WHEREAS community groups, societies, service clubs and agricultural societies provide a wide variety of programs and services to citizens throughout Alberta;AND WHEREAS the cost of obtaining appropriate liability insurance for events normally sponsored by volunteer associations has increased significantly in the past three years;AND WHEREAS the ability of volunteer associations to continue to operate is being jeopardized by liability insurance costs;AND WHEREAS many volunteer community organizations suffer from the reluctance of available volunteers to become involved due to liability concerns;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties urge the Government of Alberta to establish a program which would limit the liability for directors of community volunteer associations or which would provide funding to assist with the liability insurance costs to volunteer community associations.
Volunteer community organizations throughout Alberta play a significant role in the provision of facilities to serve the recreational, social and cultural needs of the population. In many communities, the local community hall, arena, rodeo ground, campground or park is owned and operated by a society composed entirely of volunteers.Over the past three to four years, liability insurance premiums have increased substantially, and coverage for certain activities is sometimes not obtainable or simply too expensive. As an example, the liability insurance for rural community halls went from $187.25 in 2000 to $558.00 in 2004. Liability insurance for Poachers Landing Recreation Society (a small campsite and picnic area) rose from $347.75 in 2001 to $1,197.00 in 2004. A liquor liability policy at the minimum cost of $125.00 is either required or strongly encouraged by insurers.In order to preserve the spirit of volunteerism throughout rural Alberta, government intervention is needed to protect volunteers and stabilize liability insurance premiums at an affordable level.
The AAMDC does not have any resolutions currently in effect with respect to this issue.
The provincial government has advised it is not considering any funding to assist with liability insurance costs for volunteer community associations; however some work is underway through the Voluntary Sector Forum at the federal level to address the inability of volunteer organizations to access liability insurance. For its part, Jubilee Insurance Agencies, a wholly-owned entity of the AAMDC continues to offer insurance coverage to many municipal community organizations that are unable to find adequate insurance coverage elsewhere.