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Ontario Underwater Council

Mission: to promote the sport of scuba diving in Ontario through safety, advocacy,
cultural & environmental awareness
, self-governance.....and fun!

Liability Insurance Page

OUC's Insurance Page

Risk Management | What Does This Mean | Disclaimer | Why OUC Insurance |
Policy Coverage | Not Covered | Requirements | Liability Release |

The goals of this OUC page and the "Club Insurance Requirements and Risk Management Document" are to:
  1. define the Requirements for Club Diving Activities that have been discussed and communicated to our insurers. Agreement by our insurers makes this document a binding interpretation of the Policy.
  2. provide strong recommendations for mitigating risk.
There are 3 components to the "Club Insurance Requirements and Risk Management Document".
  1. Insurers Requirements
  2. OUC Implementation / Administration / Safety Requirements
  3. OUC Recommendations for Risk Mitigation
The "Club Insurance Requirements and Risk Management Document" is a living document. We ask our member clubs to review the document with regard to future safety revisions. OUC will consider additional safety requirements as submitted by clubs. In order to implement new, or modify OUC based safety requirements, a 2/3 (two-thirds) vote of the membership would be required. This could be done at an AGM or a special meeting.

Member clubs are encouraged to submit new recommendations or revisions to existing recommendations to OUC at any time.

If safety is compromised, our ability to secure affordable insurance will be at risk and the potential for government intervention will increase. OUC negotiates an insurance policy annually with its insurance provider on behalf its member Scuba Clubs. Our ability to secure favorable coverages and rates is based upon the risk associated with our activities, our past claims history and our approach to Risk Management.

OUC is the de-facto Provincial Sport Organization (PSO) for scuba diving in Ontario, and while it is not a regulatory or policing body, it is OUC's mandate to make safe diving recommendations to members and to the diving community in general.

What is Risk Management?

Risk Management is the process of identifying and analyzing the risk factors involved in our activity. It is the proactive steps that we take to mitigate those risks and to ensure avoidable accidents are being prevented.

All of us are responsible for managing risk within and outside the OUC. The board, all clubs, individual members and even volunteers have an important role in ensuring we perform diving, training and non-diving activities in a proactive manner. We must always ensure that safety is top of mind.

What does this mean to me as an OUC Member Club?

Member Clubs are asked to review and understand the OUC Insurance Requirements and Risk Management Document. You are asked to abide by the protocols in order to ensure all members are able to enjoy their diving experience in a safe manner. Working together we can all make a difference.


Certain personal risks are inherent in most sports, and the sport of scuba diving is no exception.

Breathing compressed air involves certain inherent risks; including but not limited to decompression sickness, embolism, and other hyperbaric/air expansion injuries that may require treatment in a recompression chamber.

Furthermore, open water diving trips may be conducted at sites that are remote, either by time, distance, or both, from such recompression chambers.

Neither the Ontario Underwater Council, its member clubs, nor its members including but not limited to employees, offices and directors, agents, contractors, or assigns, volunteers, participants including other divers, instructors and trainers may be held liable or responsible in any way for any injury, death or damages sustained as a result of members or non-members taking these risks.

Why the OUC Insurance Policy?

The Ontario Underwater Council offers a comprehensive liability insurance policy to it's member clubs.

Most Scuba Clubs in Ontario require proof of Liability Insurance Coverage for their day-to-day operations.

If your Club is like most, these operations include renting swimming pools, instructing students, hosting experience/discover scuba events, and running dive trips.

In the event that these operations result in property damage, injury, or death, then your Club's Liability Insurance Policy is there to protect you, your Club, your Executive, your Instructors, your Dive Masters, and your Members from the risk of expensive liability litigation.

Every year Ontario Underwater Council uses the collective buying power of its Member Scuba Clubs to negotiate the best Liability Insurance Coverage for the best value for its members. "Best value" means savings to Member Clubs in the range of 50% compared to commercially-available coverage on the street.

As a result of this constant yearly improvement, OUC's policy is now rated #1 by the majority of Ontario Scuba Club Presidents.

What the Policy Covers

Our policy provides the following:

Coverages through Pearson Dunn (Underwritten by Aviva Canada)

  • $5,000,000 Commercial General Liability/per occurrence
  • Worldwide coverage = suits brought in Canada or USA
  • $500 Deductible
  • $5,000,000 Incidental Medical Malpractice (Non-Professionals)
  • $5,000,000 Participant Liability
  • $250,000 Blanket Broad Form Tenants Legal Liability
  • $1,000 Voluntary Medical Payments (Third Party)
  • $5,000,000 Personal Injury/Advertisers Injury Liability
  • Facility Owners, Sponsors, Government Departments, Municipalities as additional insureds
  • $5,000,000 Employers Liability
  • $1,000,000 Errors & Omissions/Directors & Officers(Wrongful Acts)/per occurrence
  • $5,000,000 Premises, Property and Operations Liability
  • Host liquor liability for annual awards ceremonies and wind up banquets (1 single event per year)
  • $5,000,000 Products & Completed Operations Liability/Aggregate Limit $3,000,000
  • Cross Liability Clause Included

Endorsements through GameDay Insurance
  • Insurance provided by this policy also applies to bodily injury or property damage arising out of the ownership, use & operation of the Insured's Watercraft of not more than 15 meters in length and for sanctioned events only.
  • It is further understood and agreed that the following amendment covers a watercraft you do not own that is not more than 15 meters in length and for sanctioned events only.
Please Note: The above is a summary only of coverages and exclusions. For a complete wording of the policy, please refer to the Policy Document.

What the Policy Does Not Cover

Our insurer has placed the following restrictions on the policy:
  • Only Supervised Diving Activities are covered by this Policy. Solo Diving is NOT covered under any circumstances. To see more details regarding solo diving, refer to the Policy Document.

  • This policy will only cover one (1) sanctioned event per year where alcohol is served. If an Insured OUC Member Club wishes to have alcohol at other events, the club must submit the event to the OUC with the details. The event will be submitted to the insurer and a quote will be provided for each event. The insurer (Pearson Dunn) will bill the club directly if both are in agreement. For more details on optional coverage costs, please refer to the Policy Document.


The Requirements in this document only apply to clubs and those members of the clubs who are enrolled in OUC's Insurance Policy. Non-diving Volunteers are covered when participating in sanctioned activities of the insured clubs. Divers enrolled through the Guest Diver program are covered when diving with any OUC Insured Member Club as a guest member of that insured club.

This document lists the Requirements which must be met by all OUC Insured Member Clubs according to the Policy Outline from Pearson Dunn. Requirements quoted below:

Policy Requirements

These Requirements must be met in order for OUC Member Clubs and Club Members to be covered by this policy.
  1. All Member Clubs and all Club Members must be OUC members in good standing and enrolled in the policy.
  2. All persons taking scuba courses with an OUC insured member Club must be OUC insured members, with the exception of Discover Scuba / Experience Scuba participants.
  3. All activities must be sanctioned by the Member Club's Executive and by OUC.
  4. All diving activities must be supervised. Participants must not dive solo during any sanctioned activities.
  5. All divers must hold a valid certification issued by a recognized certifying organization.
  6. All Recreational dives must be planned and conducted within generally accepted Recreational / Sport Scuba limits.
  7. All dives (recreational or technical) must be planned and conducted within the standards, procedures, policies and limits of the certifying organization for the certification provided.
  8. Alcohol must not be consumed during any sanctioned activities, with the exception of one (1) sanctioned annual banquet / dance / awards night activity.
The OUC "Club Insurance Requirements and Risk Management Document" has been discussed and communicated to Pearson Dunn and is acceptable as the valid implementation of these Requirements.

Members are encouraged to follow the additional Recommendations in the document and to dive more conservatively than just meeting the minimum Requirements.

The OUC is available to review the Policy Requirements and Recommendations with the clubs upon request. We would be pleased to work with the clubs in developing / implementing any of the items in this document or on Scuba Diving issues in general.

This policy has certain requirements which must be met in order for events to be covered. For more details on these requirements, please refer to the Policy Document.

OUC Liability Release and Assumption of Risk Agreement

OUC recommends that all Club members complete and sign a Liability Release and Assumption of Risk Agreement annually on joining or on membership renewal relative to any Club and OUC sanctioned activities they may be participating in.

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