Vehicles & vessels


Risk Management has developed guidelines to help you understand the appropriate use of SFU vessels, vehicles and drones, how to report accidents, and the SFU protocols on how to rent, lease, purchase or sell vehicles and vessels.

SFU’s Environmental Health & Safety team has provided the following protocols regarding use of vehicles during the COVID-19 Pandemic with respect to number of occupants, fueling, maintenance and cleaning. Please refer to page 12 of the Field Activity Safety Guidelines (COVID-19 Supplement) for full details and information.

It is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with these guidelines and to follow the principles and processes set out:

Also find Transport Canada's guide for the safe operation of small non-pleasure vessels:

Insurance & Registrations

Review how to renew vehicle insurance and how to register, renew, transfer or cancel vessel registrations:

Personal / short term rental vehicles

If an employee or a volunteer is driving their own vehicle for SFU university business, it should be noted that the driver’s own vehicle liability insurance will be primary (first to respond) in the event of a claim. SFU’s Non-Owned Vehicle Liability insurance shall be in Excess of the vehicle owner’s liability limit.

SFU is unable to provide coverage for Collision and/or Comprehensive claims for non-University owned vehicles.

For vehicles rented in Canada and the United States in the course of SFU business, SFU’s Procurement office has rental programs through Enterprise-Rent-a-Car that offer primary liability insurance to the required Provincial/US State limits, as well as Physical Damage coverage. Additionally, SFU has a vehicle liability policy that sits in Excess of these rental company limits. Vehicle rentals not arranged through SFU’s Procurement office will not be eligible for these coverages and it is advised any such vehicle rented for SFU business be conducted through the Procurement office. Note that coverage is strictly for Business Use and does not include coverage for Personal Use of the vehicle.

Long-term vehicle rentals are considered leases and follow a different procedure, which Procurement will advise the renter on.

Note that SFU’s Excess Non-Owned Vehicle Liability policy does not extend to students using their own vehicles for institution activities. Should a student decide to use their own vehicle, it is recommended they check with their auto insurance broker to ensure adequate coverage is in place.

Please be aware that Personal Property contained within a vehicle is not covered by ICBC or SFU. In the event of a loss, the vehicle driver/owner should ask their home/tenant insurance broker for coverage advice.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles / Drones

Government Regulations

In response to the new regulations introduced by Transport Canada on June 1, 2019, SFU’s Risk Management Department will require users fully review Transport Canada Regulations on drone safety.

  • The Transport Canada page contains the legal requirements to fly a UAV/drone, safety tips, penalties, first time pilot advice and terminology. Canadian law mandates these requirements and your compliance is required in order to fly a drone on SFU property.
  • Only pilots registered with Transport Canada are permitted to operate UAVs/drones on SFU property. It is the department’s responsibility to ensure all operators have obtained the proper certification.

Operating at SFU:

For SFU staff, faculty and students, please complete this form and submit to Risk Management and Traffic Safety for review. Formal approval must be obtained prior to flight.

Non-SFU parties (film companies, contractors etc.) must provide a request to Traffic Safety prior to planned flights. Formal approval must be obtained prior to flight. 3rd parties must also provide SFU with a Certificate of Insurance proving drone liability coverage to

We recommend as much notice as possible be provided prior to flights so there is opportunity to:

  • Review flight plan and recommend changes
  • Ensure all requirements are met per Transport Canada and SFU
  • Inform you about any conflicting events on SFU property, which may limit or prevent operations


If SFU departments use UAVs as part of course requirements or research projects, please complete this spreadsheet and send to Risk Management ( Information is needed to add and remove UAVs no longer in use by SFU. Note that it is a department’s responsibility to register UAVs with Transport Canada prior to a vehicle’s first flight.


SFU provides liability coverage for drones owned by Simon Fraser and/or operated by university faculty, staff or students acting on behalf of the university, meeting the below requirements per our insurer:

  • Coverage is restricted to usage of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles with the Guidelines set by Transport Canada
  • Only UAVs up to 30kg are covered

Note that the SFU’s property insurance does not extend to cover privately owned UAVs. Further, the University will only extend liability coverage for privately owned drones used for SFU research purposes if both the applicable department and Risk Management have granted prior approval. Be aware that non-sanctioned, unlawful, or negligent use may result in personal liability.

Conducting Filming

Operating at non-SFU locations:

Ensure proper permission has been obtained per Transport Canada requirements. If needed, request a Certificate of Insurance from Risk Management.