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18 Things You Need To Know About Church Insurance: What to Look for When Shopping for Coverage

Church insurance is a specialized type of insurance that is designed to protect churches and religious organizations from liability and property damage. It is important for churches to have insurance, as they are often held liable for things like accidents on church property or injuries that occur during church-sponsored events. 

In this blog post, we will discuss the 18 most important things you need to know about Church Insurance and ministry insurance. 

We will cover topics such as what to look for when shopping for church insurance coverage, how much Church Insurance costs, and the types of risks that it protects against.

Important Items In Church Insurance Coverage To Look For:

  • Property Insurance for Church Buildings and Contents
  • General Liability Coverage for Church Activities
  • Auto Insurance for Church Vehicles
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance
  • Professional Liability Insurance
  • Abuse Coverage
  • Directors and Officers Insurance

Churches are often held liable for a variety of risks, such as accidents that occur on church property or injuries that occur during church-sponsored events. That’s why it’s important for churches to have property insurance and general liability insurance coverage that protects them from these risks.

When shopping for Church Insurance in Washington or any other state, there are a few important items to look for in order to get the best coverage possible. These items include: church property insurance coverage for church buildings and contents, general liability coverage for church activities, auto insurance for church vehicles, workers’ compensation insurance.

Church Liability Insurance Language matters

1. Protection Against Legal Action

Church Insurance should provide protection against any legal action that may be taken against the church. This includes things like property damage, personal injury, and even defamation of character.

If Someone Claims They Were Injured at Church, What Does Church Insurance Cover?

Church insurance can cover things like medical expenses, lost wages, and even pain and suffering.

If someone claims their property was damaged while at Church, what does Church Insurance cover?

Church insurance can cover things like repair or replacement costs for damaged property.

 

2. Church Property Insurance for Your Property

Church property insurance can help protect your property from a variety of risks, such as fire, theft, and vandalism.

Church property insurance Coverage typically includes:

  • Church Buildings
  • Furnishings
  • Electronic Equipment
  • Musical instruments

For the Church building(s) itself, church insurance can help cover the cost of repairs or replacement if it is damaged by a covered event. This can include things like fire, wind, hail, and even some types of water damage. Church Insurance can also help protect the contents of your Church, such as furniture, musical instruments, and equipment.

Church property insurance coverage typically excludes:

  • Intentional acts of vandalism or theft
  • Damage caused by flooding or earthquakes
  • Nuclear accidents
  • Wars

Getting church insurance from a reliable church insurance company can also help protect your Church from liability risks, such as accidents that occur on Church property or injuries that occur during Church-sponsored events.

Sex offenders at church

3. Coverage for Accusations of Sexual Abuse or Molestation

Abuse and molestation insurance is a type of Church Insurance that can help protect your Church from accusations of sexual abuse or molestation.

This coverage church liability insurance can help pay for things like legal expenses, settlements, and even therapy for the victim.

When considering this coverage it is important to purchase insurance limits that can adequately protect the church from financial ruins.  

If someone claims they were sexually abused by some at your church , this type of church insurance can help protect your Church. The statistics of child sexual abuse are staggering with

  • 90% of child sexual abuse victims knowing their abuser
  • 34% of abusers being family members

Church liability insurance can help protect your Church from risks associated with Abuse and Molestation insurance coverage.

Key Takeaways:

When shopping for church liability insurance, it is important to look for a church insurance company that include abuse and molestation insurance coverage as part of their general liability policy.  Larger churches may need an umbrella church insurance policy to provide an additional layer of liability protection.

4. Counselors / Pastor Liability Insurance

This type of church insurance can help protect your Church from accusations of professional malpractice, such as wrongful counseling and even fraud.

This type of church liability insurance coverage can help pay for things like legal expenses, settlements, and even therapy for the victim.

If someone claims they were wrongfully counseled by someone at your church, this type of Church Insurance can help protect your nonprofit organization.

Injured woman in an ambulance

5. Coverage for Employee Injuries

Workers compensation church insurance is a type of liability insurance that can help cover the medical expenses of employees who are injured while working for the Church.

This coverage can also help pay for things like lost wages and even death benefits.

State laws related to workers’ compensation insurance vary, so it is important to check with your state’s workers’ compensation office to see what is required in your state.

If an employee is injured while working for your Church, workers compensation insurance can help protect both your Church and the employees who work there.

Key Takeaways:

Churches are not only a ministry but they are also consider a business. 

When shopping for ministry insurance, workers’ compensation insurance needs to be part of your insurance program.  Not only is it the law, it’s important to protect your employees.

Flood insurance for a church

6. Protection In the Event of a Flood at Church

Flood insurance is a type of church insurance that can help protect your Church from the damage caused by a flood as a direct result of a natural disaster.

This coverage can help pay for things like repairs or replacement of church buildings, as well as business personal property that are damaged by a flood.

If your church is in an area that is prone to flooding, it is critical to include flood insurance as part of your general fiscal budget.

Key Takeaways:

Church property insurance coverage typically excludes damage caused by flooding or earthquakes.  Without purchasing a separate policy, churches will be faced with mounting cost to rebuild.

7. Business Interruption Insurance and Extra Expense

Business interruption and extra expense insurance, helps protect churches in the event a church needs to suspend operations due to a covered cause of loss.

This type of church insurance can help cover things like lost income and extra expenses related to temporarily needing to relocate the Church, rent tables and chairs, or make a temporary sign.

It is important to obtain enough business interruption insurance coverage to help protect your Church if it must suspend operations.

Key Takeaways:

When shopping for church insurance, it is important to look for a church insurance company that offers adequate coverage related to business interruption and extra expense coverage.  Obtaining the minimum coverage may not be enough depending on the size of your organization. 

Church Insurance Must Have Coverage

8. Insurance for Accusations Made by Employees

When an employee feels like they have been wronged they can file a claim against their employer.  To obtain church liability insurance coverage for this situation the employer must purchase an employment practice liability insurance policy.

This helps protect churches from accusations made by employees, such as:

  • Sexual Harassment

  • Wrongful Termination

  • Discrimination

  • Retaliation

If an employee at your Church makes an accusation against your Church, this type of Church liability Insurance can help protect your Church and its’ board members.

The average employment practice liability claims is $160,000, lasting nearly 318 days to fully investigate and process.

We recommend purchasing no less than $250,000 in EPLI coverage to protect your church.  Church insurance company will provide up to $1,000,000 in coverage, however, they will require proper risk management techniques be established.  

Key Takeaways:

When obtaining Church Insurance quotes, it is important to look for a church insurance agency that offers Employment Practice Liability Insurance as part of their church insurance program. 

Often times premiums can be up to 75% cheaper when purchased as part of a package program versus a standalone EPLI policy.

9. Special Event Church Insurance Coverage

This type of church insurance can help protect your church from the cost of damages that may occur during a special event, such as a wedding or a concert.

This liability insurance can also help pay for things like lost revenue and even the cost of canceling the event.  With the uncertainty covid-19 has brought, event insurance is almost a must have.

Liquor liability can also be included in this type of church insurance. 

Special event coverage is provided by specialty insurance companies, and typically only costs a few hundred dollars per event.

If your Church is hosting a special event, it is important to have Special Event insurance Coverage in place. The church can either obtain this additional coverage or they can require outside groups to purchase this coverage and name the church as an additional insured.

Key Takeaways:

It’s best to make sure you’re working with a church insurance broker and to contact your agent at the earliest planning stages of the event. This way you can properly budget all expenses associated with the special event.

10. Mission Trip Church Liability Insurance Coverage

Missions may need a variety of church insurance coverage. Church insurance covers certain aspects of coverage to meet these needs. The following are some of the needed coverage:

Foreign or Domestic

If your church is participating in or sponsoring a mission trip located outside of the United States, you’ll almost certainly need to create separate policy for it.

Worldwide Liability

Most insurance companies only provide coverage within a specific coverage territory.  A mission trip insurance policy will extend coverage to the country you are heading towards. 

Travel Medical Insurance

In the event someone becomes injured or becomes sick, they may need health insurance while visiting.  Travel medical insurance is typically set up on a reimbursement basis.  You may need to obtain an English translation of the bill as well. 

Kidnap and Ransom Insurance

Coverage for Kidnap and Ransom is crucial in a few developing countries because it allows customers to get reimbursed for losses incurred as a result of paying out a ransom.  

How to obtain Insurance For A Church Bus

11. Covering Your Church Van or Bus

There are two types of church insurance for vans and buses:

  • Liability only
  • Full coverage

If your church business auto insurance policy includes a collision deductible your policy is providing full coverage. 

The type of coverage that you need will depend on the type of vehicle that you have and its age.

If your church owns a van or bus, it is important to have church insurance that offers a commercial business auto insurance policy.

Business auto Insurance for 15 passenger vans and buses can help protect your Church from the cost of damages that may occur while the van or bus is being used for Church purposes.

Private passenger vehicles owned by the church would also need to be included under this policy.

Church’s that are renting vehicles from an outside organization or using a church members vehicle for a church sponsored event are considered as “non-owned hired vehicles.” This means that your church does not own the vehicle, but it is being used them for church purposes. 

It is important to obtain this additional coverage as part of your church insurance program.  The cost for a non-owned hired auto insurance policy is typically only a few hundred dollars per year.

Bundling your church property insurance policy with a commercial business auto insurance policy, can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars per year. 

12. Protections for Accusations Against Your Church Board

This type of church insurance is designed to help protect Church directors and officers from being held liable for any wrongful or illegal actions that they may have taken while in their position.

Church directors and officers can be held liable for things like financial mismanagement, employment discrimination, and even sexual misconduct.

If your Church has a Board of Directors or Officers, it is important to have Directors and Officers Insurance.

Most individuals who sit on a board will require the organization to have this church insurance policy in place before they will accept the position.

13. Umbrella Insurance

An umbrella policy is an insurance policy that provides coverage over and above the limits of your existing church liability insurance.

For example, if your Church has a $500,000 church liability policy and you have a $600,000 loss; the umbrella policy would pay the additional $100,000.

Umbrella policies typically start at $500,000 of coverage and can go up to $20 million or more.

When shopping for Church Insurance from a reputable church insurance agency, be sure to ask your church insurance brokers about Umbrella Coverage.

Hurricane insurance

14. Hurricane Insurance / Wind Deductibles

Most church property insurance policies have a hurricane / wind deductible. Few states such as church property insurance in California do not include a separate wind deductible.

A hurricane deductible is an amount that church policyholders must pay out-of-pocket before the church property insurance company will start to pay for damages.

For example, if your church insurance brokers provides property coverage in the amount of $2,600,000 and they have a 3% wind deductible, the church would be responsible for paying the first $78,000 of damages before the church property insurance company would start to pay.

If your church is in an area that is prone to hurricanes, it is important to ask your church insurance broker about hurricane deductibles.

There may be an option to obtain a separate insurance policy to buy down the hurricane deductible. Depending on where your church is located deductibles related to wind coverage are climbing as high as 5%.  

Some church insurance companies are excluding wind and hail coverage all together, due to mounting losses.  Make sure you review your insurance policy annually for any major changes related to your coverages and deductibles.

15. Protection if Your Computers Are Breached

In today’s digital age, church’s must be aware of the potential risks associated with cyber attacks.

Cyber liability church insurance can help protect churches from the cost of damages that may occur as a result of a data breach or cyber-attack.

  • 33% of organization have never been offered cyber insurance
  • 35% of organization are considering cyber insurance for their company
  • 83% of businesses said that their own company is not adequately protected against digital threats

Church insurance companies have been launching a variety of cyber insurance coverage options.  Depending on the type of organization, underwriting guidelines are either very strict or somewhat lenient.  

Thankfully church insurance companies are offering an affordable insurance solution for their churches they insure.  

When shopping for church insurance from a church insurance agency, be sure to ask your church insurance agent about cyber liability insurance coverage.

16. Church Insurance Coverage if Money Is Stolen

A crime insurance policy is a very important type of church liability insurance.

Crime insurance can help protect Churches from the cost of damages that may occur as a result of theft, vandalism, embezzlement, or even employee dishonesty insurance.

  • Theft or Burglary insurance –  includes coverage for the Church’s money and securities, as well as property that is stolen from the Church.
  • Vandalism insurance – can help protect Church property from the cost of damages that may occur as a result of vandalism.
  • Embezzlement insurance – can help protect Churches from the cost of damages that may occur as a result of embezzlement.
  • Employee Dishonesty insurance – covers the Church for losses that occur as a result of dishonest acts committed by Church employees.  For example, if an employee steals money from the Church, Employee Dishonesty insurance would help cover the cost of the loss.

 

It is recommended to work with a church insurance agency that specializes in church insurance and can help provide the needed advice on how much crime insurance your church needs. Often, churches do not obtain enough insurance coverage, as they feel they are insulated from these types of losses.  

Nonprofit written on a puzzle piece

17. Coverage For Church Volunteers

Without volunteers, the most nonprofit organization would not survive and this includes churches.

Did you know that Churches can be held liable for the actions of their volunteers? 

It’s true! Churches can be held liable for things like negligence, personal injury, and even property damage caused by volunteers.

That’s why it is so important for Church’s to always have church liability insurance in place.

Church liability insurance can help protect Churches from the cost of damages that may occur because of the actions of their volunteers.

Workers’ compensation insurance can provide additional protection for your part-time and full-time volunteer workers. The insurance agency will need to know which specific volunteers to include as part of the policy.

They will assess a reasonable insurance premium for this additional layer of church insurance protection.

Just because your volunteer employees don’t get paid, does not mean churches shouldn’t provide the needed workers’ compensation insurance in the event someone becomes injured.

18. Earthquake Insurance for Churches

Earthquake insurance is a type of church property insurance that helps protect churches from the cost of damages that may occur because of an earthquake.

Deductibles for earthquake church insurance policies typically range from five percent to fifteen percent, of the church property insurance coverage limits.

A separate deductible typically will apply toward a church’s business or personal property. Depending on the value of your church buildings and business personal property coverage, you could be faced with two very large deductible obligations.

As with flood insurance, earthquake insurance is excluded from your church property insurance coverage.

Most churches do not purchase earthquake insurance due to the high cost. 

They also assume their church buildings have survived countless earthquakes, and they are praying they will survive all future earthquakes.  

 

Partnering With A Reputable Church Insurance Agency

Many churches across the United States have chosen to insure their properties through Integrity Now Insurance Brokers.

Call us today at (562) 606-1030 for more information about how we can help your church protect itself from catastrophe by obtaining custom church insurance coverage from a church insurance company.

When speaking with one of our licensed church insurance agents, they will want to know as much information about a church as possible.  It is a great idea to have a copy of your current church insurance policy on hand.

We will conduct a full insurance review and provide your church with our recommendations.