What are you responsible for when you act as a director on a non-profit arts board: how can D&O insurance protect you?

(D&O insurance webinar for arts group BC Alliance for Arts + Culture, February 2020)

Directors can be held liable for acts committed by other Directors, simply because they sit on the same board. Such damages can extend to the entire personal estate of the Director involved.

Canadian directors and officers insurance should be a requirement before you decide to join a non-profit board.  The Canada Business Corporation Act imposes many responsibilities on a Director or an art group board – even if they are volunteer. The breach of any of the responsibilities, if it leads to financial loss to the arts group, can be grounds for an action for damages. Many of these risks can be transferred through D&O insurance.

It is not uncommon for many claims to be unjustified or unfounded; however, the costs associated with their investigation and defense are often substantial. Our D&O insurance for arts groups will provide money for defense costs.

Allegations Commonly Made And Which Have To Be Defended By Directors Include:

  • Acting beyond the scope of their authority
  • Giving wrong or unprofessional advice
  • Breach of fiduciary duties
  • Failure to police the corporation or supervise subordinates properly
  • Improper or excessive board spending
  • Unauthorized board borrowing
  • Conflict of interest

D&O Allegations Are Most Likely To Occur Following:

  • Acquisitions/divestitures
  • Mergers
  • Foreign partnerships (especially in the USA)
  • Lack of growth,  improper handling of negotiations
  • Mismanagement or waste of art group assets
  • Employee dismissal
  • Board dispute
  • Breach of contract
  • Liquidation of the art group

We offer D&O indications within one business day of contacting us. Typical premiums range between $300 and $600 annually for $1M of coverage.


Please let us know the following and we will get back to you soon with a free, no-obligation indication: