SWG Secure: Security Services Businesses

Sep 2020

Canadian security services companies are responsible for protecting people and property, and for these agencies to operate effectively, they need savvy brokers on their side.

For brokers looking to serve this diverse market, specialized industry knowledge is key to helping these businesses avoid the common pitfalls of liability insurance claims. Here is an overview of various niches and legislative requirements for Canadian security service businesses.

1) Market niches:

Each security niche is multifaceted, and may employ a range of services, from guard and patrol to investigation and detective services to burglar alarm systems. South Western Group covers alarm installers, manufacturers and distributors, monitoring stations, private investigators, and security guards.

2) Security guard training and licencing:

Under Canadian legislation, all security guards are required to have a security guard licence, and each province has its own requirements to obtain licencing. Generally speaking, guards must register with the solicitor general, pass pre-approved training courses and an exam, and possibly submit to a background check and fingerprinting. (1)

In all provinces except Quebec, security services business owners are not required to undergo licencing. However, many opt to go through this training process because it gives them valuable industry expertise as well as firsthand insight into what makes a good security guard. A business owner with this kind of training is also more likely to have better insight into liability risks for their security staff while on duty.

3) Security business licencing:

Every security business must obtain a security licence and be registered with a Canadian province. Depending on the province, licencing can take between two weeks and six months. Business entities, sole proprietors, and partners must also have a clean criminal record and be prepared to provide business and personal documentation.

4) Insurance and compliance:

All security companies undergo compliance inspections to ensure they fully understand their responsibilities under the Private Security and Investigative Services Act. Agencies should also keep up to date with regulations around Use of Force, Trespass to Property Act, the Criminal Code, and other relevant regulations.

Failure to comply can result in fines of up to $250,000, and directors, partners and officers of an agency can also face imprisonment of up to one year. (1)

Security partnerships and corporations must carry at least $1 million in liability insurance, though some require a higher limit. Most security companies are required to carry general liability.

In Ontario, for instance, new agency licencing applicants must submit a valid certificate of general liability insurance for at least $2,000,000 within 30 days upon approval. Agencies who want to renew their licence must provide a certificate of GL insurance for at least $2,000,000. (2)

For most security agencies, general liability will cover the bare minimum of risk. For coverage extending beyond bodily injury to other areas such as cyber liability, errors and omissions, and legal expenses, they need a policy specifically tailored to the security services industry.

Specialized Coverage: The SWG SECURE Advantage

Security businesses need a unique type of protection. SWG SECURE Security Services Insurance provides coverage not normally offered by traditional insurers.

Our program takes into account all factors relevant to your client’s situation, so they can avoid unpleasant surprises down the road. You can trust us to evaluate the complete risk picture, offering coverage for all potential exposures, including failure to perform, design errors and omissions, bodily injury, advertising liability, legal expenses, property damage, and a host of other circumstances.

You may have turned down this type of high-risk client in the past, but with South Western Group’s support, you can provide a wide range of coverage options at fair and competitive prices.

Coverage highlights:

  • Commercial General Liability (Occurrence Form):
  • Failure to Perform
  • No General Aggregate Limit
  • Design Errors & Omissions
  • Personal Injury
  • Intentional Injury in Defense of Personal Property
  • Fire Extinguishing Agent Release
  • Products & Completed Operations
  • Care, Custody and Control
  • Legal Expense & Defense Cost Reimbursement – $25,000 Each Occurrence; $25,000 Annual Aggregate
  • Advertising Liability
  • Bodily Injury and Property Damage – Broad Form
  • Non-Owned Auto (including physical damage)
  • Incidental Malpractice
  • Contingent Employers Liability
  • Employee Benefits Liability – Claims Made – $1,000,000 Limit
  • Employees as Additional Insureds
  • Tenants Legal Liability – $250,000 Sub-Limit
  • Lost Key Cover – $50,000 Sub-limit
  • Product Recall Extension – $25,000
  • Medical Payments – $25,000 each person; $25,000 each accident
  • Limited Pollution Liability Extension $1,000,000 Each Occurrence & Aggregate
  • Blanket Additional Insured’s Clause
  • Subcontractor Protocol
  • Owners and Contractors Protective coverage

Other coverages are available. Visit the SWG Secure product page for more details.

Content is current as of the date of broadcast and is subject to change without notice.


  1. https://quickbooks.intuit.com/ca/resources/starting-business/how-to-start-successful-security-company/
  2. http://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/english/PSIS/AgencyLicences/PSIS_agency.html