Paddle Canada Insurance Policy Summary

Paddle Canada maintains four separate insurance policies. They are:

  1. Director’s & Officers Liability Insurance
  2. Property Insurance
  3. Paddling Program 3rd Party Liability Insurance
  4. Sport Accident Insurance For Members

This summary will deal only with the third & fourth policies, those being Paddle Canada’s paddling program liability & sport accident policies.

Background: The intent of Paddle Canada’s paddling program liability & sport accident policies are to provide basic inexpensive third & second party liability insurance for the operation of Paddle Canada courses by currently qualified / current year Paddle Canada Instructors. As individual Instructors, we would otherwise be unable to afford to procure insurance for our courses. Even the simplest of courses would cost in the thousands of dollars.  Paddle Canada courses have a long history of SAFE delivery when delivered by qualified Paddle Canada Instructors. Paddle Canada Instructors have proven that they can indeed safely manage the risks associated with our recreation when delivering approved and sanctioned Paddle Canada programs.

Paddle Canada is “Fully insured for 3rd Party Commercial General Liability Coverage (Bodily Injury and Property Insurance) for up to 5 million dollars per occurrence with no aggregate limit”.

What is Commercial General Liability (CGL) Insurance?

Designed to protect a person against legal responsibility arising out of a negligent act or failure to act as a prudent person would have acted which results in bodily injury or property damage to another party. Any individual in your activity can claim damages as a result of an injury. Even though you may not be negligent in your actions, defense costs alone can be financially devastating. The policy will provide protection for both legal defense costs and any compensatory damages that may be awarded, subject to the limits and conditions of the policy, transferring your risk to an insurance policy provides you the opportunity to run your activity with peace of mind.

What activities are covered?

All sanctioned and approved Paddling activities. All activities must be documented and approved by the Provincial Association, Club President. If you require further clarification contact Paddle Canada.

Who is an insured?

All PC employees, volunteers, officers, directors, coaches, managers, instructors, officials, affiliated clubs, and or teams, and members. Also municipalities, government departments, sponsors, and organizers but only as it relates to their involvement in a sanctioned event.

Description of coverage

Limits of Liability:

  • $5,000,000 per occurrence Bodily Injury and Property Damage
  • $5,000,000 Products and Completed operations aggregate limit
  • $5,000,000 Employers Liability
  • $5,000,000 Personal Injury and Advertising Injury Liability
  • $10,000 Medical Payments – any one person I any one accident
  • $1,000,000 Errors & Omissions Liability

Professional Liability (Included in CGL)

What is Professional Liability?

Commonly known as errors & omissions (E&O), is a form of liability insurance that helps protect professional advice- and service-providing individuals and companies from bearing the full cost of defending against a negligence claim made by a client, and damages awarded in such a lawsuit. The coverage focuses on alleged failure to perform on the part of, financial loss caused by, and error or omission in the service or product sold by the policyholder.

Who is covered?

Any active member of Paddle Canada participating as a player member, manager or coach, trainer in practice, competition, training, educational approved courses.

What does it cover?

Any approved Paddle Canada Instructors, certified instructor trainers, and certified instructor trainer educators arising out of their performance as instructors and trainers, with respect to losses arising from Paddle Canada instruction during at sanctioned courses, workshops, events, or activities.

Paddle Canada’s Paddling Program Liability Insurance covers:

  • Paddle Canada approved paddling programs. The coverage commences at the start of the actual course or clinic (it does not include travel to the course) and ending at the end of the course or clinic (it does not include travel home from the course or clinic).
  • Delivered by currently qualified Paddle Canada Instructors.
  • Each course/clinic must be sanctioned by Paddle Canada (registered in advance with the Paddle Canada office).
  • Operated within the Paddle Canada paddling program requirements, including:
  • Delivered in Canada. Paddle Canada courses/clinics can not be delivered outside of Canada without prior permission ( permissions are now possible, on a case by case basis, please contact the office for details).
  • Non-Canadians may be certified as Paddle Canada Instructors. However, they can only be sanctioned to deliver Paddle Canada paddling programs in Canada. If it is delivered outside of Canada, it is NOT a Paddle Canada course or program.
  • Instructor to student ratio.
  • Paddling program contents.
  • Classification of water.
  • Program delivered outside / above / beyond the Paddle Canada paddling program may not be covered. Example: a portage on a canoe tripping course will be covered. An evening hike to a local mountain peak may not be.
  • Personal Flotation Devices / Personal Buoyancy Devices / and or Life Jackets must be properly worn by all Instructors and Course / Clinic Participants during the ‘on the water’ and ‘close to water’ (lining canoes along rapids) components of the course. PFDs/PBDs/Life Jackets must be Canadian Coast Guard approved, in good shape, and properly worn.
  • Paddle Canada Waiver / Acknowledgement of Risk Form must be signed and witnessed (by someone other than the Course Instructors),  preferably before the day the course or clinic starts, but in no case later than the actual start (time) of the course or clinic. The waiver / AoR must be reviewed with the course at the start of the course (read to the participants, ensure they all understand).
  • Scouts Canada groups are excluded from signing the Paddle Canada Waiver / AoR under a special agreement between Scouts, Paddle Canada & Insurance Company.
  • Paddle Canada, Instructor, Candidate equipment, and vehicles are NOT covered by the Paddle Canada policy.

Future Coverage:

  • Programs delivered in the USA by Instructors who are Canadian citizens and where participants are Canadian citizens only.   We are not able to cover PC programs with USA participants or instructors at this time.

What is NOT covered:

  • Losses by Paddle Canada course staff that include damage and or loss of equipment.
  • Travel to and from the course or clinic.
  • Non-sanctioned Paddle Canada courses / clinics.
  • Courses/clinics that operate beyond the Paddle Canada approved program (example:  do not adhere to the instructor/student ratio,  program curriculum,  approved water conditions,  do not adhere to Canadian Coast Guard requirements, or where course instructors, volunteers, and students do not wear Life Jackets (this term now includes Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs) and Personal Buoyancy Devices (PBDs)).
  • Courses/workshops offered outside of Canada & USA (special permission on a case by case basis, please contact the office)
  • Courses wherein all Instructors, Volunteers, and Participants have not signed the Paddle Canada Acknowledgement of Risk / Waiver Form.
  • Personal equipment including canoes, kayaks, paddles,  etc.
  • Activities outside of the approved Paddle Program.

Sport Accident Insurance

What is Sports Accident?

The Sports Accident policy is structured to provide a core level of coverage and benefits with a principal sum of $50,000 per member.

This broad coverage will cover the member for loss of limbs, fracture, dislocation, tendon severance of limbs, loss of eyesight, speech, and many other miscellaneous conditions and even accidental bodily injury or death sustained by a member due to external violent, sudden, fortuitous causes beyond the member’s control.

The Accident policy pays for medical bills on behalf of the injured members such as.

  • Dental Accident Reimbursement
  • Dentures, Removable Teeth, Hearing Aids, Eyeglass and Contact Lenses
  • Emergency Transportation
  • Family Transportation
  • Medical Expense Reimbursement
  • Prosthetic appliances
  • Rehabilitation
  • Repatriation
  • Tuition Benefit
  • Weekly Income $100 (waiting period 30 days)

This coverage is secondary to any other health care plan(s).

Expenses eligible under any other healthcare plan(s) must be submitted to that plan(s). Your Accident Policy will pay only the amount of expenses that are not eligible with any other insurer. Only claims up to the maximum benefits of the policy will be considered for payment. Explanation of benefits from other insurers must accompany eligible expenses when submitting. You must have required and received medical /dental treatment commencing within 30 days of the accident. The insurance provider must receive notice of your accident within 30 days of the accident date and claim documentation within 90 days from the date of the accident.

Who is covered?

Any active member of Paddle Canada participating manager or coach of the Paddle Canada in recreation, practice or competition which is a sanctioned or approved activity organized under the supervision and direction of the Paddle Canada; or being transported with other player members of the Paddle Canada as a group to or from the place of such practice or game; all under the supervision and direction of the Paddle Canada.

Conditions to be met:

  1. Confirmation of your provincial membership affiliated with Paddle Canada.
  2. The Paddle Canada accident insurance covers medical expenses associated with injuries caused while participating in Paddle Canada sanctioned and is in excess of provincial health programs and private insurance.
  3. Must be received within 90 days.

What activities are covered?

All sanctioned and approved paddling activities. All activities must be documented and approved by the Provincial Association, Club President, or NCCP certified Coach. If you require further clarification contact your Provincial Paddling Association.

Frequently Asked Questions

Certificates of Cross Insurance

  • Must be requested by the policyholder, Paddle Canada, and not directly by an Instructor to the Insurance Broker.   The Paddle Canada Executive Director currently serves as Paddle Canada’s single point of contact with the Insurance Broker.
  • National, Provincial, and Municipal Parks, private camps, and other facilities that are hosting or allowing Paddle Canada programs to be delivered on their property or facilities may be considered for Certificates of Cross Insurance.
  • Paddle Canada Instructor’s Companies or Organizations, or Companies or Organizations which employ Paddle Canada Instructors, are NOT eligible to be covered by this policy.
  • Successful requests will receive a certificate indicating that they are listed on Paddle Canada’s Liability Insurance Policy for the specific Paddle Course / Instructor(s) / dates listed on the certificate.
  • Certificates must be requested at least 21 days prior to the start of the course or clinic.

Enhancing Activities

  • Enhancing activities may be included in a sanctioned Paddle Canada course or clinic providing:
    • All other Paddle Canada course activities for that specific course have been completed.
    • The enhancing activity is part of another approved Paddle Canada Course.
    • The Instructor is qualified to deliver the enhancing activity components from the other and or more advanced program.
    • The Paddle Canada Instructor agrees that the course participants are prepared and competent to attempt the other and or advanced component.
    • The Course participants understand that the advanced program material is above and beyond the course they are attempting, and agree to undertake it.

Medical Insurance

  • Paddle Canada now provides Sports Accident Insurance for members at $50,000 per member. The Policy is secondary to any other health care plan(s).
  • This broad coverage will cover the member for loss of limbs, fracture, dislocation, tendon severance of limbs, loss of eyesight, speech, and many other miscellaneous conditions and even accidental bodily injury or death sustained by a member due to external violent, sudden, fortuitous causes beyond the member’s control..
  • Non-Canadian Instructors and or Non-Canadian Course Candidates must provide proof of medical insurance coverage while in Canada for the duration of the course or program.

Paddle Canada Waiver / Acknowledgement of Risk Forms

  • Must be signed by all Paddle Canada Course / Clinic Participants no later than the start of the course or clinic, and preferably before the day the course or clinic begins.
  • The waiver/acknowledgment of risk forms must be witnessed by someone other than Paddle Canada course Instructors.
  • Must be retained by the Course Director for a period ending seven (7) years after the youngest participant on the course turns 18 years of age.  Example: The waiver / AOR form for a 14-year-old taking a course in 2009 would have to be retained until 2009 + (18-14=) 4 + 7 (statute of limitations) equals the end of the year 2020.

Scouts Canada / Military Cadets / Government Dept. Waiver / Acknowledgement of Risk Clause 6b ” release and forever discharge…. Including negligence/breach of duty”.   How do we explain this to our course participants who want to strike it out?

  • Through a special agreement, Scouts Canada participants are excluded from signing the Paddle Canada Waiver / AoR.
  • For all other groups, Paddle Canada requires that all Paddle Canada course/clinic participants sign the Paddle Canada Waiver / Acknowledgement of Risk Form prior to the start of the program, and have it witnessed by someone other than the Paddle Canada Instructors.
  • Military Cadets & other government departments all have policies forbidding them from signing another organization’s waiver/acknowledgment of risk forms.
  • Paddle Canada continues to work on agreements to allow participation by members of these groups.  It is now possible to put together special agreements.  Please contact the office for details.

Paddling courses

  • as are all water activities, are inherently risky. Instructors, no matter how diligent, cannot be in every canoe/kayak and or see everything going on at all times.   With paddling sometimes bad things happen no matter how fore thinking and careful the course Instructors are.  This clause is included to remind the participant that they ultimately are responsible for their own safety, and that ‘bad things’ can happen which are beyond the control of the Instructor and or Paddle Canada.  It is a legal text and is required by the Insurance Company to help protect them in the event of an accident. In reality, although this Clause might be considered by the Courts, if the Instructor and or Paddle Canada were found clearly negligent in the case of a mishap, they/we would remain liable for their / our errors and/or omissions. If the Course Participant cannot sign this form,  they cannot take the Paddle Canada course.  No changes are accepted.  Period. The form is a form of Risk Management for Paddle Canada and the Insurance Company and is an industry-standard. Bottom line: Paddlesports have risks and participants must accept responsibility for their participation.

How to Report a claim

  • If an incident and/or accident occur, it must be documented and recorded immediately.
  • If there is personal injury or property damage the Paddle Canada must be notified immediately.
  • A  Paddle Canada Accident Report should be the minimum level of documentation. Additional documentation of witness statements, a list of names involved, photos of the scene would make an exceptional report. Reporting should be as in-depth as possible as most litigation is brought forward years after the incident when club members with a memory of the incident might not be around anymore.
  • Once complete, the Accident Report should be emailed to [email protected], who will then forward our insurers BMS Risk Services for review. Forward any correspondence relating to the potential claim

Insurance for Guides / Trip Leaders

  • At this time we do not offer any paddling activity insurance for non-sanctioned Paddle Canada programs.  We continue to work with our new broker researching a Liability Insurance option for Sea / Coastal Kayaking Guides, Canoe Trip Leaders, and other eco-tourism type paddling events.

New Paddle Canada Paddling Programs / Major Modifications: Insurance Implications

Once Paddle Canada approves new paddling programs (example: the ‘Big Canoe Program’) or makes serious changes to an existing program (example: increasing the classification of River Water for a level),  the Paddle Canada approved program MUST be forwarded to our Insurance Broker for review, analysis, and possible policy changes.

Insurance Information Contacts:

BMS Canada Risk Services Ltd. (BMS Group)
320 Catherine Street, Suite 21 Ottawa, ON K1R 5T5
Toll-Free: 1-855-318-6558
Email: [email protected]
Fax: 613-701-4234

Graham Ketcheson
Executive Director
[email protected]

Last updated: June 1, 2017