Churches aren’t just for Sunday worship. Many churches open their doors to the community seven days a week offering daycare, bible studies, youth programs, and community meetings. While these activities serve your congregation and the members of the community well, they also lead to increased risks of fire, theft, and misconduct which can wreak havoc for you if you’re not adequately insured.
Is your coverage enough?
Besides “everyday risks” like the ones listed above, other risk factors are lurking around. Without the proper coverage, recreational activity injuries, lightening/electrical surge damage, and water/storm damage are just a few examples of mishaps that can potentially curtail your ministry and put unexpected stress on your finances. Whether you’re the leader of a megachurch or a small rural church, do you know if your insurance coverage is right for you and the community you serve?
When you’re reviewing your church insurance policy, make sure it includes coverage for both the expected and the unexpected. Did you know that there are approximately 1,800 fires every year on religious properties and those fires result in $98 million in damages or that the various storms of 2019 inflicted over $1 billion in damage? Does your current coverage provide a safeguard if a fire, horrible storm, or playground injury occurred on your property?
Check your policy to understand exactly what your property coverage includes. It should include coverage for:
- Building(s) – Are your buildings insured at replacement cost or actual cash value? This could affect any potential settlement in a very big way. Make sure to discuss this with your agent.
- Contents/Business Personal Property
- Signs – If your church has invested in a nice sign, know that the policy limits will cover the cost to replace/rebuild it. Stained glass windows – Make sure you are aware of any limits on stained glass in your policy. Ask for increased coverage, if needed.
- Personal effects and property of others
- Equipment breakdown (computers, electrical equipment, etc.)
- Indirect Loss/Business Income with Extra Expense – Do you have coverage if you need to rent a space to worship while your church is being rebuilt or repaired? What if your church collects fewer tithes due to not meeting in your traditional space because of a loss? Are you covered?
- Sewer, Drain, or Sump Pump Backup/Overflow
- Ordinance and Law Coverage – Because many churches are older construction, an inspector may require the entire church to come up to code when only part of the church was damaged. Those extra costs are not covered without this endorsement/coverage.
- Property Off-Premises – Your church moves some of its furniture to a storage facility in town. Is it covered?
In addition to property coverage, you want to make sure that you have liability coverage for things like:
- Medical expenses related to injuries that occur on your property
- Expenses from a violent incident that occurs during a church-sponsored activity
- Libel and slander
- Pastoral Counseling
- Employment Practice Liability
- Employee Benefits Liability
- Sexual Misconduct
- Directors & Officers
- Educators Legal Liability and Corporal Punishment (if your church operates a school)
There are also other liability coverages available to churches. Talk to an experienced agent in detail about your church operations so they can best advise you on the coverages needed.
As a community leader you want to be prepared for just about anything and do everything you can to keep you, your staff, congregation, and community safe. Below is a list of additional coverage items that you should consider.
- Limited flood coverage – remember the Nashville flood of 2010? Don’t get caught without some sort of flood insurance even if you don’t live in a place that floods fairly regularly.
- Worker’s comp
- Life insurance (available for group and/or key employees)
- Religious expression
- Business auto
If you’re part of a church in Metro-Atlanta or Middle Georgia, reach out to one of our agents to start the conversation on what a church insurance policy can do to protect your organization.
Disclaimer: This material is for information only. This post does not provide legal or professional advice. Consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. The Insurance Connection welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, or familial status.
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