University of Toronto Financial Services / University of Toronto
Risk Management and Insurance Department
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Questions you might have for the Risk Management and Insurance Department

Am I covered?
As a University employee, you are insured against claims for injury, loss or damage to other persons or to their property arising out of your University employment related activities, except for willful misconduct or illegal activities.

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What costs are covered?
Insurance coverage provides for payment of all claim related costs, including legal defense and adjusting expenses as necessary as well as damage awards or settlement amounts.

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Are volunteers covered?
The University includes coverage for volunteers while they are performing authorized services on behalf of the University in the same manner and extent as for employees.

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Is my personal property covered?
Generally speaking, the University's coverage does not include your personal property; however, if the property is of a professional nature and is being used at the request of, or to benefit the University, and no other specific coverage applies, then the University provides limited repair/replacement coverage for such “personal professional property”.

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Does the University insure borrowed items?
The UofT insurance will cover items if the loan is authorized by the Department Chair and the following information is provided to the Risk Management and Insurance Department prior to the acquisition of the loan items: a list of each item, its estimated replacement value, make/model # if applicable and the terms of the borrowing. Insurance is on the same basis as for University owned property. Call Tanya V. Patina at (416) 978-7484 for more information.

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What do I do if University equipment is stolen or damaged in my department?
Please click here to find the answer. Please see GUIDELINES FOR REPORTING A CLAIM, Damage to UofT Property.

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Do I need to purchase insurance to cover property in transit?
Normally, insurance coverage should be arranged with the shipper on a declared value basis whenever feasible. This usually costs 1-2% of the declared value and covers all damage with zero deductible. For exceptions, we can arrange special trip transit insurance for more valuable items, say over $50,000. Call Tanya V. Patina at (416) 978-7484 for more information.

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What do I do if I am involved in an accident while driving a University vehicle?
Please click here to find the answer. Please see GUIDELINES FOR REPORTING A CLAIM, Automobile Accidents (University owned or leased vehicles).

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Do I need to purchase the collision damage waiver (CDW) when renting a vehicle?
Please click here to find the answer. Please see Insurance Guidelines for Vehicle Rentals.

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What authorization procedures should be followed for employees to operate University vehicles?
The University’s vehicle fleet insurance policy allows any authorized employee to operate a University owned or business leased / rented vehicle. Any requirements imposed by the rental or lease agreement must be strictly adhered to, for example, minimum age limit, category of license or naming all operators.

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Can a personal vehicle be used to transport students and employees?
Yes, but when a personal vehicle is used to transport students or employees, the insurance on that vehicle is by law the primary coverage in the event of an accident, and the University’s insurance becomes excess coverage in case of a loss.

If you are an instructor or staff member and use your own vehicle for University purposes (e.g. transporting students on a field trip), you are only covered by the University's automobile insurance policy excess of your own policy limit. In case of an accident, the policy covering the specific vehicle is primary and would respond first until this coverage is exhausted.

Faculty and staff are encouraged to inform their personal automobile insurance company if using their own vehicle for business purposes.

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Does the University's auto insurance program respond to loss or damage involving a personal vehicle driven for University business?
The owner of the vehicle's insurance responds to the loss or damage. The mileage reimbursement rate includes an insurance reimbursement.

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Should all contracts be sent to Risk Management and Insurance Department for review?
Typically Risk Management and Insurance Department reviews contracts. Call John D. Kerr , Director, at (416) 978-6478 for more information.

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How do I obtain a certificate of insurance?
Please contact Sandra Alwazani at (416) 978-7465.

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Will Risk Management provide loss prevention recommendations?
Yes, contact John D. Kerr , Director of Risk Management and Insurance Department at (416) 978-6478 for more information.

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What should I do if I am renting out University premises to a third party?
Prior to agreeing to rent out University facilities, the individual or group renting the facilities should have an insurance policy in place and provide a liability certificate (certificate of insurance coverage) with UofT named as an additional insured. In the event of a loss, the renting party's policy will be considered primary and UofT policy secondary. This will protect the interests of the University. Specific limits, terms and conditions should be verified with John D. Kerr , Director of Risk Management and Insurance Department at (416) 978-6478.

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What is a waiver of liability?
Canadian society is becoming increasingly litigious, subjecting the University of Toronto and its employees to more liability risk. Called by various names, a waiver of liability, assumption of risk, release, informed consent or an indemnification agreement (or a combination of these terms) it is a written agreement that essentially says that the University of Toronto and our legal representatives will not be deemed liable for harm suffered by participants in a specific activity or event.

Some waivers are absolute, but we generally recommend using a form that absolves the University of blame only if we are not ourselves negligent or derelict in carrying out our responsibilities. This is seen as a fair and balanced approach, rather than simply a shift of all risks onto participants. Although waivers are legal tools and are enforceable if properly drafted, they also serve an educational purpose by making people think about the potential risks of an intended activity. Doing so also prevents unnecessary demands on already strained resources at the University.

Generally, students taking regular classes on campus or participating in regular campus activities need not sign waivers. But a department that sponsors activities that go beyond academic requirements should consider using a waiver to reduce the University’s legal liability risk, especially for activities where participants will be exposed to different environments than they may be used to in their everyday experience.

Waivers are strongly recommended for any activity that presents a higher than normal risk of physical danger, including transportation risks, as well as health, safety, environmental, political or social conditions that may be present in off-campus or out of country activities that participants may encounter. There is a positive duty on the University to inform participants as much as practicable about risks they will be facing in the places they will be visiting. This is legally termed “due diligence”

To be legally binding and enforceable, waivers need to be customized to the specific activities or situations to which they pertain rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach. They should be as clear and comprehensive as is reasonable in the circumstances. Everyone is required to sign the same waiver for the same event and if a person does not sign the waiver, they should not be allowed to participate.

Any activity for which a waiver is required should be described as accurately and completely as practical. They should be on departmental letterhead, include class/program, date, brief description of the activity, the destination, transportation, accommodation, number of participants, etc. Waivers should be legibly formatted and not buried in fine print. They should be on a separate page and understandable so there no question in the participant’s mind about what they are signing.

For additional information, contact John D. Kerr , Director, 416-978-6478, jd.kerr@utoronto.ca.

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