The Most Important Things You Need To Cover
Churches have always been a place of safety and security.
But the reality is our world involves risks. And churches aren’t immune.
Knowing how to properly insure your church will give you confidence that an unforeseeable occurrence will not end your ministry.
Here are 7 things every church insurance policy should have.
1. Protection Against Legal Action
The reality is that every church is susceptible to a lawsuit by both its members and from guests or other individuals. The basic church insurance coverage needed is called general liability insurance and it has two parts:
A. If Someone Claims They Were Injured
A general liability policy will provide insurance for a covered claim of bodily injury. An example of this could be someone slipping and falling in the sanctuary and holding the church liable.
B. If someone claims their property was damaged:
The second part of a general liability policy is coverage for accusations of property damage. An example of this could be if the church is leasing their building and the landlord states that the church caused damage to the building.
2. Church Insurance for Your Property
Every church needs coverage for the property owned by the church. This could include the actual church building or if the church is leasing their location the property inside the building such as the pews and musical instruments.
A. For the Church building(s) itself
Church building insurance covers events like fire or wind that could cause complete or partial damage to the church. The way the premium is determined is based on square footage, construction, year built and location. For older churches, where updates or renovations were done, this is very important.
B. For the Items in the Church
Imagine if you turned the church upside down and shook it: everything that falls out should be covered under a separate limit that is the combined value of all those items.
C. For items that leave the Church sometimes
For any items that leave the church grounds, they will need to be covered under a separate policy. The coverage for items inside the church are only for items that never leave the grounds.
D. Coverage for property damages that put your ministry on hold
If a claim occurred, in which the church was damaged to such an extent that services could no longer be held, the church would still have ongoing expenses such as payroll. Also, if services continued but were held at another location, there would be additional costs. Every church insurance policy should include this vital coverage.
3. Coverage for Accusations of Sexual Abuse
Any organization that works with children has the potential to be accused of a crime of a sexual nature. An accusation can be made regardless of whether any wrong doing occurred. And the church must defend itself.
A. If someone claims they were sexually abused:
Accusations of a sexual nature are not covered under a general liability policy and require a separate policy. This is a coverage that no church insurance program can afford to be without. Sadly, the stats on child abuse are staggering with 93% of sex offenders describing themselves as “religious.”
4. Protection for Counselors
Many ministers offer counseling for church members and some also have counselors on staff. Allegations made against a counselor are not covered under general liability and must be insured under a separate church insurance policy.
A. If someone claims that they were injured through counseling
As with coverage for accusations of sexual abuse, a counselor does not have to have done anything wrong to be faced with legal action. By making sure that your church is covered you will gain peace of mind in knowing that you are defended.
5. Coverage for Employee Injuries
Any organization that has employees, whether full time or part time, need a workers compensation policy. Churches are no different.
A. State laws vary
The legal requirement to purchase workers comp varies based on your state. For example, in Georgia churches with 3 or more employees are legally required to purchase workers comp.
Even if you are not legally required to purchase this coverage in your state, you could still be held liable for a work related injury. Even with just one employee. The lack of a legal requirement to buy work comp does not remove the church from liability.
6. Protection In the Event of a Flood
If a flood occurs, the damages will not be covered under the church’s property policy. To obtain coverage for a flood your church will need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy.
A. Flood insurance is administered by the National Flood Insurance Program
B. It’s important to get a flood policy in place before a storm
Most flood policies do not go into effect until 30 days after the purchase date. For this reason it is important to get a flood insurance policy in place long before bad weather is looming.
7. Insurance for Accusations Made by Employees
When a church employee makes an accusation against the church you need to be prepared. By purchasing a policy called “Employment Practices Liability Insurance” you will be. This is also known as EPL insurance.
A. Accusations that can be covered:
As with many other church insurance coverages, an allegation can be made even if nothing wrong ever happened. Claims made involving employees can be very large and general liability does not provide any coverage.
Keeping you protected.
All Access Insurance in Littleton, CO, who represents multiple insurance companies as a “Broker” and provides products for auto, home, commercial, workers compensation, and much more! Call us today for a free quote at (303) 932-1700.