What is Included in Church Insurance Policies?

Church insurance policies are much like traditional insurance policies with the exception of being geared more towards ministry. Insurance companies that cover churches understand a church’s needs may be different from more traditional companies and will write policies and have policy riders that are more focused towards churches and the work they do. Most church policies have the standard breakdowns of Property and Liability, Workmen’s Compensation, Accident Insurance, Mission Protection, and Commercial Automotive.

Since insurance needs are different for churches based on their ministry and size of congregation, it’s important to ensure the policy will fit the exact needs of the church and nothing more. Getting exact coverage for what’s needed will help to keep costs down while providing much needed protection.

Property and Liability

Property Insurance covers anything that is lost, damaged, stolen, or destroyed. Less expensive items including songbooks to more expensive items like roofs, and everything in between, are all covered under property insurance.

Liability insurance covers church finances and the people in the ministry. Liability insurance can also be obtained to cover any legal action that can be taken against a church.

Workers’ Compensation

Many states require employers to carry workers’ compensation for their employees. Accidents can happen from simple mistakes to more substantial accidents. Workers’ compensation insurance helps to pay for medical benefits, disability benefits, rehabilitation needed, partial wages, etc. These benefits can also protect your church should you be sued by an employee for an accident that happened while on the job..

Accident Insurance

Accidents can happen anywhere, which is why accident insurance is important. It can cover anything that happens during services, school activities, and even camps. This insurance helps to pay for medical expenses that are a result of the accident. Policies can be written to cover church volunteers, children who are at camps or other operations, and kids participating in sports activities. There are also policies for students and student athletes if your church provides K-12 education. Camp counselors, volunteers, and participants can also be covered.

These accident insurance policies can cover everything from hospital bills and prescriptions to ambulance rides and surgeries.

Mission Protection

Many people feel the call from God to serve those in other areas and countries. In today’s world, Christian ministries face unique risks around the globe in an effort to promote Christianity and spread the word of God. Whether your mission takes you to flooded areas in the United States or to war torn countries, mission insurance can protect both the organization and the traveler. For the organization, protection includes medical, liability, and foreign property for the group. For the traveler, protection includes medical coverage, trip services, and travel insurance, should something happen and you’re unable to make the trip or need to get out quickly.

Commercial Automotive

Commercial automotive insurance for your church or ministry is one of the most important insurances you’ll need. Whether you have a youth group going to a Christian concert together or a pastor doing home based ministry, people traveling on the roads are susceptible to car accidents. When this happens, you’ll want your church to be protected from liability and vehicle related property loss. A good policy will cover vehicle liability, collision, uninsured and under insured motorists, related medical costs, personal injury, and vehicle damage. Comprehensive coverage will cover damage or replacement of your vehicle from falling trees, hail damage, and other natural acts.


5 Important Insurance Coverages for Christian Schools and Colleges

When you’re operating a Christian school, you’re focused on creating strong bodies and minds for tomorrow’s ministry. You’ve dedicated your school to teaching God’s word and how to interpret the world around us. Your student’s minds are eager to learn and grow while living in the Word. The only thing left is to ensure your school is covered should something happen.

There are 5 important insurance coverages that all Christian schools and colleges need to have. Insurance is intended to protect your school should anything bad happen. In today’s world, your school, students, and staff will need protection from a range of things that can occur. Having the right insurance means your school and everyone there is safe and protected. Once it’s protected, you can focus on what really matters: developing your student’s minds.

1. Property

Finding the right insurance is every bit as important as finding the right staff, books, and curriculum. The right insurance will help to protect your resources and everyone in your buildings. Property insurance can provide protection from many risks to your property and buildings including fire, damage due to weather, and even theft. Depending on your location, you may need to include flood insurance or earthquake insurance.

Should loss occur, the insurance company will replace or repair your property. When you obtain an insurance policy you will want to make sure to have appropriate limits that will cover all instances of damage. Be sure to check the perils your policy covers. This may limit what claims your policy will cover. Special perils is the best coverage.

2. Liability Insurance

Liability insurance helps to protect your school from lawsuits or other claims made against your school. Our society is very litigious. No Christian school or college should be without liability coverage. Your limits should be reviewed to make sure you are adequately covered.

3. Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Workers’ compensation insurance is required in Pennsylvania. This type of insurance helps to protect the school as an employer and has benefits for the injured worker. The employee can receive medical coverage, a percentage of lost wages related to a work injury.  

This insurance only covers true work-related injuries. Most workers’ compensation claims are due to muscle injuries typically sustained from lifting heavy loads improperly or from falls, slips, or trips.

4. Student Medical Insurance

There are a wide range of options when choosing student medical insurance. Some policies have limited coverage, and some are omitted altogether. You need to contact your agent to see if your current policy covers students or not

5. Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance covers any vehicles owned or operated by the school. It provides for collision damage, uninsured and underinsured motorists, liability insurance, and other coverage for medical payments, towing, etc.


The Advantages of Choosing a Specialized Church Insurance Agency

Insurance coverage began in the U.S. when Benjamin Franklin started the Philadelphia Contributionship for the Insurance of Houses from Loss by Fire to insure homes that were built responsibly and avoided any type of fire dangers. Prior to that time, houses were built closely together and made almost completely out of wood, increasing the likelihood of fire to not just one house, but any surrounding structures. After the start of this company in 1752, other insurance companies started popping up across America to provide insurance protection for disability, life, business, and automobiles.

The first insurance agencies weren’t well regulated and fraud was often commonplace. Many insurance companies didn’t have the capital to pay out claims and some insurance companies charged outrageous premiums. Many of these insurance companies did what they could to drive out other competitors in the industry. As insurance companies grew and scandals continued, the federal government got involved to begin regulations in order to protect Americans. Federal regulation was short lived and in 1945 the regulation of insurance companies fell to the states.

As insurance became more popular, large companies merged to have greater power in the industry. However, this also came with lower premiums resulting in greater affordability for the average consumer. What also changed was how business was done. People were often dealing with huge companies that saw them as a number or statistic instead of a human being.

The Benefits of Specialized Church Insurance Agencies

Many of the big powerhouse insurance companies do most of their business on the internet. There’s not much need for an in-person consultation or a traditional brick and mortar building. Although it may seem less personable, the internet has also allowed policy buyers to easily compare rates and coverage. While this is a benefit for most insurance policies, there are some types of businesses that are different from the standard ones and require different coverage. One such entity is churches.

Churches don’t fall under the umbrella of the standard ‘one size fits all’ type of policy. Churches need policies that are specifically geared to them and their ministry. Many insurance agents who work for companies that offer policies to churches are church members themselves and understand the different needs a church may have. The agents are not only professionals in their field but are usually caring and experienced in church policies. They are often committed to what they do and can offer the right products and coverage for a church of any size.

Specialized church insurance agencies know that churches have many people working to make them succeed. From leaders to volunteers, there may be many people who need to be covered by insurance. Multiple people may be driving church vehicles or working with youth in camps or groups. This requires special insurance that specialized agents understand and can help with finding the right policies.

Churches Aren’t Just for Worship

If all that was being covered was just Sunday worship service, a traditional insurance policy would probably work fine. But that’s not how most churches operate. Churches often rent out their spaces, offer preschool classes, daycare centers, study groups, and room for community meetings. Many host scouting programs as well. All of these need to be taken into consideration when purchasing an insurance policy.

The most common church claims involve fires, slips and falls, theft and burglary, and sexual abuse and misconduct. All of these can be covered with the right policy that is written specifically for churches. The policies will help to protect the church and its assets so it can continue to function should there be a lawsuit. Having the right insurance company means the church can continue to be of service to its members and the community.


Why You Need Specialized Insurance for Church Vehicles

Why You Need Specialized Insurance for Church Vehicles

One of the great things about church is that it brings together people from all walks of life. People can join together in the worship of God and learn and grow in their faith. They can join each other on mission trips or attend Christian conferences together. Joining with others in the walk of faith can be one of the most rewarding aspects of being a Christian.

When people come together at church they often look for ways of helping others. This can be through food banks, on mission trips, by ministry outreach, or a variety of other avenues. Often, events take place on the road or after traveling to other destinations. Due to the large numbers of people traveling, churches need to own larger vehicles like vans or busses in order to get everyone to where they’re going. While this is a practical solution, it does come with some complications.

Not Everyone is a Professional Driver

Driving to other locations means someone needs to be behind the wheel. Not everyone is a professional driver with experience driving larger vehicles so volunteers are often used to drive others to their destination. Volunteers are a necessary component to many churches and without their help many things wouldn’t get accomplished. The problem with volunteer drivers is that they often don’t have experience and aren’t equipped to handle how larger vehicles react. The larger and heavier a vehicle is the more time that’s required to stop. These vehicles can also be top heavy creating instability when driving. Add in some bad weather, lots of passengers and luggage it can be a recipe for disaster.

Other Options Just Aren’t Practical

One option to driving larger vehicles is having more people drive in their own cars. While this is an option it doesn’t allow for camaraderie during the drive. It’s also a waste of resources when you add in gas and wear and tear on cars. For longer trips, flights are an option but are much more costly. Hiring a professional driver is also an option, but comes at a cost that many churches aren’t able to fund.

The Internet Has a Wealth of Information

To help prevent any accidents, drivers should do a little research before getting behind the wheel. There are numerous articles online and videos on YouTube to help drivers who aren’t experienced with larger vehicles. These articles and videos offer suggestions and teach people why they need to drive a larger vehicle differently than they would their own car. There are many tips and tricks to being safe on the road and with a little insight and practice, most people can learn to drive a larger vehicle safely and effectively. Your current agent has training resources available. Reach out to them. They would be happy to assist.

The Importance of Specialized Insurance for Church Vehicles

People in every city and town can have accidents, it happens everyday. Even professional drivers have accidents. There’s a reason why insurance is required on cars and trucks: to protect everyone in case of an accident. But when you are insuring church vehicles you need to have specialized commercial automobile insurance. These types of insurance policies provide liability coverage, medical payments in case of injury, protection from uninsured and underinsured motorist, payments for physical damage to the van or bus. Some policies even come with roadside assistance for those trips that are far away from home.

No one intentionally gets into an accident, that’s why they are called accidents. But to lesson your church’s chance of having a vehicle in one, it’s important to train drivers how to operate larger vans and busses. Having volunteer drivers research how to drive these big vehicles will lesson the chances of an accident and help to keep your specialized insurance for vehicles premiums lower. The lower your insurance costs, the more you can put that money to good use. Contact your agent for resources for driver training.


How to Find the Best Mission Trip Insurance

You’ve felt the call from God, and you know the time has come. You’ve been dreaming of spreading God’s word and want to touch other people’s lives. Whether you’re going on your first mission trip or your tenth, one of the most important things you can do before leaving is find the best trip insurance for your mission.

Even though you may be excited at the prospect of traveling to do God’s work, you may have some reservations. This is natural as you might not know what to expect. One way to ease your worry is to know you’re covered should something happen to interrupt your trip.

Short Trip or Long Stays

When it comes to buying trip insurance for mission work, there are typically two types of plans. One is for short mission trips and the other is for longer, more time intensive trips.  Most short-term policies cover travel up to 180 days while the long-term policies cover timeframes longer than 180 days. Most policies are for out of the country travel.

What to Look For In Mission Trip Insurance

There are several policy coverages you will want to consider when choosing insurance for your mission trip, including: trip cancellation (due to illness or other unexpected events) or trip interruption benefits, evacuation benefits, and life insurance.

Trip Cancellation Benefits – Many parts of travel are refundable, but some aren’t, and the parts of travel that aren’t covered are what you need. While you may be more excited for your mission trip than you have been for anything else, the reality is that sometimes things happen. You may have a doctor recommend you not go due to health reasons, the U.S. State Department might change their warnings for a certain area you were planning on traveling to, there may be a natural disaster that happens to the area you were traveling to which makes travel there unsafe or outright impossible, or you might even get subpoenaed to testify in court. All of these things have happened and have prevented someone from fulfilling their wish of mission work. If you can’t go for some reason, the last thing you want is to be billed for the trip. It’s better to save that money and try again for another mission trip in the future.

Reimbursement for Lost Items – With thousands of flights daily, it’s not uncommon for an airline to misplace baggage or put it on the wrong flight once in a while. But when it happens to you, it can be frustrating and difficult to deal with. If you need things that were in your luggage but don’t know when you’ll be seeing those bags again, you can rest assured that reimbursement for lost items will happen quickly so you can get the things you need. This insurance also covers lost passports which can be difficult to replace.

Medical, Political, and Security Related Evacuations – The truth of the matter is that some of the most war torn, politically unstable places in the world are those who need Christian missionaries the most. But when disaster strikes, you need to be confident you can get out and get back to safety. When your host country can no longer protect you, it’s extremely important you can rely on your insurance to get you out or get you to safety. Other times you may need to leave quickly due to an unsuspected illness or injury.

Medical Insurance – If you’re considering a mission trip, you’re probably in good health. However, if something were to happen and you need medical attention, you’ll want a policy that covers accidents and illness. You’ll want a policy that offers coverage of expenses such as hospital stays, surgery, and even rehabilitation.


How to Develop a Volunteer Safety and Security Team at Your Church

It can be difficult to understand why anyone would want to harm another person, especially someone they don’t know or have never met. Unfortunately, times are changing and churches are faced with keeping their congregants safe and secure. Smaller churches face even bigger problems due to lack of funding that many big churches have, although there can be an ebb and flow to money that larger churches are able to raise as well. So how do churches keep everyone safe when they can’t afford to hire security services? The answer may be closer than you think.

Look to Your Congregation

When funding for a safety and security team just isn’t there, churches can turn to their congregation for help. Many people are willing to volunteer to keep their families and friends safe when danger is near and are willing to do what it takes to become trained for emergency situations. Doctors and nurses tend to go into medicine because they enjoy helping people and military and law enforcement personnel go into their respective fields understanding the necessity of protecting many people. All these people can prove beneficial to a safety and security team.

Start By Choosing a Natural Leader

To start a safety and security team, a natural leader should be chosen. The best option would be someone with a law enforcement or military background who is willing to lead a team of volunteers who may not know anything about providing security. This person can share their knowledge and create safety plans that can be turned into drills to ensure everyone understands what is expected of them in times of emergency.

How Many Volunteers Do You Need?

There is no specific formula for how many people you need on your safety and security team. Having a security team available for either a small church or a large one is very important for many reasons. We have seen violence in all sizes of churches—it is not selective. Medical emergencies can happen at any church.  Its not the size of the team—its just having a team.

Be Reasonable in What to Expect

Most people are pulled in many directions each day. Between work, getting kids to school, cooking and cleaning, hobbies, and finding some downtime, everyone is busy. Finding volunteers may be difficult in some congregations so it’s important to make volunteering as easy and rewarding as possible.

Consider having training sessions during normal church service hours or right before or after so your volunteers aren’t having to make an extra trip. Think about ways to reward your volunteers for their time spent on the team. This could be done with a special plaque at the end of each service year or holding a special ceremony during church service to thank them for all they have done. Someone may not feel they have the skills to teach or pray with others but have the skills necessary to plug in on your security team. A place to belong and give back is what they are looking for but have not found where to use their gifts.

Understand Why Your Volunteers are Already There

Your volunteers are already at church because they want to be there to worship God. If they still want to participate in services, they can ‘double’ as looking like ushers or someone helping church leaders. This can be done while they are still paying attention to what is going on around them and keeping a watchful eye over the services and outside the building. You can have team members rotate to scan the parking lot and greet people at the entrance. Most church members know when someone new comes in the door so the team members can keep an eye on these new people and watch for any suspicious behavior while being inconspicuous.

Everyone wants to be safe and everyone has the right to worship in peace. Creating a safety and security team can provide a safe environment that doesn’t have to impede on church services.


Does Your Church Need Security Training?

We can all remember the days when churches were thought of as sanctuaries. They were where we found, connected to, and worshipped God, where we grew relationships with other Christians, where we met spouses, and where we raised our kids. Church was a special place that served as somewhere to worship and a place to call home. Church activities brought congregations together in one place where everyone felt safe, secure, and happy. Unfortunately, for many people, this scenario has changed.

There has been a strong uptick in violence and attacks across the nation. From small, rural churches to large, urban ones, no church seems immune to the violence brought in from the outside. The past 20 years has seen a dramatic increase in the number of churches that have experienced armed attacks. As the numbers of attacks keep climbing, the necessity of security training becomes even more important.

What Will the Parishioners Think?

There are those who feel that having security posted at the entrance to the church is the opposite of what God might want or they may worry that it intimidates people from coming in. They feel He wants us to welcome people into our fold and that He will protect us from harm, especially when we’re in a house of worship. While this is how we would all like to feel, there are threats and dangers that lurk outside of every church and that are just waiting to get in. Even in Biblical times people posted guards, such as stated in Neh. 4:9, to protect the people. Danger to religious people is nothing new. How we respond to those dangers might need to change.

Emergency Responders

Emergency responders such as police, fire, and medical are all trained what to do in case of emergency. While it is comforting to know they are there, the reality is that in some places the response times are much too long. In the case of an active shooter, there really is no time to wait at all. The entire situation might be over before police are even on the way. Situations like this call for security trained personnel to be active and ready at all times.

Why Your Church Might be Targeted

Many people who are out to do others harm look for easy targets. It’s not often you hear of shooters going into a police department looking for trouble. In fact, the exact opposite is true. Easy targets include schools, theaters, churches, and any place that posts signs saying No Guns Allowed or that these people know their targets are likely to not be armed. This is because people with bad intentions don’t follow rules and don’t care what signs say or what people are there for, even if it’s to worship. They just aren’t playing by the same rules as the rest of us.

Yes, Your Church Needs Security Training

All churches should have a security plan in place. This means having dedicated people for designated jobs who are mentally fit and qualified to help. The best bet is to have a set group of people who will provide security and for them to let other church members know how to help in an emergency. For example, a Sunday school teacher should know how to protect the kids if the adults are trapped in the sanctuary. The head of the church should be able to recognize when to quickly lock the doors and have everyone take cover. There are simple steps that every church can take to ensure the safety of the people inside the building.

Fearing the Unknown

Every person is unique and there may be vastly different reactions to starting security training at your church. The important thing to make clear is that if your church has a plan in place, you are more likely to survive something serious. If there’s no plan in place, your church might be at the mercy of a crazed person or active shooter. Better to be vigilant and protect your flock than to not address this growing trend that is impacting churches across the country.

What insurance does a church need?

Churches are centers for community events, weddings, celebrations, gatherings, and solace. They host Sunday worships, preschools, daycares, bible study groups, and community meetings. To many people, churches have always been a sanctuary, a place for safety and reflection. However, this does not shield churches from the many risks it may face. On the contrary, these values they provide expose them to liabilities that many other non-profit organizations may not encounter. Insurance is designed to provide financial stability for the insured. Proper insurance provides the church with peace of mind regarding any financial loss it may incur due to unforeseen circumstances.

Here are some insurance coverages that every church should consider:

Church Property Insurance

Property insurance covers property owned by the church, from your church’s buildings to personal property inside the buildings, such as furnishings, landscaping, business personal property, etc. The insurance covers the property damages from covered events such as natural disasters, theft, robbery, fire, sewer back-up, etc. With adequate property insurance, your church is protected from the unexpected financial hit from replacing damaged property.

Another property insurance that the church should consider is auto insurance. Churches usually have buses or vans that need be covered with an auto insurance policy that provides coverage for damages to the vehicle, or bodily injuries incurred.

Church Liability Insurance

Contrary to what you might think, churches and religious organizations are often sued. General liability insurance covers the church against claims on bodily injury, property damage, and personal injury. The liability insurance for the church should cover church staff, employees, volunteers, church members, and church boards. For many liability claims, an allegation or accusation can be made even if nothing wrong has ever happened. Therefore, churches need to be prepared for circumstances where large legal costs or damage can occur. Some liability insurance the church should consider includes:

  • Employment Practices Liability: The church needs to be protected when an employee makes an accusation against the church. This is also known as EPL insurance and is a necessity for all churches. This insurance covers the damages and legal costs when an employee sues the church for sexual harassment, wrongful termination, discrimination, and retaliation.
  • Sexual Acts Liability: Since churches often have activities with children’s participation, they are subject to the potential of being accused of sexual crimes. This is an insurance coverage that all churches should have.
  • Directors and Officers Liability: It is a common legal action when claims are made against a church’s board of directors, trustees, and officers. This optional endorsement protects covered claims of financial damage resulting from decisions made by the organization’s leaders.
  • Broad Scope Cyber Liability Insurance: Due to high concentration of children under 18, churches are easy targets for data breaches. This optional endorsement protects your ministry against property damage, financial damage, or emotional injury claims that result from ministry activities related to computers and electronic data. Coverage includes protection against claims of computer use, electronic commerce, and data breach errors, as well as covered errors made by IT contractors working on your organization’s behalf.
  • Religious Freedom Protection: This insurance protects your ministry against emotional injury claims resulting from the ministry’s religious communications, religious activities, belief-based decisions, and discriminatory acts.

Coverage for Church Employees

  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance: The legal requirement to purchase workers’ compensation varies by state. This coverage ensures that the employees will receive benefit if injured on the job. Even if the insurance coverage is not required, the church should still consider purchasing insurance for workers’ compensation since it will be liable for work related injuries.
  • Health Insurance: The church may consider purchasing health insurance for its employees to attract talent.
  • Mission Insurance: Most liability insurance only provides coverage that occurs domestically. The church may have missionaries overseas and thus insurance is needed to provide protection for emergencies such as medical coverage, kidnap & ransom, and other liabilities.

How to Select an Insurance Provider for Your Church

Insurance protects your church from any havoc and financial distress resulting from an unexpected event. You are always there for your church; and likewise, you should select an insurance provider that’s always there for you and your church. The right insurance provider and the right insurance policy can make all the difference in protecting your church, and supporting its values and needs if the unthinkable occurs.

The following tips will help you during the process to select the right insurance provider for your church.

Consider a combination of price, product and services

Start off the process by researching the church insurance providers in the market. For example, looking up the following topics can be a good way to get started.

  • Who are the top church insurance providers?
  • What insurance products do they provide? Do they offer insurance related to property, liability, health, travel, workers’ compensation, business auto, sexual misconduct and more?
  • Does the insurance provider have any services that provide your church with value-added risk management tools, training and educational materials to protect against risky events?
  • What are the prices for the insurance protection? Most of the time you may need to work with agents to work out the details of the coverage before knowing the price.

Consider the financial rating of the insurance provider

The best way to understand your insurance provider’s financial strength is through its financial ratings. When shopping for a church insurance provider, it is ideal to choose a provider that has a top rating from at least one of the independent rating companies. A good rating means that the insurance provider has the financial strength to ensure it will be able to pay off future obligations to you should damages occur to your church.

The most popular rating systems are A.M. Best and Moody’s. Each rating agency has its own methodologies to decide the financial strength for the insurance company. Keep in mind that there are differences between the rating agencies and they may give different ratings to the same insurance provider.

Additionally, remember that since each rating agency focuses on different criteria and factors, do not automatically assume that the insurance provider with the highest rating is always the best choice. Copies of the full rating reports are usually available online through the rating systems, or in some large libraries.

Consider the insurance provider’s customer service

Make sure to research and inquire about the insurance provider’s customer service. Pay attention to the customer service so you can have a peace of mind that the agent and the insurance provider will be there for you when losses occur.

For example, does the provider send risk management information regarding steps to take to ensure the safety for your church and people? Will there be a scheduled property appraisal every couple of years to ensure your church is still properly covered? How does the insurance provider handle the claim process and how long does it take to process claims? You can understand this more by looking into any complaints made against the insurance provider. You can visit the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ database for more information on this.

Choose the right an insurance agent

Usually insurance policies are purchased through agents or brokers. A qualified and competent insurance agent will be able to help your church decide the optimal amount of insurance and the proper coverage needed to protect your church against the unexpected. The agent will be able to provide policy recommendations based on a thorough analysis of your church’s needs. Determining how much insurance and what insurance coverages are needed are amongst the most important financial decisions around church insurance; and an agent will be able to help you through the process.

When choosing an insurance agent, do some research to make sure your agent is specialized in church insurance and is able to correctly identify the risks your church faces, and the coverage your church needs. Additionally, maintaining a solid, ongoing relationship with your insurance agent after the sale is important so the agent is aware of the constant changes within your church’s operations, and can provide property appraisal every few years to ensure your church is always properly covered.

5 Questions to ask your Ministry Insurance Provider

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.