The following is an explanation of the insurance coverage for athletes and volunteers who are registered with Special Olympics Ontario/Special Olympics Canada.

Special Olympics Ontario offers its volunteers and athletes a comprehensive insurance package that will adequately cover the situations with which they are faced in the organization.  There is always an inherent risk in everything that we do in life. If a volunteer or athlete feels that the coverage offered by our insurance company does not meet their needs, then they should be encouraged to take out their own additional personal insurance.  Clubs or Communities cannot use money raised in the name of Special Olympics to take out additional insurance coverage.

Liability Insurance

Below is an outline of Special Olympics Canada’s insurance coverage that applies to all currently registered Special Olympics athletes and volunteers (note: any individuals under 18 years of age must have a parent/guardian sign their registration form).  Any inquiries should be directed to:

Special Olympics Ontario

65 Overlea Blvd, Suite 200

Toronto  ON M4H 1P1

toll free 1-888-333-5515

local (416) 447-8326 (TEAM)

Protection against legal liabilities for injuries or death to third party persons and damage to property of others up to $5,000,000 limit of liability, which would include a $1,000 deductible.  The policy provides both indemnifications of compensation and defence costs.

Volunteers driving their own vehicles in connection with their duties will be primarily protected by their own automobile insurance in regard to damage to their own vehicle or legal action from third parties.   If the owner of the vehicle’s insurance is denied, or if the vehicle owner is sued for more than their insurance covers, SOO insurance would take effect.


When do I need one?

You’ll need a Certificate of Insurance when a person, organization, facility or venue (etc.) requests verification of Special Olympics insurance coverage.  It is common practice for the person or organization to define minimum coverage and limit requirements.

What does a Certificate of Insurance show?

The coverage and limits requested the insurance carrier, and policy effective dates.  It may also specify relevant information (e.g. date, place, and additional insured) regarding an event.

It will also show:

  • The Insured: Special Olympics Canada, Inc.
  • The Certificate Holder: the person or organization requesting the Certificate of Insurance.

What if the person or organization wants to be an “additional insured”?

This “status” will be requested by the prospective Certificate Holder.  You must indicate this request on the Request for Certificate of Insurance form.  You must also explain the role the prospective “additional insured” will play in your event.  Contact the provincial office for an application to request a certificate of insurance.

Will I have to pay anything for doing this?

In most cases, no.  If the event you are holding has some very unusual circumstances, a fee may apply.

What if a facility (venue, event sponsor, coordinator, etc.) we are using (in-kind) for our event asks us to sign a contract or agreement?

Always have your contracts and/or agreements regarding risk insurance reviewed by the Provincial office’s Manager, Finance before signing.  Contracts and agreements often include wording which transfers liability.

What is a Certificate of Insurance?

The certificate of insurance is a one-page document which provides evidence that insurance coverage exists.  It identifies the insured person or organization. The certificate outlines the extent and limits of coverage but does not modify or extend any coverage.  It merely reports what exists.

The Special Olympics certificate outlines the coverage and limits of insurance provided to the Special Olympics organization, the insurer providing the coverage, and the effective and expiration dates of the policy.  In addition, the certificate specifies the covered event and the dates of coverage for that event. The certificate holder is the person or organization named in the certificate, known as the “holder” of that certificate.  That person or organization has no more or less coverage as a result of being a certificate holder than otherwise. It does, however, provide the proof required that insurance does exist which is the comfort level desired by most interested parties.  If you have entered into any agreement, contact, or permit containing an insurance clause, assumption of liability, indemnification or hold harmless language, please forward a copy of the agreement with your Special Olympics Request for Certificate of Insurance form to the Provincial office Manager, Finance.  

How do I get a Certificate of Insurance?

A certificate should only be requested when it is required by a facility or organization. To request a certificate, please complete the Special Olympics Request for Certificate of Insurance form (found on page 5 of this section or contact the Provincial office for a copy).  This request form must include the following information to issue the appropriate certificate:

Special Olympics Area Data:

  • Includes name, address, phone/fax numbers of person completing the request form.

Event Data:

  • Includes name, date, location, and brief description of event, especially an indication that Special Olympics is conducting the event.

Certificate Holder:

  • Entity requesting certificate of insurance include name, address, phone/fax numbers of certificate holder.

Additional Insured:

  • This is needed only if the certificate holder requires additional insured status. Also, requests a copy of any agreement or contract which assumes liability or contains indemnification wording.


Non-owned &
Hired automobile coverage

Frequently asked questions:

When does this apply to me?

When you are using your own vehicle, or renting a vehicle for Special Olympics purposes.

What coverage is provided?

Non-owned automobile – protects Special Olympics from 3rd party liability claims resulting from coaches, athletes and volunteers using their own vehicles for Special Olympics purposes. The limit of coverage is $1,000,000.

Hired automobiles – protects Special Olympics from 3rd party liability claims as above, and also for the legal liability for physical damage to the hired automobiles subject to a limit of $50,000 and a $1,000 deductible. This coverage applies to “Private Passenger Type Vehicles”, ie-Cars, small vans, it does not include-RV’s, Buses, large bus-type vans, trucks etc.

Is my personal insurance affected?

Yes. If you are using your own vehicle or a rental vehicle, your personal automobile policy will respond in the event of an automobile liability claim.  The non-owned automobile coverage will respond as excess insurance or if there is any “problem” with your insurance – such as lapsed or inadequate coverage.

Your policy will also cover any damage to your vehicle.

If you are regularly using your vehicle for Special Olympics purposes, it’s a good idea to make sure that your Insurance agent or broker is aware of this.

Your personal insurance will NOT be affected by claims involving hired automobiles, such as a bus or taxi.

Should we purchase physical damage/collision waivers?

Although The Special Olympics policy provides up to $50,000 for physical damage coverage (Collision/Fire/Theft/Vandalism) that you are legally liable for, subject to a $1,000 deductible, you may want to purchase this coverage through the rental company who will pay for physical damage without applying any deductible, therefore, the entire claimed amount would be taken care of by the rental company.

Remember to use the phrase after your signature: “for Special Olympics”.