The information contained in this section is based on the MNL Municipal General Insurance Program provided by Cal LeGrow Insurance. If your municipality isn’t yet a member, click here to learn how to join.

Does our policy cover municipal outdoor recreation facilities like playgrounds and skateboard parks?

If you’re looking at physical damage for fire insurance or vandalism claims, the locations and structures need to be listed on the property schedule. If it isn’t listed as a property, it isn’t covered. However, if anyone was injured while using one of your facilities, they’re covered under the general liability section of the policy. The carrier takes care of any investigation or defense of any claims brought against your municipality.

What’s the timeline for bringing a claim against a municipality?

When it comes to playgrounds and recreational facilities, an injured person has two years to bring a suit against whoever they feel is responsible. But if a child is involved, a claim can be made up to two years after they reach the age of majority. If a parent doesn’t present a claim for their injured child, it’s possible for the claim to rise again later on. From a risk management standpoint, it’s important to keep records of all injuries.

Does our municipal liability cover our walking trails?

Yes. The liability section of the municipal general insurance program with MNL covers all usual operations, ownership and/or operation of walking trails, whether they’re within the boundary or extending just outside of it.

Does our policy cover portable deep fryers used occasionally for fundraising events?

Yes, as long as they’re UL approved fryers. Never use an open pot to cook fat. Make sure a fully serviced fire extinguisher is available and located near the fryer (but not too close that it’s inaccessible in the event of a fat fire). If your facility has a permanently installed commercial fryer, you need to have the CO2 wet system installed.

Can firefighters use their own vehicles when responding to emergencies on behalf of our municipality?

They can use their vehicle to go to the scene of the emergency. We recommend they check with the provider of their auto insurance first, since that’s who would respond if there was an incident involving the vehicle. The firefighter still needs to operate their vehicle in a safe manner and follow the rules of the road. For example, they can’t speed in a non-emergency vehicle.

If the fire department responds to a call with the ambulance service and are asked to help with the patient, are they covered under the Town’s policy?

Yes. They’re covered under the liability section of the municipal program. If they injure that patient–for example, while lifting them–we’d investigate and defend a resulting claim against the municipality and firefighter if necessary. This also applies if you provide services other than firefighting, like emergency medical.

If the fire department is called to the scene of a vehicle accident or fire and has to provide medical services, is there coverage available?

Yes. There’s an added endorsement under your policy’s liability section. It’s in place to protect the firefighter and cover basic first aid while they wait for a full medical response. The policy isn’t intended to cover paramedics, so even if the firefighter is a paramedic by profession, they won’t be covered in that capacity at this time. Think of it as coverage for a firefighter to provide immediate medical assistance while waiting for an ambulance.

Are council members covered under the Employee Dishonesty Bond portion of our policy?

Yes. The definition of ‘employee’ under the policy includes all staff members. The Employee Dishonesty Bond protects the municipality if an employee is stealing money. We’ve extended the policy definition to include the mayor and counsellors.

Does the policy cover injuries sustained while volunteering for the municipality?

There are two separate sections of the policy that provide coverage. One is under the ‘medical payments’ section. The limit is $25,000, which provides coverage for medical expenses caused by an accident while the volunteer is acting on behalf of and at the direction of the municipality. Volunteers aren’t covered by Workers’ Compensation. Under the ‘voluntary compensation benefits’ section, there’s coverage for loss of income up to a maximum of $250, and a $25,000 loss of life benefit.

Does the policy cover the municipal wharf?

The liability section covers all usual municipal operations, which would include the ownership of a wharf. However, if there are any marine or water-related services being provided–like launching or removing vessels, selling vessels or fuel services–you’ll need a separate marina liability policy.

If a municipality serves alcohol at an event, is this exposure covered under the policy? What about BYOB events?

Yes, it’s in the liability section of the policy. The event has to be managed by the municipality, not a third party. Parties, celebrations, Come Home Year and Canada Day events will be covered as long as you’re following the proper liquor laws and can provide documentation when asked.

Does the policy cover individuals or groups renting municipal facilities?

If someone is injured and they bring a claim against the municipality, they’re covered. But it doesn’t offer liability protection if the individual or group is sued for the activity.

For example, if someone attending the event consumed food prepared by the host renting the facility, and the attendee sued the municipality and the third party host, the municipal policy provider would investigate and defend on behalf of the town. But the host would need their own insurance to cover claims against them as a third party.

Are committees and associations covered under the municipal policy?

If they’re an arm of council, they receive the same coverage and benefits as the incorporated municipality. For example, the fire department would be considered an arm of council and are covered under the policy. If your municipality had a recreation committee who took care of your recreational activities, as long as they’re acting on behalf of and at the direction of the town, they’ll enjoy the same policy benefits.

Can the fire department respond to fire emergencies in a neighbouring municipality?

Yes, there’s nothing in the policy that restricts you from responding to emergencies outside of your boundary. We know some municipalities have mutual aid agreements, but we’ll still cover those who don’t have one in place.

Can the municipality clear snow from residents’ driveways?

Residential snow removal is covered by the policy if location or ability prevents the resident (ie. a senior) from clearing the driveway themselves. If you’re providing the service and charging a fee like a general contractor, ask your account manager how it may affect coverage.

Does Municipal General Liability cover injury to activity participants?

It sure does. Unlike many other policies that have a participants exclusion, ours includes participants. If someone gets injured during a recreational activity, we’d investigate any claims against the municipality and determine liability.

Who’s covered under Municipal Errors & Omissions Liability?

The Municipal Errors and Omissions Policy covers the incorporated municipality, its boards, commissions and special purpose bodies (including both past and present members), and members on those boards. It includes both past and present elected officials, employees and volunteers acting on behalf of and at the direction of the municipality. This includes both past and present members of those groups.

What’s the difference between Municipal General Liability and Municipal Errors & Omissions Liability?

Municipal General Liability is automatically included in your policy. Municipal Errors and Omissions Liability would have to be added.

General liability protects against property damage and bodily injury caused (or alleged to have been caused) by your operations, such as water and sewer, recreational activities, snow clearing, etc.

Errors and Omissions Liability protects you against claims arising from decisions you’ve made that result in a financial loss to a third party. For example, council issues a building permit, and part way through construction by a third party, it’s discovered the permit was issued in error. If that error cause the property owner to invest money into the structure and suffered a financial loss–and they bring a claim against your municipality–this situation would be covered under Errors and Omissions Liability. Your operations didn’t cause physical damage to the owner’s property, but your wrongful action caused them financial loss.

Would a lawyer or other professional employee of a municipality be protected under the Municipal Errors & Omissions Liability coverage?

Yes, they’d be covered, since they’d be considered an employee of the municipality.

Who can operate a municipal vehicle?

Your policy covers any person the municipality permits to drive a vehicle or operate equipment, as long as they have the proper license.

Do drivers need to have an air brake endorsement on their license to drive a municipal vehicle with air brakes?

Any driver operating any vehicle needs to carry the appropriate driver’s license and any endorsements required by the motor vehicle regulations.

Can a municipality insure non-proprietary buildings or their contents?

No, you can’t insure a building or contents that you don’t own–unless you’re legally obligated to do so (for example, within a rental lease). If someone else owns the contents, they need to carry insurance. Your municipality needs to have a financial interest in a property in order to insure it.

When a council member or staff rents a vehicle while travelling on council business, is the municipality covered, or do we have to purchase insurance from the vehicle rental company?

Yes, the policy will cover you in this situation. There’s no need to arrange separate coverage through the rental company.

If the fire department was called to a fire on board a vessel, would it be covered under the policy?

Yes, the policy covers this situation, the same way it would if the firefighters were responding to or fighting any other fire.