California Church Property Insurance: Church Insurance Market Update August 2023
Integrity Now Insurance Brokers is a full-service church insurance agency representing hundreds of insurance companies. We have not faced this type of hard insurance market in over 20 years and do not see a clear path of softening shortly.
Let’s see if we can identify the current state of the church insurance marketplace for August 2023.
California Church Property Insurance Coverage
The California church insurance marketplace has faced significant problems over the last year. While the news media has primarily focused on home insurance companies no longer writing new business in California, commercial insurance companies have aggressively tightened their underwriting guidelines.
Church Insurance companies in California of increasing deductibles from $1,000 to $2,500 for their church building insurance coverage. This is the new acceptable minimum deductible church insurance providers allow in California.
Church Insurance: California Fire Prone Areas
Churches in fire-prone areas face new challenges as church insurance companies are not renewing these small church insurance programs.
Churches located in an area with a fire score of 60 or higher can no longer find coverage, and insurance companies who once wrote these policies are sending cancellation notices.
Companies such as Church Mutual, GuideOne, Philadelphia Insurance, Great American, and Brotherhood no longer accept church property coverage in these areas leaving churches with very limited options.
Integrity Now Insurance Brokers can obtain church insurance for these churches, but it comes at a very steep cost.
Church Property Insurance: California Churches In Non-Fire Prone Areas
Churches receiving renewals from their building insurance provider are seeing a sharp rise in their church insurance premiums.
Churches are seeing an average of 35 percent increases in their insurance costs. This means some churches face 10 percent increases while others face increases of 80 percent or more.
California Church Insurance Solutions
There is no one size fits all solution for California churches. As church insurance brokers, we are struggling to solve this problem.
One solution is seeking property insurance from companies that will consider writing insurance for a church and utilizing our specialty church insurance companies for liability-only coverage.
One insurance company will consider liability-only coverage with the following circumstances:
- If the score is under a fire risk score of 70.
- Larger accounts where the liability coverage would establish an insurance premium of $5,000 or more.
- Clean loss history
- Low liability risk factors
As a religious organization, you may wonder why a church insurer would place these restrictions on liability-only coverage. Well, the answer is simple.
There is still a risk of injury and death due to wildfire.
A church can be found liable for church members and visitors if they fail to maintain the proper fire clearance.
Church Insurance Brokers: California Fair Plan For Churches
While this is not an ideal solution, it is a short-term solution until the insurance market softens.
The California Fair Plan will offer insurance for churches up to a maximum building limit threshold. For larger church buildings, these could mean filling in the insurance gaps independently.
For instance, if a church requires twenty-five million in property coverage and the California Fair Plan only offers twenty million in church building insurance coverage, the church would be required to self-insure the difference.
In addition, the California Fair Plan insurance costs are often three times or more expensive than traditional insurance for less coverage.
Church Insurance Agent Help
As a California Church Insurance Agency, we are fighting on your behalf to find solutions that may not be outside of our usual way of doing business.
Insurance premiums affect a church’s ability to minister to their local community. We fight hard to help keep your insurance coverage in place and find the best church insurance at an affordable price.