FAQS

The following answers to frequently asked questions are intended to assist lawyers in their general understanding of BICO and BICO Legal Cost ProtectionTM. Specific cases and exceptional circumstances may occur involving differing arrangements than those discussed below as reflected in each policy. Please feel free to contact us with specific questions and for further information.

General

  • What is BICO Legal Cost ProtectionTM?

    BICO Legal Cost ProtectionTM is a regulated legal expense insurance product available for personal injury litigation (and in some instances, other litigation). It covers both adverse costs (including interim costs) owed to a defendant and (the plaintiffs’ own) disbursements in unsuccessful claims.

  • How much coverage is available?

    As little as $15,000 per file up to $300,000 per file of coverage is available – accommodating the varying exposures of different cost jurisdictions and file-specific circumstances.

  • Does the policy cover trial losses only?

    No. Coverage for a trial loss is standard, but coverage is also available for abandoned, dismissed and discontinued files.

  • What is the cost?

    The premium is a percentage of the amount of protection acquired (not to be confused with a percentage of the settlement amount or award). Pricing for BICO Legal Cost Protection™ starts at 1.5%.

  • When is the premium paid?

    The premium is only paid upon the successful resolution of a file. There is no upfront cost and never any cost if a file is unsuccessful.

  • Is there an application fee?

    No. While other legal expense insurance providers may charge file review fees (of up to $500 per claim), there is never a cost associated with applying for BICO Legal Cost ProtectionTM.

  • What are the reporting obligations of counsel?

    There are no interim reporting obligations under the policy. You do not need to report settlement offers (made or declined), disbursement expenditures, or other developments throughout the litigation and there is no loss of control of the litigation by counsel or plaintiff.

  • Who is the Insured?

    While BICO Legal Cost Protection™ covers both adverse cost exposure (of the Plaintiff) and (own) disbursement exposure (typically of the lawyer), the lawyer/ law firm is the policyholder, not the plaintiff.

  • Who pays the premium – the plaintiff or the lawyer?

    The premium is the obligation of the policyholder, however, in most instances, the premium for BICO Legal Cost Protection™ is paid by the plaintiff as authorized in the retainer agreement (sample language available). The lawyer as the insured has the discretion to bear or allocate the premium.

  • Is the lawyer an insurance broker?

    No. The BICO Legal Cost ProtectionTM policyholder is a lawyer or law firm; not their client. The lawyer is NOT brokering an insurance contract.

  • Do the lawyer’s disbursements get paid before defence costs in a claim?

    The product extends “blended protection” for both (own) disbursements and adverse costs. As the policy holder, the lawyer/law firm determines the priority in the allocation between the two in the event there is insufficient coverage for both.

  • Does the plaintiff client sign anything?

    No. The law firm/lawyer is the policyholder. The plaintiff is not a direct party to the BICO Legal Cost Protection™ contract.

  • What happens if the client transfers to new counsel?

    The product is not portable. The policy would be automatically cancelled if a file is transferred to new counsel.

  • What if the client has multiple claims? Is the protection per client or per claim?

    It is the lawyer’s decision whether to protect multiple actions of one client together (for one premium) or separately (with distinct coverage and a premium owed for each).

  • Are the plaintiff’s legal fees covered?

    No, BICO Legal Cost ProtectionTM does not cover the plaintiff lawyer’s legal feels. Only adverse costs and disbursements are covered.

  • Is the firm obligated to appeal a loss at trial?

    There is no obligation to pursue an appeal.

Firm ProtectTM

  • Is coverage available for entire practice file inventories?

    Yes. The BICO Firm ProtectTM program offers BICO Legal Cost ProtectionTM for a lawyer or law firm’s file portfolio. It features fully flexible coverage options, exclusive features and favourable pricing, tailored to the specific needs of each practice. Click here for more information.

  • Can specific files be excluded from the Firm ProtectTM program?

    The favourable terms offered under the BICO Firm ProtectTM program reflect a commitment on the part of the lawyer/law firm to include all files, thereby removing the risk of “adverse selection” inherent in individual file coverage arrangements. However, certain file exclusions are available (for example, files that resolve pre-discovery/questioning and/or files with no associated tort claim). Please contact us to learn more.

  • When do I have to submit a file for protection?

    Under the Firm Protect program, files may be submitted for coverage at any stage before the commencement of discovery / questioning. We understand many files will settle at the adjuster level or won’t amount to an action and may therefore be excluded. Most lawyers select a standard “trigger” for commencing coverage (for example, upon issuance of Statement of Claim or Statement of Defence).

  • What about files that are taken over by the firm?

    Files transferred to the firm can be protected provided they are at the pre-discovery/questioning stage. For those that are post discovery, coverage terms will be determined based on the file’s stage of litigation when submitted.

  • What about specific classes of claims that warrant reduced coverage?

    The flexibility of the BICO Firm ProtectTM program offers you the ability to obtain reduced coverage for specific file types (e.g. long term disability, first party-only claims, etc.).

  • Can additional coverage be obtained for specific files or closer to trial?

    The flexibility of the BICO Firm ProtectTM program offers lawyers the ability to double the amount of their standard coverage automatically (no file review or application process) for any specific file at any point prior to pre-trial (or regional equivalent) and thereafter subject to a file review. The premium for the extra coverage is subject to a schedule contained in the policy based on the stage of litigation.

File ProtectTM

  • Is insurance available for individual files?

    Yes. BICO Legal Cost ProtectionTM is available for individual files at any stage of litigation. Pre-discovery/questioning files (involving motor vehicle accident claims) are approved automatically. Other files are subject to a file review.

  • I have an imminent trial. Is it too late to apply?

    Like any type of insurance, BICO Legal Cost ProtectionTM is more difficult to obtain where the underlying risk is high and proximity to trial is a large factor in the risk assessment process. You are welcome to apply regardless of stage of litigation to see if the file is eligible and what terms may be offered.

Service Partners

  • Who is Omega General Insurance Company?

    Omega General Insurance Company (“Omega”) is a federally regulated property and casualty insurance company and is the underwriter of BICO Legal Cost ProtectionTM legal expense insurance.

  • Who is BICO Risk Management Inc.?

    BICO Risk Management (“BICO”) is a Canadian-based Managing General Agent (“MGA”) for Omega. BICO, formerly BICO Indemnity Company Inc., created BICO Legal Cost Protection™, and provides various underwriting and risk management services to Omega, product education to the legal community, and manages customer service for existing policy holders in conjunction with our broker partner. BICO is responsible for continued product innovation and cost risk management solutions for the Canadian litigation market. Click here for more information.

  • Who is EasyInsure?

    EasyInsure is a licensed insurance broker, responsible for distributing BICO Legal Cost ProtectionTM to policy holders and provides other broker-related services, as required. Click here for more information.

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To obtain BICO Legal Cost ProtectionTM, contact EasyInsure at or 1-800-679-2640.

Please click here for any other inquiries.