SPECIALTY INSURANCE SOLUTIONS

LEGAL HELPLINE WITH HR ASSIST

Our complimentary Legal Helpline now features HR Assist—available to all Specialty Insurance policyholders in English and in French. Every day, challenging scenarios arise for all businesses across Canada. Any one issue can quickly balloon into a potentially crippling financial hardship. The Legal Helpline, featuring HR Assist, provides invaluable assistance for policyholders who are attempting to navigate the legal system and avoid unexpected legal expenses.

The Legal Helpline empowers our policyholders with general legal assistance and information for any legal question, regardless of the area of law. It also provides our policyholders with access to certified Human Resources (HR) specialists that help them effectively manage their HR issues.

When a call is placed to the Legal Helpline, our policyholders are quickly connected to legal representatives who provide crucial information. There is no limit to the duration of calls or number of times a call can be placed to the Legal Helpline, and in emergency situations, our policyholders have access to a lawyer 24/7.

NON-PROFIT CLIENTS: EXAMPLE SCENARIOS
A QUESTION FOR HR ASSIST
A non-profit humanitarian organization for youth poverty uses volunteers to supplement their regular employee workforce. Staff members have spoken to the managers, alleging a particular volunteer keeps harassing the children and teens who visit the organization’s communal space. The Operations Manager does not know what steps can be taken to dismiss the volunteer without exposing the organization to possible charges of slander.

TAX RELATED
The manager at a local charity, with the mandate to provide services to immigrant families and refugee newcomers to Canada, received an audit letter from the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) relating to her payroll deductions. She is unsure what her legal rights are and how she should respond to the letter.

CONTRACT DISPUTE
A local soup kitchen hired a plumbing contractor to repair the faulty water heater and several pipe leaks in their kitchen. After the contractor leaves, the Manager at the soup kitchen finds that there are still problems with the water heater, and only half of the leaks were fixed. They contacted the contractor, who demanded that he should still receive the full payment of $1,100 and threatened to file a small claims action and place a lien on the soup kitchen’s property. The Manager feels that he was unfairly charged, but he also does not know what he can do to respond to the contractor.

BODILY INJURY
A non-profit organization that helps build and repair residential homes for low-income families, has an unfortunate incident whereby a volunteer is hurt due to negligence of the homeowner. The homeowner accidentally struck the volunteer’s ladder with their car, and the volunteer is now severely injured. The charity wants to know if they face potential liability issues and if they can take any legal action against the homeowner on behalf of the volunteer.

PROFESSIONAL CLIENTS: EXAMPLE SCENARIOS
A QUESTION FOR HR ASSIST
An orthodontist hired a certified orthodontist assistant several years ago, due to her overwhelming number of new patients. But over the last 2 months, the employee developed a physical condition that limited his ability to perform some of his duties at work. The orthodontist tried her best to accommodate his limitations, but the employee refused to come to work and ended up quitting. Soon after, the ex-employee demanded $350,000, on the grounds of wrongful dismissal and alleging that they had been in a hostile work environment. The orthodontist wants to know what her options are and how to respond to her ex-employee’s demands.

TAX RELATED
A family practice owned by 2 primary care physicians receives a letter from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) stating their practice owes an additional $38,000 in GST remittances. The doctors disagree with the assessment, and want to know what their next steps should be to appeal.

CONTRACT DISPUTE
A veterinary practice hired a contractor to build and install cabinets and countertops for the kitchen area. Unfortunately, not only did the contractor damage several walls and countertops in the office, they also failed to install cabinets that had been included in the contract. On top of that, the doors were not working properly on the cabinets that had already been installed. Even though the practice paid nearly $6,500 for the faulty work, the contractor refused to repair or pay for the damages and did not respond to any of their calls. The veterinarians want to know what options are available to sue for damages.

PARTNERSHIP DISPUTE
A young pharmacist opened a small pharmacy in a health clinic and needed to borrow money from family members to do so. It is an oral agreement. However, 6 months later, some family members want to change the terms of the loan and demand the principal payments be accelerated. The pharmacist wants to know what her legal rights are and the best course of action..

REGULAR COMMERCIAL CLIENTS: EXAMPLE SCENARIOS
A QUESTION FOR HR ASSIST
A real estate brokerage had an employee with a history of performance issues, conflict with his coworkers, and aggressive behaviour. The owner of the brokerage unfortunately had no other choice but to let him go. The employee then filed an application at the Human Rights Tribunal, alleging unfair dismissal and discrimination on the basis of race. A brokerage executive wants to know their legal rights as an employer and what steps can be taken to address this.

TAX RELATED
A coffee shop owner receives a notice from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) that they will be performing an audit of the owner’s carrying charges and interest charges, which he deducts his business income as expenses. The owner wants to reverse the proposed reassessment, and he wants to know what his legal rights are when the auditor arrives at his place of business.

CONTRACT DISPUTE
A local hotel contracts catering for a business conference to a new firm. On the day of the conference, the caterer does not show, and there is no breakfast nor lunch for the conference. The hotel owner has to step in and order food at a much higher cost from a restaurant down the road. The caterer refuses to accept responsibility, saying the owner gave them the wrong date. The owner disagrees and wants to know what course of action they can take to not only recoup costs, but also repair the hotel’s reputation.

PROPERTY DISPUTE
A small marketing agency owner comes into work one morning, to find a strip of her newly installed fence and driveway severely damaged by contractors hired by the business next door. She had not given permission for her neighbour and their contractor to cross onto her property. After speaking to the business owner next door, they dismissed her questions and complaints, claiming that nothing can be done since the contractors were almost done the work. The agency owner wants to know if they have any recourse with either the contractor or the neighbouring business to recover costs for rebuilding her property.

EXAMPLE SCENARIO - PHONE CALLS
A QUESTION FOR HR ASSIST

A registered massage therapist hired a new receptionist 6 months ago. Though the receptionist’s work was satisfactory during her 3-month probation period, she started showing up late on a daily basis shortly after her probation period ended. The massage therapist wants to know what steps can be taken to formally let the employee go and how much severance she should be given.

NON-PROFIT CLIENT (CONTRACT DISPUTE SCENARIO)

A local food bank hired a contractor to redo the men and women’s washrooms used by staff and volunteers. The contractor quoted $5,000 for the job, and confirmed it would all be done in no more than 2 weeks. 4 weeks later, the job is still not finished and the contractor demands another $2,500 or he won’t complete the job. The Operations Manager wants to know what the food bank’s rights are and what his options are going forward.

COMMERCIAL CLIENT (PROPERTY DISPUTE SCENARIO)

The landlord of a building in which a trendy café is located advises the café that work is about to start in the building in order to fix some cracks in the façade. One morning, the café owner finds the entrance to his business blocked by scaffolding that went up overnight. It takes the contractor nearly 4 hours to remove the scaffolding, and occurred during breakfast hours – the busiest and most profitable time of day for the café. The owner of the café wants to know if they have any recourse with either the contractor or the landlord to recover lost revenues.

TESTIMONIALS

Professional, knowledgeable, helpful, clear, direct, and completely comprehensible. I knew what to do, when to do it, and even how to say it. Fantastic.
– Katerina L.

This is an amazing resource to have. I was impressed that I was placed with a lawyer who specialized in the particular area of law that I was calling about.
– Cole B.

I had many questions when trying to settle my mother’s estate and the advice and guidance helped to guide me in the right direction. All my calls were returned promptly, I was always treated with respect and given sound advice in easy to understand legal terms. I will forever grateful for the kindness and support during a difficult time.
– Isabella C.

The service was extremely efficient. Being able to run the situation by the lawyer and get help understanding the conditions of a contract let me know I was understanding all the options in my situation correctly and helped me to manage it knowledgably which saved my family a lot of money in the long term. This service brings a lot of peace of mind.
– Mila A.

AM Best Financial Strength Rating A- Excellent