BNS Insurance Update to Members and Associated & Affiliated Clubs / Organizations

Insurance Policy Review

Over the past two years, Bicycle Nova Scotia has been working to ensure that we are doing our best in providing our members and member organizations with the most cost effective and appropriate insurance coverage for competitive and non-competitive activities. We’ve committed to make bicycling better in Nova Scotia, no matter how, when or what you ride. Part of this has been to review our insurance coverage – and this has been a significant undertaking by our Board of Directors and staff.

Why the review?

We have long held an insurance policy with Holman Insurance through our affiliation with Cycling Canada Association (CCA). This has served to ensure that our competitive sector and sanctioned races are insured. However, as our recreational and active transportation, recreation and touring work and participation rate has increased in the past few years, we were unable to cover these activities through Holman, despite several attempts. We recognized that this left many of our recreational clubs without adequate insurance. As a result, we took out a second insurance policy with OASIS so that Associate Clubs were able to access insurance for their members and activities. This solved some of the problem – but also created others.


What did we find?

In the fall of 2016 we consulted with an insurance expert who conducted a review of our two policies and their alignment with BNS activities. This review raised some significant concerns, which are outlined below:

  • Risk of multiple policies: Having two insurance policies left us vulnerable to being caught in a dispute between the insurance providers over responsibility in the event of a claim. The review also noted a lack of clarity as to which insurance policy would come into play in the event of a claim. Finally, it was probably that BNS was duplicating coverage in certain areas by holding two policies.
  • Directors & Officers Insurance: Our Oasis insurance policy did not include any Directors and Officers (D&O) coverage, leaving our volunteer board open to risk regarding any non-competition related activities. While D&O insurance is covered under our Holman insurance, that insurance is limited to an aggregate across all insured cycling organizations – meaning that if the limit of 5,000,000.00 was reached by other organizations in Canada, and there was an issue with BNS, directors risk not being covered. There was also an aggregate limit for legal costs.

Following this review, we determined the best course of action was to seek out a single insurer that could meet all of our needs as a sport, recreation and cycling advocacy organization. We are one of two organizations in Canada that includes recreation, advocacy and sport within its mandate, and we have made a concerted effort to keep all cycling sectors under one roof so that they may benefit each other.


Resulting Changes from Insurance Review

Through the efforts of our Board and specifically those of Director at Large, Maryellen Donovan, we engaged Marsh Insurance to provide us with options. Marsh came back with a review of several different insurers and at the December 2016 BNS board meeting, we voted to terminate our policies with Holman and Oasis and take out a new comprehensive policy with Sutton.


What are the key elements of BNS’s New Insurance Policy relevant to members, clubs and organizers?

Commercial General Liability (CGL)

  • Limit $5,000,000 per occurrence and $5,000,000 annual aggregate
  • Trigger of coverage: negligence causing property damage and/or bodily injury
  • Not to be confused with Sport Accident suffered by a participant during a race for AD&D.
  • Includes coverage for liquor liability, abuse liability, personal injury (libel, slander, mental anguish)
  • Day of event riders cost $1.00 per event (need to track)
    • Warranties include:
      • Helmet condition – all participants must wear
      • Waiver requirement – all clubs (associated and affiliated) must use designated waiver


Sport Accident

  • Benefit Limit $50,000
  • Coverage for accident/injury or sickness which first manifests itself while participating in a sanctioned cycling event (includes recreational rides by member clubs)
  • Participant must be a registered member of BNS
  • Coverage is excess provincial MSI plans unless no provincial support is available.
  • Available for Canadian events only


How do changes affect clubs?

  • Associate Clubs: Recreational/non-competitive clubs and cycling organizations may elect to become Associated Clubs with BNS for $110. BNS is discontinuing it’s Oasis Policy, which was formerly available to these clubs; however, BNS’s Marsh Insurance Policy is now available to them.
    • Associated Clubs are not automatically added to the BNS Marsh Insurance Policy. Associated Clubs may elect to opt-in to the policy for a cost of $16.50 per member
    • Associate Club members opting-in to the program will now benefit from Sport Accident liability coverage, which was not offered under the Oasis Policy.
    • Associated Clubs wishing to opt-in to the BNS Marsh Insurance Policy are asked to contact Bicycle Nova Scotia.


  • Affiliate Clubs: Clubs wishing to participate in BNS sanctioned competitions must join as Affiliated Clubs. All Affiliate Club members become members of Bicycle Nova Scotia for a fee of $25.00 per member.


How does this new insurance change our costs?

Overall, our new insurance policy is less expensive than our old insurance policies – and based on 500 members we will pay $16.50 per member. As our membership increases, the per-member cost will likely go down.


What is next?

AD&D Proposal: At our February 26th, 2017 Annual General Meeting, we put forward and received support from our members to continue our efforts to provide Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance. We will provide an update on this in our next newsletter – but essentially this means that for a relatively low annual cost, BNS members would be covered for all cycling activity, not just on sanctioned or BNS related events. If you are commuting to work and hit by a car – your medical expenses would be covered. If you are riding on a single track trail in one of our mountain bike facilities – you would be covered. This is a significant opportunity for all cyclists in Nova Scotia.

Risk Management Policies: BNS will be working with Marsh to standardize risk management policies and procedures across all of our sectors. We will provide an update on this work as it develops. We look forward to providing uniform guidance on risk management practices to all of our clubs and members.