Mission Trip Insurance for Church Groups: What Coverage Do You Need?

Your ministry extends beyond the walls of your church and the boundaries of your community. What coverage does your church need for mission trip insurance? What if a mission building collapsed and incurred damage costs of $10,000? What if a missionary was struck in an accident and incurred medical costs of $20,000? What if there are no readily available medical facilities in some mission trip areas, and greater medical expenses may be needed for medical transportation? Some churches may assume that their domestic property and liability insurance will cover any unexpected events during their formal travel, this is not true! Mission trip insurance provides peace of mind and the coverage your church needs when the unfortunate occurs. Wherever the mission trip takes you, mission trip insurance is essential to cover any damages or financial impacts from unexpected events from foreign mission trips.

For a small amount of insurance premium, mission trip insurance provides protection for employees and volunteers traveling for a mission trip. Depending on the insurance provider, some companies provide a one-step solution that includes all the necessary coverage for short-term and long-term mission trip needs. Other companies provide flexibility to let you pick which coverage you need to protect your church and the missionaries.

The church should consider mission trip insurance that include the following coverages:

  • Foreign Liability Insurance: Medical emergencies, accident-related claims, and lawsuits related to religious acts are common liability concerns that your church and the missionaries could face. The liability insurance for mission trips can cover claims from bodily injuries, property damage, and personal injury for missionaries.
  • Foreign Medical Insurance: The travel medical insurance covers any medical expenses from accidents, illness, emergency medical conditions on foreign or domestic mission travels.
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation: Medical evacuation may be necessary depending on the location of the mission trip. For some remote areas, there may not be readily available medical facilities, and medical transportation such as a helicopter may be needed.
  • Kidnap and Ransom Coverage: While on a mission trip, no one wants to think about the possibility of getting kidnapped and being trapped in a ransom situation. Unfortunately, this situation does occur and it is prudent to consider purchasing insurance coverage for the worst-case scenarios. This coverage covers events such as kidnap, threats, hijacks, extortions, etc. The insurance protects against financial impact and provides a certain amount of reimbursement from ransom payment, legal advice, travel and accommodation costs, security consultants, etc.
  • Foreign Auto Insurance: The insurance covers any damages and costs to auto vehicles from accidents occurred on the mission trip.
  • Commercial Property Insurance: The insurance covers your church’s property during missionary trips.

To mitigate all these risks involved with a foreign mission trip, the church should consider the following while making mission trip plans:

  • Factor in mission trip insurance premium into the mission budget. Discuss with insurance carriers on what the potential quotes are for your desired coverage, and take into account of those in your mission budget.
  • Understand the details of the coverage and get written proof of the coverage: Ask for the written proof of insurance and understand the details of what exactly are covered from the mission trip insurance.
  • Evaluate the need for insurance and obtain additional coverage if needed: After you understand the coverage for the mission trip insurance, evaluate whether the coverage is enough for the need. Sometimes there are significant gaps in coverage, and there may be events that may not have been covered. In this case, you may want to obtain additional insurance. Work with the insurance carrier to identify the optimal amount of coverage needed.
  • Be careful when planning to go to a remote area, or places with political unrest or threats of violence. Some insurance policies provide coverage for security assistant services. If conditions are extreme and volatile, consider rescheduling the trip if necessary. Some insurance coverage provides reimbursement for rescheduling and cancelling costs.

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