Top 5 Things You Need To Know About Church Insurance
While churches have long been thought of as a safe haven for our local communities, the truth is that the world is full of dangers, and churches are no exception.Having your church adequately insured by a reputable church insurance company may make you feel confident and at ease, knowing that an unforeseen event won’t put your ministry at risk. Before you choose church insurance coverage, you should know a few things. Following are 5 things you need to know about your churches insurance.
Insurance Provides The Needed Protection Against Legal Action
Members, guests, staff, and other people can file lawsuits against any church. The most basic form of of insurance that protects a church is general liability insurance. This provides insurance protection related to physical injury and property damage claims to a third party. This policy will offer a broad layer of coverage to tackle a wide variety of problems, such as litigation costs, medical bills, and other fees. If someone happens to face an injury inside the church or if the building’s landlord assesses that the church has caused structural damage during the lease, a general liability policy can help in these situations. While these policies are general in nature, they can include a broad amount of coverage as part of their overall package policy for churches.
Church Insurance Provides Coverage For The Property
The church will need coverage for all buildings and business personal property owned by the church organization. It can be the structure itself or the property contained within it, like musical instruments and pews. Different policies are required for the church grounds, objects on the premises, and ones that leave the grounds. An inland marine policy should be purchased for equipment that is being transported from place to place in a vehicle while over land. Church building insurance should cover fire, wind, snowstorms, hail, and other disasters that can potentially inflict temporary or permanent damage to the church. It is important for your church insurance brokers to understand how your church operates, so they can put the correct property insurance in place. It is important to mention that natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods are covered by separate insurance policies and not your standard property policy.
Church Insurance Covers Sexual Misconduct Accusations
Were you aware that 92% of sex offenders identify and describe themselves as religious? We know that is a scary thought and one most churches don’t know how to deal with. The church will have to defend itself, whether the sexual abuse occurred on church grounds or is only an accusation. Since a general liability policy doesn’t include the needed insurance coverage for sexual abuse, churches must add molestation and abuse insurance coverage to their church insurance policy.
Depending on the sexual misconduct insurance limits requested, there may be additional requirements your church must have in place. It is important to discuss with your church insurance agent, the available coverage limits and cost associated with each of them.
Your church may be able to dramatically increase your abuse coverage for a few hundred dollars per year.
Church Insurance Provides Protection For Pastors and Counselors
Several clergy members also provide counseling to churchgoers. As with sexual abuse, a counselor doesn’t need to have done anything illegal to get a legal notice. Since allegations against pastors and counselors aren’t covered by normal liability insurance, churches must get additional church insurance to protect them.
Many pastors understand they have limited abilities to counsel their church members on a more professional level. In these instances they have partnered with a licensed therapist, to help their church members who go above and beyond spiritual guidance. These Christian therapists can be members of the church or brought in from the outside.
If your church provides your members with access to licensed therapists who are on staff and charge a fee for their services, it is important your church insurance brokers are made aware of this. Most church property insurance companies will charge an additional fee for these individuals, as this is an added exposure to the church insurance company. Forgetting to bring this up with your insurance agent, could leave your church with a possible gap in coverage.
Provides Protection From Accusations Made By Employees
Even if defending themselves against a false claim, unfair dismissal, sexual harassment, discrimination, or any other accusation brought by a church employee can cause a dent in the church’s pockets. The church can ensure protection against substantial charges or accusations made by staff by acquiring EPL (Employment Practice Liability) insurance.
Not only has the number of lawsuits increased in recent years but so have the compensation amounts. Even for bigger claims, churches seeking cost-effective insurance can purchase an umbrella policy to provide complete peace of mind for their religious organization.
Connect with our professionals at Integrity Now Insurance Brokers if you seek an experienced insurance church agent to discuss your choices. Our premium church insurance company offers a wide range of services to protect ministries in Arizona, California, Nevada, Ohio, Washington, and Texas, including commercial auto insurance, church property insurance, church liability insurance, and more.