EIB-R: Liability Insurance

E: Support Services


Merely participating in the everyday activities of life provides a degree of hazard.  In the event of a mishap, the loss or injury must be borne by the individual responsible.  It is only when the law finds someone else legally liable that a damage action can be successful.  The Board of School Trustees (the “Board”), as employer, would also be liable if the teacher is acting within the scope of his/her employment.  For teachers, the best protection against such liability is careful planning, the acceptance and use of proven procedures and standards, and the presence of well-qualified leaders. When a student is injured while participating in school activities, either inside or outside the school premises, the student has no claim for damages against the Board or the teacher unless negligence on the part of the Board or the teacher is proven to have resulted in the injury. 

Liability for injury resulting from poor supervision can be established when the following conditions exist:

  • the standard of care that a court of law would likely use as a criterion in negligence action is that exercised by a careful parent of a large family.  It is the duty or obligation of a teacher to use a standard of care for the protection of others against unreasonable risk of injury. 
  • failure to conform to the above standard; and
  • a reasonably close connection between the conduct of the person in charge and the resulting injury; and
  • actual loss or damage to the injured person.

Insurance Coverage during Field Studies 

Teachers, in order to feel comfortable and secure when involved in out-of-classroom activities, should be aware of their legal rights and protection as a Board employee.  The following information outlines the Board's insurance policy as it relates to field study.

Under the terms of the policy, parents are considered as volunteer workers and, as such, the policy protects the Board and the volunteers for liability imposed by law as a result of possible negligence by one of these volunteer workers. 

If the supervisors of the group are negligent in the care and custody of the students, both the Board and the supervisor are protected. 

The Board, teachers, and volunteers are protected on a "24-hour basis" during the field study.  The coverage is in effect so long as teachers and volunteers are acting within the scope of their employment; for example, a teacher would not be covered if a student was taken on an unauthorized venture for personal reasons during the field study.  Similarly, the teacher might also not be covered if a field study was organized without getting the permission of the principal.  If the Board were held liable by the courts as a result of such unauthorized activity, it would be covered under its policy, but the insurers may have the right to recover from the teacher any payment that it is obliged to make on behalf of the Board. 

Comprehensive Garage Liability (applies to secondary schools only) 

In the event of an accident or possible claim against damage to a customer’s automobile (Collision: $300 deductible; Comprehensive: $300 deductible), the procedure as stated below must be followed: 

All incidents must be reported to the Insurance Corporation of B.C. (ICBC) giving details of the insurance policy by the school reporting the incident directly to ICBC (Dial-A-Claim: 604-520-8222). This will expedite the processing of the claim in cases where repairs may be involved.  A copy of the report must be forwarded to the Secretary-Treasurer’s Office for information. 

ICBC will analyse each situation on an individual basis and advise the school how to proceed; i.e., cost estimates, repairs by school, etc. 

School Protection Program (SPP) Incident Report 

Prompt notice must be given to the SPP of any event/incident likely to give rise to a claim.  Serious incidents should be reported by telephone or fax immediately to the SPP. 

The Schools Protection Program (SPP) Incident Report Form (Form No. REP SO 001) is a provincial form completed by all school districts in the Province to report incidents including accidents / injuries to a student, parent, volunteer, visitor (not for staff - staff are covered under WCB), and for damages / loss to school property over $3,000. 

Guidelines regarding the completion of incident reports may be found in the SPP Principal’s Handbook to School Insurance.

DMT Responsibility: S-T

Cross References: 
IICA: Field Studies
Revision Date: 
Sep 1994
Jan 1999