CALPs and Insurance
Donna Christensen, Community Learning Network
Insurance is an essential part of doing business, even when your business is adult learning. It is also a requirement of the CALP Guidelines! So, when I had questions about the kind of insurance CALPs were required to have, I started doing a little sleuthing!
In this blog, I limit my discussion to general liability insurance and Workers Compensation Board (WCB) insurance. However, there are other types of insurance your CALP should consider that will not be discussed here.
My sleuthing began with a discussion with our Community Learning Network (CLN) Executive Director, Lisa Dickner. She pointed me to the CALP Guidelines; so this is where we begin our journey. Here is what the CALP Guidelines say about general liability insurance:
Insure the operations of the organization under a contract of general liability insurance, in an amount of not less than $2,000,000 inclusive per occurrence. Operations must be insured against bodily injury, personal injury and property damage, including loss of use. In cases where the service organization is not a legal entity, this requirement is the responsibility of the Legal Host (p. 43 CALP Guidelines).
I will go out on a limb and say that you all carry some form of liability insurance, but what does that cover? Taking some time to review your policy coverage is important. If you have questions, reach out to your insurance professionals and have them translate from “Insurance” to “Plain Language” for you. You can also find a good description of Commercial General Liability Insurance (CGL) on page nine of the Insurance Toolkit for the Voluntary Sector .
If your organization works with volunteers, you may also want to look at the changes that came into effect in Alberta under the “Freedom to Care” act in September 2021. This legislation is specific to liability insurance for volunteers. You can find more information online at https://www.alberta.ca/freedom-to-care-about-the-legislation.aspx.
My sleuthing continued and although the reference to Workers Compensation Board (WCB) coverage is somewhat ambiguous, but it also is found in the CALP Guidelines:
Comply with Alberta’s Personal Information Protection Act and Workers’ Compensation Act, if applicable (p.44, CALP Guidelines).
In this CALP Guidelines reference, WCB coverage seems, at first glance to be optional, but a closer look at the WCB site uncovered this little gem, which indicates that WCB coverage is compulsory for CALPs
Community Adult Learning Centres (CALCs) are classified in this industry, on a compulsory basis. These are non-profit organizations funded primarily by the provincial government through Alberta Learning. The councils are encouraged to collaborate with community groups to sponsor, develop and deliver volunteer tutoring for adult literacy programs in their communities. The CALCs' mandate is to identify needs and provide educational opportunities, which fulfill these needs for adults in the community.(https://rm.wcb.ab.ca/WCB.RateManual.WebServer/Industry/IndustryDetails/80301)
Types of WCB coverage
Let’s talk about some of the benefits this coverage offers. A workplace injury can be difficult and stressful for everyone involved. Workers' compensation insurance is no-fault insurance providing:
- Medical and return-to-work support services.
Your injured workers will have access to the appropriate medical services to help them safely return to work. This includes chiropractic treatments, physiotherapy, counselling, etc.
Protection against loss of income. Compensation for lost wages is based on 90 per cent of the worker's net earnings or income.
- Lawsuit protection. This includes protection for you, your workers and other parties covered by WCB. (If you're incorporated, the directors must carry optional personal coverage to be protected from lawsuit. Personal coverage provides you with access to the same benefits and services available through workers' compensation insurance.
Clearance Letters (Proof of WCB Coverage)
When you are hiring contracted instructors or other contract employees, you can ensure they also have WCB coverage by getting a Clearance Letter. This is how you determine if your instructors need to be covered under your CALP’s WCB or if they already have their own. Getting a Clearance Letter is quick, easy and free! Just log into your WCB account and fill out the form.
So while insurance can seem complex, having a good understanding of what insurance our organizations need, what coverage we have, and what potential risks may not be covered is an important part of our business responsibility.
Looking for more information?
There are several resources on the CALP Portal that provide information and resources for insurance (log into the Portal first) including a recorded webinar!
The Government of Alberta also has some very helpful resources online, including the Insurance Toolkit for the Volunteer Sector which provides a lot of information on different types of insurance for nonprofits.
If you have questions about requirements under the Guidelines, reach out to the CALP grant management team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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