Religious Insurance – Why Goodwill Requires Good Coverage

Published on Wed, 10/09/2013 - 17:01

In a perfect world, places of worship would be safe from common exposures. But unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Every year churches are damaged by vandals, hate crimes and arson. Occasionally, worshipers’ purses and belongings are stolen. And sometimes churches are sued for the actions of their employees or the decisions of their leaders.

In reality, religious organizations face many of the same risks as other businesses and organizations. And while having to wrestle with administrative duties like choosing insurance might seem overwhelming, it’s a necessary part of continuing the mission of goodwill.

No church is immune from risks.
All churches face the standard risks of damage or destruction of property due to fire, wind, flood, or other natural disasters. They also face liability risks such as injury, death or other harm occurring during the course of church activities.

What basic kinds of insurance do churches need?
Below is a list of basic coverage types to consider:

• Property/liability coverage that protects the church buildings and unique contents
• Commercial general liability coverage that covers bodily injury or property damage to a third party on and off the premises
• Auto coverage for owned, non-owned and hired automobiles operated on behalf of the church
• Workers’ compensation coverage for church employees
• Crime coverage for theft
• Umbrella or excess liability coverage in case of a catastrophic liability claim such as a major accident with multiple casualties
• Flood coverage

What specialized risks may not be covered by standard policies?
In addition to basic coverage, churches should consider specialized protection. A standard insurance policy might not provide adequate coverage for things such as personal property, unlimited glass breakage, church personal property at a parsonage, water damage from baptistry overflow, or medical coverage for volunteer labor. Churches can get special endorsements to cover these and other risks including:

• Pastoral counseling liability
• Directors and officers liability
• Equipment breakdown
• Daycare liability
• Religious school liability

While any insurance company can sell you a policy, it may not be comprehensive enough to meet your ministry’s unique needs. Therefore, it’s crucial to have a partner who has experience with churches and religious organizations – someone who understands your safety and risk management issues and insurance needs.

Put your faith in an expert.
With many years of experience working with specialized religious risks, Heffernan Insurance has the industry expertise to make sure you have the coverage you need at a price your budget can handle. Protect your property, your people, and your traditions by putting your faith in the insurance experts at Heffernan. Learn more about our religious insurance offerings.  Also, make sure to subscribe to our blog at the top of this page.