About CIPF Coverage

If you meet the criteria below, you are eligible for CIPF protection:

  1. You (the client) have an account with a member firm that is disclosed in the records of the firm.
  2. Your account is used solely for either holding or trading in securities or commodity and futures contracts.
  3. Your account is not a mutual fund dealer account located in Québec. A mutual fund dealer account is considered to be located in Québec if the office serving the customer is located in Québec.
  4. The member firm has become insolvent.
  5. The member firm, as a result of its insolvency, has failed to return or account for property it was holding on your behalf on the insolvency date that was eligible for coverage (including cash, securities, futures contracts and segregated insurance funds, but excluding crypto assets by way of example).
  6. You are not considered ineligible for coverage under the CIPF Coverage Policy - see below under “Who Does Not Qualify for CIPF Protection?”

There is no requirement that you live in or be a citizen of Canada.

CIPF member firms are members of Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO) that are: (i) investment dealers and/or (ii) mutual fund dealers that are not located exclusively in Quebec. Please click here for a list of CIPF Investment Dealer member firms and here for a list of CIPF Mutual Fund Dealer member firms.

Who Does Not Qualify for CIPF Protection?

The following clients are not eligible for CIPF protection:

  • Anyone who materially contributed to the insolvency of the member firm or who has the power to control the firm.
  • Directors and general partners of the member firm.
  • Some shareholders and limited partners (with 5% or more) of the member firm.
  • Other CIRO member firms or firms registered with a securities regulator.

CIPF protection is also not available to customers for mutual fund dealer accounts located in Québec. A mutual fund dealer account is considered to be located in Québec for the purposes of CIPF coverage if the office serving the customer is located in Québec.

Please refer to the CIPF Coverage Policy for complete details.

CIPF covers:

Missing property - This is property held by a member firm on your behalf that is not returned to you following the firm’s insolvency. Missing property can include:

  • cash
  • securities
  • futures contracts
  • segregated insurance funds

CIPF does not cover:

  • Losses resulting from any of the following:
    • a drop in the value of your investments for any reason
    • investments that were not suitable for you
    • fraudulent or other misrepresentations that were made to you
    • misleading information that was given to you
    • important information that was not disclosed to you
    • poor investment advice
    • the insolvency or default of the company or organization that issued your security
  • Securities held directly by you– meaning that you have received the share certificate or other ownership documentation for the investment that you own. CIPF coverage does not apply in this case since the firm is not holding this property for you.
  • Mutual funds registered in your name and held directly at the mutual fund company.
  • Crypto assets held by a member firm on your behalf that are missing at the time of the member firm’s insolvency.
  • Other exclusions identified in the CIPF Coverage Policy.

Does CIPF guarantee the value of your investment?

No. CIPF’s role is to ensure the return of a client’s property held by a member firm, if the member firm become insolvent. CIPF does not guarantee the value of the property. An example showing how CIPF coverage works is provided below.

If a client bought one hundred shares of Company X at $50 per share through a member firm, and the share value on the day of the member firm’s insolvency was $30, CIPF’s objective would be returning the one hundred shares to the client because that’s the property in the client’s account at the date of insolvency. If the one hundred shares are missing from the account, CIPF would provide compensation based on the value of the missing shares on the day of the firm’s insolvency. In this example, that’s $30 per share.

If securities, cash or other property (excluding property not eligible for coverage such as crypto assets) in client accounts are missing, CIPF will provide compensation for the value of the missing property as at the date of the member firm’s insolvency, up to the limits prescribed in the CIPF Coverage Policy.

To learn more about how compensation for missing property is calculated by CIPF, please refer to Loss Calculation.

Any claims to CIPF must be filed within 180 days of the date of the member firm’s insolvency, in accordance with the CIPF Coverage Policy.

Examples and explanations provided on this website are for illustration purposes. The CIPF Coverage Policy will govern exclusively in determining any claim. Please refer to the CIPF Coverage Policy for complete details.

Coverage Limits for Individuals, Corporations and other Clients

Below is a summary of the coverage limits provided for in the CIPF Coverage Policy based on both the type of client and the type of account(s) the client has with a member firm. For complete details, please refer to the CIPF Coverage Policy.

Limits for Individuals

For an individual holding an account or accounts with a member firm, the limits on CIPF protection are generally as follows:

  1. $1 million for all general accounts combined (such as cash accounts, margin accounts, TFSAs and FHSAs), plus
  2. $1 million for all registered retirement accounts combined (such as RRSPs, RRIFs and LIFs), plus
  3. $1 million for all registered education savings plans (RESPs) combined where the client is the subscriber of the plan.

There are exceptions, such as where an account is held by an individual in that person’s capacity as an executor of an estate of a deceased person. For further information, see below under Limits for Testamentary Trusts.

Limits for Corporations, Partnerships and Unincorporated Organizations

A corporation, partnership or unincorporated organization holding an account with a member firm is generally considered to be separate from its owners or partners for purposes of determining the limit on CIPF protection. The limit on CIPF protection for these types of clients is generally $1 million for all accounts combined. Some exceptions apply.

There are exceptions to this general rule for certain types of personal holding corporations, partnerships and unincorporated organizations as described in the CIPF Coverage Policy. In certain cases where an individual has a controlling interest in one of these types of entities, the accounts held by the entity are not considered distinct from the owner’s personal accounts. As such, the owner’s interest in these accounts is included in his or her $1 million limit for combined general account coverage.

Please refer to the CIPF Coverage Policy for complete details.

Limits for Testamentary Trusts

For accounts held in the name of an estate, a deceased person (also known as a decedent), or the executor or administrator of the estate of the decedent, the limit on CIPF coverage is $1 million. This limit applies to all accounts held for the same decedent combined.

Limits for Inter-vivos Trusts and Trusts Imposed by Law

For accounts of inter-vivos trusts that are created by a written instrument and trusts imposed by law, the limit on CIPF coverage is $1 million. These accounts are considered to be distinct from accounts of the trustee, the settlor or any beneficiary.

Limits for Other Types of Customers

Please see the CIPF Coverage Policy for complete details.

Accounts held Jointly

Unless otherwise evidenced in writing, proportionate interest in a joint account will be presumed to be equal for all parties with an interest in the account. Each party will have CIPF protection for their interest in the joint account up to the limit that applies to all of their general accounts combined. In most cases, this limit is $1 million.

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