The 7 Types of Insurance Coverage Every Church Should Consider

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As a church, you are responsible for the safety and well-being of your congregation. This includes protecting them from potential dangers. Church insurance is designed for this.

Church insurance protects your church from financial problems if something happens to the property or someone is injured while on site. There are many different types of coverage available, and the amount you pay depends on factors such as the size of your church and the type of coverage you need. Here are seven types of insurance coverage that every house of worship should consider.

1. Commercial property insurance

Commercial property insurance for your church covers the building and contents of your structure. Houses of worship have two main types of property – real and personal. Typically, immovable property includes fixtures and fittings. Fixtures can include benches (if nailed to the ground), pipe organs, stained glass, and outdoor signs. Personal property refers to computer equipment, communication systems and library property.

Commercial property insurance covers a variety of risks such as weather damage, equipment failure, food contamination, fine art, trees, and sewage storage. Commercial property insurance is important for churches because it can help cover the cost of repairs or replacements if the church building or other property is damaged. Understanding this policy is essential for churches to see if it meets the needs of the organization.7 Types of Insurance Coverage Every Church Should Consider (1200 × 628 pixels) (1)

2. Public liability insurance

Public liability insurance It is a recommended coverage for any business entity, even if your church is a non-profit organization. This coverage protects a church from lawsuits due to bodily injury, property damage or defense costs if they go to court. The standard recommendation is that churches carry at least $1 million in public liability coverage to protect the church from financial hardship.

3. Workers’ compensation insurance

A workers’ comp component can help cover costs associated with injuries that employees sustain while on the job. A common misconception about workers comp insurance is that it is unnecessary for churches. In fact, workers’ comp insurance is important because it can help cover medical expenses and lost wages if an employee is injured on the job. Unfortunately, many church leaders think that the unemployment of the workers and the government is the same and puts the church in danger.

Workers’ camp insurance does not usually cover church volunteers. This means that if a volunteer is injured while working for the church, the church may be responsible for their medical expenses and lost wages.

While some churches may have private insurance policies that cover volunteers, it is important to verify what is included in the insurance policy. Church leaders should also consider requiring volunteers to sign a waiver that releases the church from liability if the church is injured while on the job.

4. Commercial vehicle insurance

Churches that own and operate vehicles must purchase commercial auto insurance. If a church-owned vehicle is damaged in an accident, auto insurance can help pay for repairs or replacement. It can also help cover medical expenses if a church member or employee is injured while driving a church-owned vehicle. While motor vehicles including buses can be covered, anything over 15 years old can be problematic.

5. Managers and officers insurance

Churches should consider purchasing directors and officers (D&O) insurance to protect themselves from lawsuits that may arise from the actions of their leaders. D&O insurance can help churches avoid financial ruin if they are sued for mistakes or omissions while running their organization.

6. Liability insurance for religious counseling services

Any profession can be complained about during counseling. Unfortunately, priests and religious leaders are not exempt from this rule. Similar to medical malpractice insurance, liability for religious counseling services is similar. This cover can help if your advice is challenged.

7. Sexual behavior liability insurance

Unfortunately, sexual abuse can happen in your place of worship. It comes in two forms, contact and non-contact abuse, such as texting, Snapchat, TikTok, Meta, officially Facebook, etc. Most insurance companies have policies that cover abuse and harassment or sexual conduct liability. There are two components to politics that you should be aware of. One covers legal fees and the other covers payment if the case is lost.

Insurance companies have struggled to cover their sexual liability due to increased claims and changes in states like Delaware, Pennsylvania and California. Victims in those states can now wait until they are 65 or older to sue the church for actions that occurred when they were minors. Before the changes in the law, victims only had three years after their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit, which is still the case in most states. This creates a problem for insurance companies as it becomes difficult or impossible to predict claims, and there is no telling if more states will follow suit.7 Types of Insurance Coverage Every Church Should Consider (1200 × 628 pixels) (2)

There are many types of insurance coverage that churches should consider

Running a church can be challenging. Church leaders must be aware of the risks and take steps to mitigate them. If your church is looking to purchase insurance, it is imperative that you work with an experienced agent who can help determine the best coverage for your needs. At World, our church insurance experts can also help identify potential discounts available. This is not an exhaustive list of every coverage that may be applicable to churches, so it is best to speak with a professional to protect your religious organization.