FAQ's

What is Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance and do I need it?

Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance provides coverage for a non-profit or charitable organization or volunteer centre and their trustees, directors and officers who may be exposed to liability through the actions of a person acting in their capacity as a member of the organization. This includes claims arising not only out of the actions of directors, officers, and trustees, but also of employees, volunteers, and committee members. Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance responds when any error, omission, misleading statement, neglect or breach of duty, employment practice violation or wrongful act such as discrimination or harassment, is alleged against any person acting in their capacity as a member or representative of the organization. Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance supplements the organization’s general liability insurance coverage.

Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance provides coverage for claims resulting from board/managerial decisions that have adverse financial consequences. These can include claims for damages related to:

  • Wrongful dismissal
  • Financial mismanagement
  • Employee discrimination
  • Violation of duty owed to the non-profit
  • Violation of provincial or federal laws
  • and others    

Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance also provides coverage for claims resulting from the actions or inactions of any person (for instance volunteers or employees) acting in their capacity as a member or representative of the organization. These can include claims for damages related to:

  • Harassment
  • Discrimination
  • And others

The costs of defending claims and the damages awarded can be significant. Volunteer Canada highly recommends that all member organizations consider carrying Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance.

Enhanced Coverage:

Volunteer Canada has secured new, industry-leading coverage enhancements to complement our existing Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance offering. Automatically included at no additional cost in the Under Our Wing Directors’ and Officers’ policy are:

  • Cyber and Privacy Liability - $100, 000 aggregate limit/year ($1000 deductible)
  • Comprehensive Legal Expense Insurance - $100,000 aggregate limit/year

Cyber liability is one of the fastest growing areas of risk, and the non-profit sector is not immune. With Under Our Wing Directors’ and Officers’ coverage, you are now protected against claims arising out of lost or compromised electronic data Click here for further details.

Legal Expense Insurance is designed to provide members with unlimited access to a Legal Advice Helpline, plus all reasonable legal costs involved in pursuing or defending an unexpected legal issue related to the organization (and covered within the policy). Legal costs include those related to the appointment of lawyers and expert witnesses, disbursements, court costs and more. Click here for further details.

There is different pricing for Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance depending on organization revenue. What if my organization’s revenue exceeds the budget level after I have signed up for the program?

Once you sign up for Directors' and Officers' Liability Insurance, your premium will not increase if your revenues exceed the budget level for the remainder of your policy. Any rate change required would come into effect in the next policy year.

How can I purchase Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance coverage?

Coverage can be purchased online within minutes, over the phone or by mail. Applications and a link to the online tool can be found here.

What is Commercial General Liability Insurance and do I need it?

Commercial General Liability insurance (CGL) provides coverage to protect against claims arising from injury or property damage that you (or your organization) may cause to another person as a result of your operations and/or premises. For example, a visitor to your organization may slip and fall on a wet floor or a volunteer may accidentally cause property damage when working off-site.

Volunteer Canada highly recommends that all member organizations consider carrying Commercial General Liability Insurance.

How can I purchase Commercial General Liability Insurance?

VVolunteer Canada members have access to discounted Commercial General Liability Insurance coverage.

Coverage can be purchased online within minutes, over the phone or by mail. Applications and a link to the online tool can be found here.

What is the Office Package and do I need it?

The Office Package provides coverage to protect your office and the contents within from losses associated with property damage (such as fire) and crime. It also provides coverage if your organization is sued for bodily injuries to a third party that occur within your workplace or elsewhere.

Included in the Office Package policy are: Commercial General Liability coverage, Property Insurance and Crime coverage.

Commercial General Liability insuranceprovides coverage to protect against claims arising from injury or property damage that you (or your organization) may cause to another person as a result of your operations and/or premises. For example, a visitor to your organization may slip and fall on a wet floor or a volunteer may accidentally cause property damage when working off-site.

Property Insuranceprotects against damage to contents, including equipment such as computers, and loss of revenues caused by an interruption of business activities arising because of an insured loss.

Crime coverageprotects against financial loss due to dishonesty, fraud, or theft of money, securities or other property owned by the office/organization.

How can I purchase the Office Package?

Volunteer Canada members have access to discounted Office Package insurance coverage.

Coverage can be purchased online within minutes, over the phone or by mail. Applications and a link to the online tool can be found here.

What is Special Events Coverage and do I need it?

This policy provides commercial general liability insurance coverage for members who are hosting a special event, such as a conference or fundraiser. It offers protection against claims arising from accidents taking place during the event, including bodily injury and property damage caused to a third party.  Examples of this include damage to the facility caused by a guest or vendor, and bodily injury to a guest caused by another guest or vendor.

The venue and/or sponsors of the event can also be added to this policy as an additional insured.

How can I purchase Special Events Coverage?

Please click here to apply for events coverage.

What is Legal Expense Coverage and how do I access it?

We are pleased to announce that Volunteer Canada members who have Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance through Under Our Wing are now automatically afforded with comprehensive Legal Expense Insurance at no additional cost. Legal Expense Insurance is designed to respond to issues related to:

  • Contract disputes;
  • Employment disputes;
  • Property protection;
  • Tax protection;
  • and others.

All Volunteer Canada members with Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance are able to take advantage of this exclusive member benefit, designed to provide you with unlimited access to a Legal Advice Helpline, plus all reasonable legal costs involved in pursuing or defending an unexpected legal issue related to the organization (and covered within the policy). Legal costs include those related to the appointment of lawyers and expert witnesses, disbursements, court costs and more.

Legal Expense Insurance is automatically included at no additional cost for members with Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance coverage.

Members with Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance can access the Legal Advice Helpline at 1-877-8-DASLEGAL (1-877-832-7534) from 8am to Midnight, 7 days a week.

Click here for further details

What happens after the application and payment have been sent to BMS Group?

Once the application is sent to BMS Group, paper applications will be processed within two business days and online applications within minutes. The certificate of insurance is then issued to the member by email. The certificate of insurance will outline the limits of coverage, effective and expiry date and pertinent insurance information. BMS Group will confirm that your organization is a member in good standing with Volunteer Canada.

What advantages does this group plan have for members?

The group plan allows Volunteer Canada members to pool their collective risk and negotiate better rates with insurers – resulting in a more cost-effective product and premium savings for participants.

I’m not a Volunteer Canada member. Am I still eligible to purchase Under Our Wing insurance?

In order to be eligible for the Under Our Wing group insurance program, you must be a member of Volunteer Canada. As one of its member benefits, Volunteer Canada has negotiated with the broker and insurance company to provide discounted insurance rates to its members. To learn about membership with Volunteer Canada, please visit www.volunteer.ca/membership

Who is Volunteer Canada?

Volunteer Canada is the national voice for volunteerism in Canada. Since 1977, Volunteer Canada has been committed to increasing and supporting volunteerism and civic participation. Collaborating closely with volunteer centres, local organizations and national corporations, Volunteer Canada promotes and broadens volunteering. It also provides leadership on issues and trends in Canada’s volunteer landscape through programs, research, training, tools, resources and national initiatives. Volunteer Canada provides leadership to the volunteer centre movement, enhancing the capacity of organizations to involve volunteers and furthering the national dialogue on citizen engagement and civil society.

Who is BMS Canada Risk Services Ltd. (BMS Group)?

BMS Group is the official and exclusive broker for the Volunteer Canada Under Our Wing insurance program. BMS Canada Risk Services Ltd. (BMS Group), headquartered in Ottawa, is part of the Specialty Risk division of BMS Group, a Lloyd’s of London broker. Their team of industry experts provides unparalleled risk management and brokerage services while offering a comprehensive range of insurance products and resources to Canadian organizations.