New membership benefit: Legal expense insurance

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 57 , No. 9 , November 2015 , Pages 398 News

Doctors of BC now provides legal expense insurance to all members at no charge. This coverage was added as a benefit of membership with Doctors of BC effective 1 September 2015. The coverage is automatic; no enrollment is required.

Legal expense insurance supports physicians by providing coverage for costly personal legal expenses to either defend or pursue legal rights. The coverage serves members in two ways:
•  Access to legal advice on personal legal matters or those affecting a professional corporation is available over the phone.
•  Insurance to have costs covered for defending or pursuing legal action is provided.

Covered legal expenses
Legal expenses pertaining to employment disputes, contract disputes (personal and auto), legal defence for traffic tickets, property protection, statutory accident benefits, worldwide bodily injury, tax protection, and more are covered. The plan covers the costs of pursuing legal action to a maximum of $100 000 per claim and $500 000 in aggregate per calendar year. Legal costs include items such as lawyers’ fees, charges for disbursements, and the opponent’s legal costs should you lose and be required to pay them.

Examples of how this coverage can be used
Employment disputes: If you have a dispute with a current or former employee relating to an employment contract, wrongful dismissal, or discrimination.
Example: Dr Jones was dismissed from a senior position in a private clinic and was offered a severance package less than what she was entitled to after 3 years of service. Through this coverage a lawyer will be appointed to negotiate on Dr Jones’s behalf.

Contract disputes (auto and personal): If you are involved in a dispute relating to the selling or buying of goods or obtaining services. 
Example: Dr Garcia hires a contractor to repair his kitchen. The contractor fails to repair the kitchen and, as a result, significant water damage extends to her living room. This coverage will pay the legal costs to prosecute for the breach of contract on Dr Garcia’s behalf.

Tax protection: If you are being audited or wish to appeal a decision by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). 
Example: Dr Prevatt owns a small clinic and is audited by the CRA. He is informed that he owes several thousand dollars of unreported income. This coverage will pay the accountant’s costs to respond to the CRA on Dr Prevatt’s behalf.

Legal defence: If you are charged for highway traffic violations or if your spouse or children (who are living with you) are victims of a civil offence arising from their work. 
Example: Dr Kent’s son is dismissed from his job. He commences a wrongful dismissal action alleging discrimination based on his hearing disability. This coverage will provide legal representation to pursue the action.

Statutory accident benefits: If you need assistance obtaining a payment of a claim under the Statutory Benefits Schedule of the Insurance Act following an accident. 
Example: Dr Novak needed to complete documents for accident benefit coverage but she was unsure of the process. Through this coverage a lawyer will be assigned to assist Dr Novak.

Property protection: If your property is damaged or someone is causing a nuisance or trespassing. 
Example: A piece of metal hanging from a garage door mechanism caused damage to Dr Li’s car. The property manager refused to pay the cost of $1100 to replace the car’s windshield. Through this coverage the appointed lawyer will send a demand letter to the property manager.

Bodily injury (worldwide): If someone else’s negligence causes a sudden accident that results in your death, illness, or bodily injury. 
Example: Dr Williams slipped and fell in an unmarked puddle of water at a bank. As a result he had a sprained arm and sore back, which hindered his ability to work. This resulted in lost income. Through this coverage a lawyer will be assigned to represent Dr Williams.

Total loss valuation disputes: If you think the value assigned to your car by your automobile insurer following a total loss is unjust. 
Example: Dr Sander’s vehicle has been valued as a total loss and he opposes the valuation as the insurer did not consider the recent repairs and upgrades that were done to the vehicle. This plan will cover the legal costs to refute the valuation.

Doctors of BC Legal Advice Help-line
Access the helpline at 1 877 333-4088 and quote policy number L&D0020735. The plan provides unlimited access to legal advice for you, your spouse, and any dependent children living at home.

Visit the Doctors of BC website for more information (  
—Sinden Luciuk
Director of Insurance

Sinden Luciuk,. New membership benefit: Legal expense insurance. BCMJ, Vol. 57, No. 9, November, 2015, Page(s) 398 - News.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

  • Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
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For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit

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