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Insurance

DRAFT CONTENT

Vancouver Island University has coverage against liability and loss under the University, Colleges. and Institutes Protection Plan (UCIPP). UCIPP also assists members in their identification and management of risks that may lead to harm to individuals, or loss or damage to property. VIU, like all organizations and individuals, is exposed to legal liabilities and loss of or damage to property. Litigation against an institution, its employees or volunteers can result from many different types of situations. In addition, all property is at risk at all times; buildings, furnishings, equipment, etc. can be damaged by fire, lightning, wind, theft, water, vandalism or earthquake. UCIPP assists institutions, their employees and volunteers to respond to legal actions filed against them which are within the scope of coverage, and assists in the replacement or repair of damaged property.

Please consult the UCIPP Employee Handbook for details about VIU's insurance coverage.

Reporting Injuries / Incidents

Employees of Vancouver Island University are covered by the Workers' Compensation Board of BC ( WorkSafeBC) if they are injured during the course of their employment. The process for reporting injuries/incidents can be found on VIU's Health and Safety website. The Incident Report form needs to be filled out and submitted to the Health and Safety Office.

Certificates of Insurance

Certificates of Insurance are issued to organizations requesting proof of VIU’s insurance before a contract or agreement is signed. Requests for certificates can be made by anyone in the University that is entering into the contract.

Waivers

WAIVER, RELEASE, AND DISCLAIMER? Are they effective in the transfer of risk?

A waiver and release are very similar and generally have the same effect in a contract.  Both attempt to relieve one party to an agreement from a responsibility or obligation that it may otherwise have.

With a waiver, one party agrees to voluntarily give up a right that it has (i.e. the right is waived).

A release means that one party is relieving the other from an obligation or responsibility.  Both are often used when there is some risk associated with an activity that could appropriately be assumed by the individual undertaking that activity.  For example, an employee agrees to waive his/her right to claim against an institution and/or release the institution from any claims in exchange for permission to use the gym or shop for their own personal use in the evening.  It is possible that injury could result for reasons that are not the fault of the institution and it is reasonable to expect the employee to assume the responsibility and risk for these activities.

A disclaimer is used by a party seeking to be relieved of a responsibility or obligation related to the subject of the disclaimer.  A common example would be with respect to the donation of used sports equipment to a sports club.  The institution may disclaim any warranty of merchantability or fitness of purpose (obligations which usually exist when distributing or supplying a product).  Disclaimers are often used in conjunction with a waiver or release.  

Generally waivers can be enforced where it is demonstrated that the individual understood the consequences of a waiver and chose to proceed with the activity (and the waiver) in any event. This supports the concept of informed consent – if the risks are understood and assumed by the individual providing the waiver, others should be able to rely on the waiver.  It is also important to recognize that waivers/releases/disclaimers will not generally be enforceable where the loss arises from gross negligence or willful misconduct of the other party.

Even if a waiver/release cannot be enforced at law, there is often value in their inclusion in an agreement.  It will alert the party granting the waiver/release that possible risks are associated and helps demonstrate thoughtful consideration of the undertaking.

It is important to note that a parent or guardian cannot waive the rights of a minor (although the parent or guardian can waive their own right to claim).

Newsletters

UCIPP publishes their Risk 101 Newsletter three times a year to provide it's members with pertinent information and updates on the services they provide.