How protecting small businesses from legal risks makes a difference

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Small businesses, the backbone of the Canadian economy, foster innovation and drive Canadian employment. Yet, these companies face several challenges, not least of which are legal risks that arise in the regular course of running a business. In fact, according to a recent study by ARAG Legal Solutions Inc., 70% of small to medium-sized businesses reported experiencing at least one legal dispute that impacted their business operations1.

The impacts of legal disputes on small businesses

These legal disputes span a wide spectrum from employment issues to contractual disagreements, each capable of draining financial reserves and shifting focus from core business activities. The cost of legal services and litigation can be prohibitively high, posing a formidable barrier, as the average cost of hiring an experienced Canadian lawyer remains stubbornly high, deterring business owners from pursuing or defending their legal rights.

This financial burden of hiring legal counsel is compounded by the operational distractions, the stress, and the time associated with navigating legal matters, which can lead to diminished customer service and detract from business relations and company revenue streams.

Protecting small business customers from legal risks

Brokers play a pivotal role in arming small businesses against these challenges by educating their customers about legal risks and the general resources at their disposal. Aviva champions this cause by integrating a complimentary Legal Helpline within many of its commercial property and casualty insurance policies2. This helpline provides unlimited legal assistance, ensuring Aviva customers can speak with a lawyer to navigate the intricacies of Canadian business law and understand their legal options for protecting their companies.

To help small business customers, brokers may ask questions like: “What would you do if a customer, former employee, or supplier sued you?”, “Do you know what to do in the event of a CRA audit?”, or “How prepared are you to handle a breach of contract?” These questions can reveal gaps in legal preparedness and highlight the value of risk mitigation tools such as the Legal Helpline, ensuring that small business customers are never stranded in their time of need and are equipped to face legal issues with confidence.

Learn more about how to protect your business from legal risk

If you would like to learn more about how to protect small businesses from legal risk, you can contact your Aviva insurance broker.


1 Data based on a 2022 study of legal risks by ARAG Legal Solutions Inc.

2 The Aviva Legal Helpline service is provided by ARAG Legal Solutions Inc. (ARAG) via Assistenza International on behalf of Aviva Insurance Company of Canada. Not all policy types are eligible for this service. Certain policy exclusions apply. Legal information provided through the Aviva Legal Helpline service is Summary Legal Information. Refer to the “Legal Helpline Services Terms and Conditions” page included with your policy for complete details, including excluded services, terms, limitations and conditions.

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