Frequently Asked Questions

The following are questions received and answered most often by OSBIE staff. If further clarification is required, please contact the OSBIE office.

What does the OSBIE Liability policy cover?
It would be lengthy to list all of the insuring agreements under the policy, but in many cases most inquiries relate to the concept of Liability insurance:
General Liability Insurance is designed to protect a person or an entity (such as a school board) against any legal responsibility arising out of a negligent act or a failure to act as a prudent person would have acted, which results in bodily injury or property damage to another party.
Who is covered by the Liability policy?
The detail is found under Section 5.6 of the policy, but the main categories are:
  • Board Trustees
  • Board Administration Staff
  • All Board Employees
  • Teachers
  • Co-op students while engaged in work assignments
  • Sporting officials/referees at school events not organized, directed and controlled by a provincial athletic association
  • Volunteer Workers

All are covered while they are acting within the scope of their duties as defined by the school board.

If I am driving my personal vehicle on school board business, does the Board's insurance cover an auto accident?
Under Ontario statute, the insurance coverage carried by the vehicle owner is consider "primary" insurance and would apply before any other insurance. Only if the claim exceeds the Liability limit carried on the owner's Auto policy would the Board's excess insurance for non-owned automobiles apply, and then only for the amount in excess of the limit. What is NOT covered by the Board's policy:
  • Speeding tickets, or other parking or traffic fines;
  • Collision, Comprehensive, or other primary insurance policy deductibles carried by the owner;
  • Reimbursement for vehicle damage not otherwise covered by the owner's primary policy.
  • Premium increases resulting from at-fault accidents.
OSBIE staff are often asked to comment on the Risk Management issues around various types of school activities being sponsored or considered by school boards.
Risk Management is the process of:
  1. Identifying and assessing risks to all participants
  2. Identifying strategies to address known risks
  3. Selecting and Implementing appropriate strategies
  4. Monitoring to see if strategies are working, or if new risks emerge

By following this systematic process in all facets of a school board's operations, school boards will be able to make informed decisions based on the foreseeable risks, and can assess their ability to provide adequate resources to supervise, manage and control those risks.

When activities clearly pose a high risk of injury to participants, or if the school cannot provide adequate resources to supervise, manage and control the risks, then such activities should not take place. Managing risk reduces loss profile, and more importantly protects everyone from injury.

See OSBIE's Risk Management at a Glance Flip chart, Risk Management Advisories, and our Oracle for more information.