Religious expression coverage came to surface, out of a legal needs church institutions face each day.
US state’s were handed down legal decisions which forced their hands to implement changes to their current laws to comply with the United States Supreme court decision.
Throughout the years churches faced different liability issues surrounding their religious beliefs. No church insurance company was willing to provide liability coverage for a churches long held religious beliefs.
This left churches to defend themselves when presented with a lawsuit, which many times ended with the closure and sale of all church assets.
In 2018, a church insurance company came out with a solution to this gap in insurance. This company announcement of this new revolutionary coverage was embraced by church insurance brokers and churches throughout the country.
Mental and emotional liability claims are the two most common claims related to religious expression coverage for churches.
Individuals and families who have different values and don’t share your religion’s views, could deem your long held religious beliefs as discriminatory and bigoted.
As a result of the conflicting views, they can allege that your church or nonprofit organization is responsible for causing them mental or emotional anguish.
As a result of these differing beliefs, it’s important to protect your organization in the event of a lawsuit.
On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that:
While this case between Obergefell v. Hodges addressed the requirements to state government, the ruling failed to answer the questions related towards if the ruling also applies to a church’s long held religious beliefs which could go against the US Supreme court requirements.
While there is no simple answer to this question, and it will potentially lead to new lawsuits in the future. For now, church organizations no matter the size, who are opposed on theological grounds to same-sex marriage may want to consider the following:
Church insurance brokers have access to sample language your church can use to develop and update your governing documents and operational policies.
The church insurance company have provided these documents to their agents, to assist churches in developing their policies.
It is unknown the effectiveness of these documents and they have yet to be argued in court.
Some churches have decided to remain silent of this issue. Their legal advice obtain, believed this was a better approach.
It is important to mention these are only sample documents and require churches to obtain legal help to finalize.
Church insurance brokers are not legal experts and cannot provide legal advice.
Below is an example of available coverages offer through the religious expression coverage offered by church insurance companies.
Obtaining higher limits on your primary general liability coverage can increase the limits within this coverage as well. This coverage is one of the highest available related to the hourly legal expense and each legal expense limit.
Integrity Now Insurance Brokers specializes in church insurance. We love helping churches evaluate and explore their insurance coverages.
As your church explores new and relevant coverages, using a church insurance expert is critical to your success in avoiding coverage gaps.
We are here to help your church with the following church insurance coverages and more: General Liability Insurance, Directors and Officers Insurance, Abuse Coverage, Employment Practice Liability Insurance, Workers’ Compensation Insurance, Ministry Insurance, Bus and Van Insurance.
We provide a no cost church insurance policy review. For the insurance review, we will request a copy of your complete policy. Once received we will go over all of your coverages with you and identify any concerns.
Depending on your church insurance provider, there could be the lack of coverages, or specific wording that is not written in your churches benefit.
Give us a call or complete our online church insurance quote form.