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Insurance Overview

Insurance is based upon the existence of risk, and risk is often referred to as the subject of an insurance contract.

The key component of the University’s risk financing is its insurance portfolio which is used to protect the University’s physical assets, limit its exposure to liability claims, and guarantee revenue in the event of a disruption to the operation.

 The policies described below provide an example of the type policies available to the University and its broader community. 




    Each year, the University subscribes to a Commercial Automobile Policy, which provides insurance coverage for University-owned or leased vehicles, and their drivers. The automobile policy coverage includes:

    • Third party liability for property damage or bodily injury to others;
    • Accident benefits which includes the cost of medical expenses and possible loss of income due to injuries sustained while driving the vehicle;
    • Physical damage caused by collision or comprehensive losses to University-owned or leased vehicles over 30 days.

    The use of University-owned or leased vehicles is limited to approved University business only. Personal use of any University vehicle is strictly prohibited.

    Drivers operating a University-owned vehicle for any period of time must have a valid driver’s license with the appropriate class. Risk Management must be notified of all individuals who are operating university vehicles for any period of time.

    All University vehicles are equipped with a pink liability slip that provides our insurance company’s name and the University’s policy number. Please reach out to if a replacement card is required.

    What Isn't Covered

    Short-term vehicle rentals (less than 30 days) are not included in the University's automobile insurance policy. Such rental arrangements must include appropriate insurance coverage. When making plans to rent a vehicle beyond 30 days, please reach out to Risk Management to ensure there is adequate coverage available to the rental vehicle.

    If a personal vehicle is used to transport students and/or employees (e.g.; field trips, conferences), the insurance covering that specific vehicle is considered the primary carrier and could respond in the event of an accident, whether the driver is a University member or anyone else driving the vehicle with permission of the vehicle's owner. The university's liability is limited to the mileage expense incurred.

    Members of the University should be governed by good business practices when requesting staff and students to use their vehicles for business purposes. Please note: Private insurance companies require individuals to carry business insurance when using their private vehicle for employment purposes.

    Licensing Requirements for University Drivers

    The following documents must be established and shared with Risk Management in order to qualify a NEW driver under the University’s insurance policy:

    1. Signed release of information
    2. Drivers Abstract, 3 years
    3. Proof of current Insurance
    4. Copy of Driver’s license – front and back
    Annual University Driver Reporting Requirements 

    An abstract must be completed at the time of the University’s annual policy renewal for all listed drivers (April 1). This includes all University members. An annual abstract will not be required for any drivers added within 6 months of the policy renewal. Risk Management will request this information at the time of renewal from the appropriate contact within the unit.

    Risk Mitigation Strategies to Consider Before Using the Vehicle

    Know your Route: Before getting into the vehicle, please take the time to make sure you know where you are going, the route you should be taking, and expected travel time given the road conditions and time of day.

    Check Weather and Driving Conditions: Check both the road conditions and weather conditions anticipated along your route. Use the Weather Network or other reliable apps to determine anticipated weather. If the weather is expected to be poor, consider whether or not your scheduled activity can be postponed or deferred. Please always err on the side of caution when determining whether to drive in known hazardous conditions. As a reminder: the driver is responsible for the vehicle and must maintain control of the vehicle at all times.

    Snow tires are strongly recommended for driving during the winter months.

    Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection: This is important for your safety, the safety of others, and the protection of the vehicle.

    The Vehicle:
    • Complete a walk around of the vehicle to look for any recent damage or mechanical defects.
    • Ensure all vehicle lights/turn lights are in working order
    • Check tire pressure
    • Remove all ice and snow
    • Check all mirrors/windshields for cracks
    • Ensure the seat, seatbelt, chair, mirrors are adjusted appropriately for the driver
    The Cabin:
    • Free of loose materials
    • Vehicle equipment secured and tied down
    • Tie-downs/clamps are used properly and are secure
    • Back doors are closed and securely locked
    Fluids to Check Under the Hood Regularly: 
    • Engine oil
    • Washer fluid
    • Radiator fluid
    • Transmission fluid
    • Power steering fluid
    Vehicle Road Kit: It is recommended that each University vehicle driven should be equipped with an emergency road kit in cases of unfortunate circumstances. The kit may include any or all of the following items:
    • First aid kit
    • Fire extinguisher
    • Triangles or cones
    • Work gloves
    • Hand wipes
    • Flashlight, with extra batteries
    • Emergency thermal blanket, food and water, road flares
    • Booster cables
    • Scraper
    • Shovel
    • Tire repair kit
    • Extra windshield washer fluid
    • Antifreeze
    Other Key Considerations While Operating the Vehicle
    • Drivers are expected to always operate the vehicle in accordance with the Laws of the Province;
    • The vehicle should be parked in well-lit areas, and locked at all times when parked;
    • Avoid leaving valuable items in the vehicle or in plain view in the vehicle. Use the trunk if necessary to secure items;
    • Avoid leaving the vehicle idling; 
    • Refrain from identification tags on the vehicle key ring;
    • When the vehicle is not being driven, the vehicle keys should be secured in a locked cabinet, and not accessible to others;
    • A vehicle notebook should be kept in the glove compartment to record and manage all journeys taken with the vehicle, including dates, times, kilometers driven, driver name, and note any infractions while driving the vehicle.

    For more information on safe and responsible driving, please visit the Ministry website. 


    The non-owned automobile policy complements the standard automobile policy and covers claims for bodily injury or property damage arising out of the use of automobiles not owned by the University. This policy applies to short-term rented vehicles (less than 30 days), provided the University's name is on the agreement and the vehicle is being used for University sanctioned business. This policy extends to rental vehicles rented within Canada. 

    Laws regulating insurance claims that arise from rented vehicles vary depending upon the country in which the rental is taken. It is strongly encouraged that while on University sanctioned business, the University member purchases the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), also known as Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) from the rental company. If Third Party Liability and Personal Accident Coverage is available through the rental agency, it should also be purchased. This includes rental vehicles while traveling abroad.

    Bank of Montreal (BMO) Credit Card Rental Coverage  

    The University subscribes to a corporate credit card through the BMO. If you have been provided with a credit card, you have access to car rental benefits called Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) provided under the card as a primary cardholder. There are several conditions, limitations, and exclusions to the policy which should be considered prior to waiving the CDW available from the rental facility.  Please read the Certificate of Insurance booklet provided by the credit card company, Section 4 Coverage, and Description of Benefits. The coverage is available for up to  a specified amount for:

    • Damage to the rental vehicle;
    • Theft of the rental vehicle or any of its parts or accessories; and
    • Rental agency charges for valid loss-of-use, while the rental vehicle is being repaired; and
    • Reasonable and customary charges for towing the rental vehicle to the nearest available facility.

    This coverage does not provide any form of third-party automobile, property damage or personal liability insurance.

    If there are any incidents of property damage or injury resulting from the use of a rental vehicle, please contact Risk Management.


    Coverage available under the University's Property Insurance protects the University from any incidents or accidents that may cause physical loss or damage to assets of the University. This policy indemnifies the University for its loss and the loss of its income-producing ability.

    What Isn't Covered

    Personal property (e.g.; laptop, cellphone, motor vehicle) of University members and/or the public is not covered by the University’s property policy. Members of the University and the public are responsible for their own property and should be aware of the insurance provisions of their personal property policy while using it for University-affiliated activities. In the case of an incident or accident, contact should be made with their personal property insurance provider for further information.


    This policy agrees to provide coverage to the University against liability claims for bodily injury, personal injury, or property damage, arising out of its operation or to those considered as additional insured's while acting on behalf of the University. 

    This policy covers University members and all operations which represent scheduled University activities and extends to all students, as long as they are acting under the direction of a University staff member and the occurrence takes place during an authorized University activity. This extension, however, does not apply to students acting in any way as a protest against the University of Ontario Institute of Technology or any part of it (e.g.; strikes, demonstrations).

    These policies are procured to cover damage or loss during the course of the construction of a new building or renovation project on campus.

    This policy applies to all Board of Governors, students, contract staff and volunteers of the University that require medical attention or emergency assistance while traveling on a planned trip approved by the University. The coverage is to protect these individuals from a sudden or unexpected illness or injury that may occur while on a sanctioned trip.

    What Isn't Covered

    This coverage does not extend to University staff or faculty.

    For staff and faculty that are BMO Corporate Account Primary Cardholders, please read the BMO Certificate of Insurance and Summary of Assistance Services booklet for clarity on insurance coverage. For more information please contact Human Resources. 



    This policy provides coverage to active Ontario Tech University students, participating in a university approved work placement or volunteer setting and are not covered under Workers' Compensation, WSIB, or Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities (MTCU) coverage. 

    Coverage is applicable to any accident while participating in paid or unpaid work placements or volunteer setting arranged or approved by the University, including while traveling to and from the work placement (most direct route).

    The policy provides coverage worldwide.

    This policy extends to include the following range of placements:

    • elective programs
    • Internships
    • volunteer work placements
    • co-op placements
    • Work placements as a graduate student
    • Bridge Programs
    • Work or Volunteer Placements that occur on University Premises
    • Practicums for which there is no evaluation component is covered
    • Students gathering information for research (where the student is not employed by the university)
    • Courses and programs that are not funded by the Government agency through operating grants are covered
    • Graduate students participating in field placements or site visits for the purposes of skill development
    • Student Trainees whose work placement is within the same University that trains them
    • Job Shadowing

    What Isn't Covered

    Coverage is not provided for International Student Trainees who are on work placement outside of Canada and such work placement occurs within the Student Trainee’s country of primary residence. However, coverage does apply for International Student Trainees who are on work placements outside of Canada, other than their country of primary residence.


    While damage to cargo in transit is a covered loss under the University's property insurance policy, the property policy carries a large deductible which is typically higher than the value of the goods being shipped.

    The University procures cargo insurance on an as needed basis for cargo in transit which may fall under the deductible.

    This insurance covers physical loss or damage of goods carried by vessel, road, rail, aircraft, post, or by any other conveyance. This insurance protects those who have an insurable and/or financial interest in the cargo. Coverage ranges from All Risks to Named Perils, with common extensions as well as customized wording. 

    Please reach out to Risk Management for further information or to secure a quote for insurance.