The FMCBC secured Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance for June 30, 2023-May 31, 2024 through EQUA Specialty Risk Partners Association (EQUA), the FMCBC’s new broker. While the Directors’ & Officers’ Liability Insurance (D&O) was secured through AON, our former broker, both will be managed by EQUA.
At the FMCBC AGM on October 21, 2023, Sandy Millar and Gina Bennett, Managing Partners from EQUA, provided an overview of CGL and D&O insurance and answered insurance and waiver questions submitted by members. EQUA’s presentation is available as part of the AGM YouTube recording (https://youtu.be/GXrRaB4TvbE). Presentation time stamps are in the YouTube description for ease of access.
The following is an overview of some of the topics covered in the AGM presentation and answers to questions posed by members.
Commercial General Liability (CGL) Policy
• CGL policy primarily covers third-party bodily injury or third-party property damage, i.e., bodily injury or property damage suffered by somebody that is outside the club or FMCBC. All members, trip leaders and organizers, volunteers, member clubs and FMCBC are covered by the CGL policy. Guests approved to join a club sanctioned activity would also be covered by the CGL policy.
• Third parties such as private landowners, municipal or regional governments and the Crown (His Majesty the King) may be added as an “additional insured”. Certificates of Insurance are issued as evidence of insurance to a third party. If a Certificate of Insurance is required by a club, please email
• Club sanctioned trail and hut building and maintenance are covered under the CGL policy. This is in addition to the insurance coverage provided to clubs that have signed partnership agreements with RSTBC or BC Parks.
• CGL policy is not first party insurance. Should a trip participant be injured on a club trip, the policy does not provide medical or accident benefit insurance. If an injured person were to sue the FMCBC, club and/or trip leader, the CGL policy responds to cover and protect the trip leader, club, FMCBC and other trip members, if sued.
• The CGL policy will not cover claims arising from a member or trip participant’s dog on a club trip. The dog owner’s home, condo or tenant insurance may provide liability coverage.
• The CGL coverage protects all individuals regardless of age. In other words, there are no restrictions within the policy that limits the age of participants on club sanctioned trips or camps. The FMCBC’s Acknowledgement of Risk for Minors must be completed by the minor and guardian – see Acknowledgement of Risk protocol outlined in the FMCBC Handbook.
• CGL is not property insurance. The FMCBC does not provide property insurance to member clubs. If required, the club may wish to consult EQUA. If coverage is available, it would be a stand-alone policy for which the club is fully responsible.
Directors’ & Officers’ Liability (D&O) Policy
• D&O does not cover third party bodily injury or third-party property damage. It covers the directors, officers and senior people in the organization, i.e., managers, supervisors and people in authority. The FMCBC Board and boards of clubs that purchase insurance through the FMCBC insurance program are protected by the D&O policy.
• The D&O policy covers potential claims arising from the responsibilities of directors and officers, such as their fiduciary obligations to the organization, statutory duty to operate within the law (i.e., incorrect filing or operation not permitted); and, employment practices (i.e., harassment, discrimination, wrongful dismissals, human rights complaint).
• Generally, EQUA would like to hear about any incidents that involve serious injury (i.e., require a doctor or hospital visit), ambulatory loss (i.e., injured party unable to walk away from scene), an altercation or adversarial comments (i.e., “call your lawyer”, “call your insurer”, “better have a good insurance policy”). Completion of an Incident Form does not automatically trigger a report to the underwriter. It allows EQUA to monitor potential injuries, losses or incidents and take appropriate risk management measures.
• When an incident occurs that meets the criteria, the incident should be reported promptly to FMCBC at email@example.com and the FMCBC Incident Form completed. As the FMCBC’s first point of contact after an incident, our admin will liase with EQUA. Questions about the Incident Form, information to collect, etc. should be directed to FMCBC. EQUA will assess whether further investigations are warranted to ensure the information needed to defend a claim or lawsuit is preserved and available.
• The FMCBC Member’s Handbook includes relevant information about insurance, waivers, Acknowledgment of Risks for Minors and best practices. It is currently being updated. When complete, the Handbook will be available via a “members only” link on the FMCBC website.
• Further questions can be sent to FMCBC (firstname.lastname@example.org). We will direct the question(s) as appropriate to EQUA or the FMCBC’s Risk Management Committee for response.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Q: Is biking covered?
A: Cycling and mountain biking are covered, as long as they are club sanctioned activities or events. Normal human powered bicycles, road bikes and mountain bikes, as well as Class 1 pedal-assist e-bikes are covered under the current CGL policy.
Q: Does coverage extend outside of Canada? If so, where?
A: The current CGL policy provides worldwide coverage, with limited USA coverage. The USA coverage is limited because only a small number of clubs (about seven of 39 clubs participating in FMCBC’s insurance program) reported offering USA based trips. For those seven clubs, USA trips make up a small percentage of total club trips. If the number of clubs offering USA trips increases significantly, this will be reported to EQUA and there may be a premium increase.
Regarding travel outside BC, a reminder that CGL insurance is not travel or medical insurance. For trips outside of BC (i.e., elsewhere in Canada, USA or international), trip participants must ensure they have adequate personal travel and medical insurance from a reputable travel insurance company. Credit cards are not sufficient proof of coverage. Travel or medical insurance available through credit cards is typically not “first” insurance and providers will push individuals to exhaust all other avenues first, including MSP. This can be a time consuming and a paper heavy process. MSP will not cover certain expenses such as air transportation and ambulance costs. Depending on the event, risk or activity engage in outside BC (i.e., mountain climbing), specific insurance may be required.
Q: Why does the FMCBC insurance not extend to Clubs hosting cycling events where members are using e-bikes?
A: Club sanctioned trips using pedal-assist Class 1 e-bikes are covered under the current CGL policy. Trips using Class 2 e-bikes require pre-approval from EQUA (please contact email@example.com). Class 2 and beyond e-bikes, which are equipped with a motor and do not require the rider to pedal to get motion, are not covered.
• Class 1 e-bike: A bike equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedalling (pedal assist) and ceases to provide assistance when the bike reaches 32km/h and has a maximum continuous wattage output of 500 watts.
• Class 2 e-bike: A bike equipped with a motor that can be used exclusively to propel the bike (throttle equipped) and ceases to provide assistance when the bike reaches 32km/h.
• Class 3 e-bike: A bike equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedalling (pedal assist) and ceases to provide assistance when the bike reaches 45km/h.
Q: Is there a form to have e-bike participants sign making them aware that the FMCBC insurance does not cover them during club events?
A: No, there is no form. It is up to clubs to sanction or approve club trips and manage use of e-bikes on club trips. FMCBC waivers are being updated to include use of e-bikes.
Q: Want to know more details about our insurance, especially what is covered by third party liability and what is not covered?
A: In addition to the Overview and answers to questions, more information is available in the Insurance, Waivers and Documents section of the FMCBC member Handbook and the AGM presentation. Additional questions may be directed to FMCBC (firstname.lastname@example.org), who will direct the questions as appropriate to EQUA or the FMCBC’s Risk Management Committee.
Q: The FMCBC E-waiver does not include space for two email addresses; how is that sufficient?
A: Every adult member or adult trip participant must sign their own, individual waiver. Clubs offering couple memberships must obtain an individually “signed” waiver from each spouse. Spouses cannot sign for each other. For family memberships, an individually signed waiver is required from each adult family member (age 19 and over) and an Acknowledgment of Risk for Minor must be completed for each minor.
It is critical that a member/trip participant agrees to and signs the waiver, either digitally or in paper form, prior to payment of registration or membership fees. Best practices for waivers and Acknowledgement of Risk for Minors are available in the FMCBC Handbook. Only FMCBC approved waivers or Acknowledgments of Risk for Minors should be used by clubs participating in FMCBC’s insurance program.
Q: Only the person filling in the waivers seems to be the one accepting the privacy terms; how does that work for other family members?
A: Each member/trip participant must sign their own, individual waiver. As such, the privacy terms apply to each member/trip participant. A proper online/e-waiver system should provide for acceptance of the privacy terms as part of the online process.
Q: How does the electronic waiver work; or rather, how would it stand up in court? The process outlined seems to say to just put an ‘X’ in the appropriate places and then type your name and then save, print and email the form?
a. How does this constitute a legally binding electronic signature; anyone can type an ‘X’ and name?
b. How is this sufficient proof of the identity of the sender?
c. What if one person emails in the E-waivers for their whole family?
d. Why doesn’t the E-waiver require a witness, like the printable form?
e. Why no E-waiver for minors and doesn’t this create a confused situation?
A: Electronic/digital signatures are valid in BC – see BC’s Electronic Transactions Act. The nature of the document to be signed will determine the enforceability requirements.
To ensure their validity and enforceability, an online waiver system or e-waiver process should allow verification of the member or guest, who agreed to the terms of the waiver and “signed” the waiver. If the “signor” cannot be verified, the waiver can be challenged. If the “signor” is uniquely identified and confirms the waiver as their own, there is no need for a witness. A proper online registration and waiver system preserves and stores the metadata for future retrieval. Best practices for online waivers, data collection, retrieval and storage are outlined in the FMCBC Handbook.
Several years ago, Bob St John, a former FMCBC President, developed an online membership and waiver system for use by FMCBC member clubs. This online system is being upgraded and will be available again in January 2024. The cost for the service is $1/member per waiver. Clubs interested in the online membership and waiver system should contact the FMCBC. The online system developed by B St John, meets the best practices outlined in the Handbook.
The Acknowledgement of Risk for Minors is not currently available online, a minimum of two people need to “sign” it – the minor and guardian. Until there is an online system that allows multiple signatures, FMCBC has decided to keep Acknowledgements of Risk in paper form only.
Q: We would like information on coverage for infrastructure we maintain. For example, we manage cabins via partnership agreement with RSTBC and BC Parks. The agreement defers liability to the government agencies. Is there any protection for our directors for these activities via FMCBC?
A: As described in the Overview, the CGL policy covers third-party bodily injury or third-party property damage, i.e., bodily injury or property damage suffered by somebody that is outside the club or FMCBC. The Crown can be covered as an “additional insured” (no additional cost). FMCBC does not provide property insurance for huts or structures built and maintained by clubs. Commercial property insurance may be available, although the remoteness of alpine huts and structures can be an issue. The club may wish to consult EQUA. If coverage is available, it will be a stand-alone insurance policy for which the club is fully responsible.
Q: On the latest FMCBC waivers, there’s a curious difference between the adult universal waiver and the minor Acknowledgment of Risk. Specifically, the latter has new sections on water sports and on horseback riding: why the difference, and why are they highlighted in green and purple?
A: There are four versions of the FMCBC Universal Waivers and Acknowledgments of Risk for Minors to cover all potential activities offered by clubs. Clubs select the version that best covers the activities offered by the club:
1. Basic activities;
2. Basic plus water-based activities;
3. Basic plus horse riding activities; and,
4. Basic plus water-based and horse-riding activities.
The colour coding highlights the differences in wording associated with each additional activity. It was not intended that the highlighting remain when the Waiver or Acknowledgment of Risk is submitted for signing. However, we appreciate the confusion created by the current form of the Handbook. We are revising the Handbook to explain better the colour coding and we will remove the colour highlights from the downloadable pdfs.
Q: Do guests need to sign Waivers?
A: All trip participants, including guests, must sign a waiver to protect the FMCBC, member clubs, club members, volunteers, trip organizers, leaders and instructors. Guests should be asked to sign the waiver as a condition for their participation in a club activity. A process needs to be in place for guests to view and sign the waiver in advance of participating on a trip. If no online process is in place for guests, then paper waivers should be used.