There are many assets that your church will need to protect, leading to many options of insurance coverages that will need to be considered. The agents from your ministry insurance provider are experts when it comes to things regarding church liability, necessary protections and coverages. They are perfect resources to help you navigate through the myriad of considerations needed for the protection of your church. To help with your decision-making process and smooth the process of getting church insurance, the following are five questions you should ask your ministry insurance provider.

What assurance do I have that claims will be paid?

It is critical to purchase insurance policies with companies that have an AM Best rating of A- or better. AM Best rating is a strong indicator of the financial health of an insurance company. It shows how financially strong the company is and how capable the company is to guarantee the claim payment. Rating of A- and above identifies the top insurance companies. For the church, choosing an insurance provider with high financial strength provides confidence that your claims will be paid in the future. In addition to the financial strength of the insurance provider, you also want to make sure that the agent is knowledgeable about insuring churches.

What coverage items does my church need to be fully protected?

Churches are becoming more and more susceptible to lawsuits and claims. A knowledgeable insurance agent is a valuable tool to protect the church from unforeseen future events. There are many aspects of the church that should be taken into account when evaluating insurance coverage, including: the church building, furnishings, vehicles, church members, church employees, church volunteers, etc. Be sure to be familiar with what coverage your policy has and ask your insurance provider if there are any additional coverages your church may need.

How much coverage does my church need?

In addition to coverage items, coverage amounts are also very important. You may want to ask the insurance provider what limits your church needs and if the insurance coverage limits are sufficient. Depending on the policy, you may have an aggregate limit, which is the most your policy will pay for in one policy period, and/or an occurrence limit, which is the coverage limit for a single claim. The appropriate limit will depend on your church’s needs. Limits will be determined based on things like: church property size, membership size, history of the buildings, etc. In addition, do you need an umbrella policy to cover additional claims beyond the general liability limit? An umbrella policy sits on top of the general liability limits for certain coverages. The agents will work together with the church to evaluate all aspects of the church and its operations to ensure the insurance policy coverage items and coverage amount will be specifically tailored to the church without any significant coverage gaps.

What’s the average time it takes to handle an insurance claim?

Many churches may not be familiar with the insurance claim management process. You may want to ask your insurance provider on how and when to submit a claim. Your insurance agent will be able to direct you through the claims process. To submit a claim, you will need to contact your insurance provider’s claim department directly. The sooner you inform your insurance company, the faster the claim can be resolved and your church can get back up and running. For liability insurance like a lawsuit, even if a lawsuit may not have been filed and you are just being threatened, you may still want to contact your agent as a precaution.

You may want to ask the insurance provider what the average time is for a claim to process. As a church, you need to be confident that you picked the right provider that will help the congregation get back on track.

When will the church need to review the policy again?

Any time your church experiences a transition or when the policy has not been reviewed for a while, asking your church insurance provider this question can help ensure that the church remains properly protected. The changes may include new leadership, ministries, property upgrades, significant changes in church staff and membership, etc. During the policy review, discuss with your agent about the church’s needs, review current policy coverages and limits, and make necessary changes according to the changes happening at your church.

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