WO Insurance FAQ

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A. General


1. Why does WO need insurance?

There are two main reasons why WO carries insurance for its members:
  • First, it is a requirement of sound risk management practice, and required by the Ministry of Health Promotion as a condition of ongoing funding.
  • Second, and more importantly, we wish to ensure that our members are properly protected.  Accidents do happen in sports and recreational activities – without insurance coverage to respond to such an event a WO member could find him/herself having to respond to a lawsuit on their own.  This can be extremely expense.
As an association supporting activities that involves risk of injury or property damage, Whitewater Ontario carries:

  • Liability and directors insurance to project the association and its directors and
  • Sport accident insurance to provide members with coverage in the event of an accident or injury

2. Who is insured?

General liability insurance protects all members of WO including executives, managers, coaches, directors, officers, officials, employees and volunteers during WO sanctioned events.  It protect them against any lawsuits (civil actions) asserting liability for accident, death or property damage where the third party is seeking compensatory damages.  It also protects WO members in the event they are sued by another participating member alleging their actions caused injury.

Sport Accident insurance provides accident claim insurance to WO members participating in a formally sanctioned event (limits under this policy vary depending on the type of injury and reimbursement required.) This coverage is secondary to any other health care plan insurance. This means that if you or one of your participants gets an injury on the river and this injury requires cost (e.g. fixing broken teeth), our insurance will cover additional costs that are not covered in that person’s medical insurance plan.

3. What is Commercial General Liability?

CGL insurance pays for all sums that the insured is legally obligated to pay against bodily injury or property damage caused to a third party, by an insured member. Example if you hit and injure a swimmer while kayaking and the swimmer or their family sues the paddler.

4. What is a sanctioned WO event/activity?

Any event/activity run or authorized by WO, including instructional clinics, supervised training or practices, competitions (including Downriver races, slalom, freestyle) and demonstrations. To be sanctioned an event organizer must formally apply for sanctioning, complete a sanctioning application and follow WO’s risk management and safety policy.

5. Are river trips covered by WO insurance?

No. Currently, river trips are not included in sanctioned events – these are considered “recreational activities”. WO is seeking to renegotiate our policy so that river trips lead by a certified trip leader will be eligible for inclusion as a sanctioned event. River trips may be included under club level recreational insurance, if confirmed as a typical activity with insurer.

6. What is NOT covered by insurance?

Any informal (e.g. river runs with friends), recreational activities that are not part of a sanctioned event/activity and any ancillary off water events.

7. Are clubs covered by WO insurance?

Club members participating in sanctioned WO events are covered as noted above. Individual clubs should obtain their own separate insurance in order to provide liability and errors and omissions coverage to the club board of directors and any employees. And to extend insurance to cover recreational club activities (outside or sanctioned events). The WO insurance broker, Pearson Dunn Insurance, has designed a club level policy to fit with the umbrella WO insurance.  Please contact Pearson Dunn Insurance directly to discuss (1-800-461-5087).

B. For WO certified Instructors and certified Trip Leaders


1.What are the requirements for instructors to be insured?

You must:
  1. be a WO/CKC Certified Instructor
  2. the course/event you are instructing must be a WO Sanctioned event
See definition above for definition of a sanctioned event

2.If I am a Trained WO/CKC instructor and not yet certified, am I still covered under the insurance?

No, you must be a Certified WO/CKC Instructor in good standing

3.What is the type of insurance we have?

As above, insurance includes both Commercial General Liability to protect the instructor, his/her club and WO in the event of a liability claim and provides sport accident insurance to both instructors and participants in sanctioned clinics courses.

4.How do I know if a course/event is sanctioned?

You should confirm with the course organizer. You can also check the WO webpage for listing of sanctioned events/courses. Commercial members all have sanctioned courses  (e.g. see Learn 2 Paddle under Programs , on WO site)

5.If I am an employee instructing, does WO insurance cover me?

If you are hired as an employee, you are covered by the employer’s policy. Be aware that if you are hired as a contractor or sub-contractor, it is your responsibility to ensure you have your own personal insurance, particularly if you are operating your own non-sanctioned instruction programs/clinics.

6.If I complete the new Trip Leader certification am I covered on river trips?

Not yet. The new certification is being renegotiated with insurer. At this time WO insurance instructors are not insured if they were doing a river trip? Separate club level insurance may cover trip leaders and participants under their recreational activities (of pre-approved by the insurer).

For additional information of WO insurance – see separate document Demystifying Insurance
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