Inquiries regarding insurance coverage for Realtors relative to the COVID-19 virus have been addressed in a posting by the E&O insurer on the RECO website under the COVID-19 Updates tab. For your convenience, please reference the document HERE. Key highlights include:
- Exercising caution relative to vulnerability where transactions are conducted entirely virtually, as these do represent an enhanced risk. In order to assist you in these situations, we will be working on the development of a Buyer Acknowledgement clause for insertion in your offers, which should be available early next week.
- Exercising caution relative to the use of electronic signatures, being careful to make sure that buyers and sellers review the agreement clauses carefully, and that all parties have initialed and signed in all required instances.
The E&O policy coverage and limitations related to illness, injury, or death, which could now contemplate COVID-19, would only be applicable to claims asserting professional negligence or gross negligence of a Realtor or brokerage. Notably, coverage in this regard has a $50,000 limit and requires a $500 deductible. Our initial inquiries with our general liability insurer indicate there is no additional coverage. It is worth noting that it is only in the Province of Ontario that the E&O coverage above applies.
Given the limitations referenced above, and the additional risk COVID-19 represents, we once again strongly advise that you use the best practice directions and related forms provided by Royal LePage Canada on March 25, in the event that you are providing essential in-person services to assist clients under financial hardship or facing lack of shelter.
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)
The application portal will be live at the beginning of April. More detailed information is still required to understand if Realtors will be considered eligible for this benefit. We will relay this information as it becomes available. Link to the Canada.ca website section – https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/covid19-individuals.html#new_canada_emergency_response_benefit
Carson Dunlop home inspections confirmed in a communication Wednesday, March 25th, that they would be suspending home inspection services indefinitely. Pillar To Post home inspections has communicated they are continuing to provide inspection services until further notice, and as a result they have adopted special COVID-19 protocols regarding inspection attendance, home vacancy and sanitization. OREA Form 208 should be utilized to secure your seller’s permission in the event of a home inspection to be conducted without the listing Realtor present.