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A teaching showing students where to paddle down moving water on the Red River, AB
Location: Red Deer River, Alberta. Photo credit: Priscilla Haskin

Paddle Canada Insurance Policy Summary

Paddle Canada maintains four separate insurance policies. They are:

  1. Directors and 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 and fourth policies, those being Paddle Canada's paddling program liability and sport accident policies.


As individual Instructors, liability insurance is prohibility expensive and many would be unable to afford insurance to cover their courses. Paddle Canada’s course liability & sport accident policies provide affordable basic, third- & second-party liability insurance for up to $5 million of general liability coverage for the operation of sanctioned Paddle Canada courses by qualified, current Paddle Canada Instructor members.

We offer three different types of insurance for our instructors and members. They include General Liability, Professional Liability and finally, Sports Accident Insurance.

Please note that the description of the insurance policies below and related coverage is very high level and for general information only. Please contact the Paddle Canada office or our insurance provider directly with any specific questions you may have. Their contact information is at the bottom of this page.

General Liability Insurance

Our general liability insurance is 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 student  on your course 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 provides protection for both legal defense costs and any compensatory damages that may be awarded (subject to the limits and conditions of the policy), giving you peace of mind.

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional Liability Insurance is commonly known as errors & omissions (E&O), and 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. This type of insurance  coverage focuses on alleged failure to perform on the part of, financial loss caused by, and error or omission in the service sold by an instructor.

For example, if a student was injured on a course and they felt they got injured due to poor advice on your part, this policy would cover that.

Sport Accident Insurance

Our Sports Accident Insurance policy is structured to provide a broad level of coverage for instructors against loss of limbs, fracture, dislocation, tendon severance of limbs, loss of eyesight, speech, and many other miscellaneous conditions sustained due to external violent, sudden, fortuitous causes beyond the instructors control.

Who is Covered?

All Paddle Canada current instructors, employees, volunteers, officers, directors, managers, affiliated clubs, and members are covered by our insurance policies provided they are qualified for the sanctioned course and are following the required policies and procedures. 

Municipalities, government departments, sponsors, and organizers are also covered but only as it relates to their involvement in a sanctioned course or clinic.What Activities Are Covered?

All Paddle Canada sanctioned and approved courses or clinics are covered by this policy. All courses and clinics must be registered and approved by Paddle Canada before the start date or time. If you require further clarification or have any questions, please contact Paddle Canada.

What is Not Covered?

General examples of what is not covered by our insurance include the following:

  • Courses or clinics wherein instructors, volunteers, and students have not signed the Paddle Canada Waiver form.
  • Personal equipment including canoes, kayaks, paddles, etc.
  • Travel expenses to and from the course or clinic.
  • Non-sanctioned Paddle Canada courses or clinics.
  • Courses or clinics that operate beyond the Paddle Canada approved program policies. For example, the instructor that does not adhere to the instructor/student ratio, program curriculum, approved water conditions, or does not adhere to Canadian Coast Guard requirements, etc..
  • Courses or clinics offered outside of Canada and USA (special permission on a case by case basis, please contact the office).

Contact the Paddle Canada office for a complete list of items not covered by this policy.

How Do I Get Covered?

You are automatically covered as long as your courses are registered and sanctioned before the start of the course and all policies related to the delivery of the program are followed, and your membership is current.

Paddle Canada Waiver Forms

  • Waiver forms must be signed by all Paddle Canada course and clinic participants no later than the start of the course or clinic, and preferably before the day the course or clinic begins.
  • Waiver forms 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 form for a 14-year-old taking a course in 2021 would have to be retained until 2032. 18 years old minus 14 equals 4 years plus 7 years (statute of limitations) equals the end of the year 2032.

How to Report a Claim

  • If an incident and/or accident occurs, it must be documented and recorded immediately.
  • If there is personal injury or property damage the Paddle Canada office 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 Information Contacts:

BMS Canada Risk Services Ltd. (BMS Group)
825 Exhibition Way, Suite 209, Ottawa, ON  K1S 5J3 

Email: [email protected]
Toll-Free: 1-855-318-6558
Fax: 613-701-4234


Paddle Canada
Executive Director

Email: [email protected]
Toll-free: 888-252-6292

Last updated: December 1, 2020