which recognized the established Canadian-specific claims history and provided stable rates and a permanent source of coverage. The Canadian Lawyers Insurance Association was established and issued its first policies on July 1, 1988.