You can save time and money buying insurance for a church when you deal directly with an expert commercial insurance agent who understands the distinct risks you face. A church will often face lots of the same hazards as a commercial business, but there are also some other exposures that are unique. For instance, most of the people who work at a church will do so on a voluntary basis; another unique exposure is that a church could be held liable for being in violation of canon law.
Here, we outline some of the most frequently asked questions about church insurance and explain the best types of insurance a church should buy.
Regardless of the size of the building or the frequency of its use, all churches need to buy property insurance. Usually, a commercial property policy or even a business owner policy can protect the church organization against any damage to church-owned buildings, losses, and personal property.
There are generally two types of coverage options for you to choose from when you buy property insurance for a church. The property can either be covered for its replacement value or its actual cash value. Churches should be insured for their replacement cost rather than their actual cash value. The limits of the insurance will need to cover the cost of a total rebuild in case it is completely destroyed by an insured peril.
All church property should be covered, including parsonages, living quarters, meeting halls, and any personal property, such as stained glass, religious artifacts, and prayer books. Depending on the value of your artifacts or wall coverings, you might also want to include insurance for fine arts coverage.
Building Ordinance is optional insurance that provides coverage for any extra costs of reconstruction or repair works that might be required to ensure the building meets the current building codes. In some cases, the cost of upgrading a building could cause severe financial stress to a church should a building code become enforceable. These costs will not be covered under a standard commercial insurance policy for a church.
A church is now subjected to lawsuits in the same way as a profit-led business. Similar to the way businesses operate their employee benefits programs, a church may also offer fringe benefits to their workers. If you belong to a church that employs individuals, then purchasing employee benefits liability coverage could insure the church in case an employee takes legal action due to the failure to administer these benefits correctly. Another example of why liability insurance is needed, if where a church will allow an outside group or organization to use their building for classes, meetings, and such.
Umbrella Liability Insurance is another type of liability coverage that should be considered. It can essentially top-up the limits of other insurance policies, so that should a significant claim be made that exhausts the limitations on a general liability or auto insurance claim, then it will cover the excess up to its agreed limit.
Finally, the last type of liability coverage for a church is Errors and Omissions insurance. For any Church Pastors that offer spiritual counseling, they face the risk of being held liable for any emotional or physical injury to their members. This is often referred to as Pastoral Counselling Liability Insurance, which is a specific type of professional indemnity coverage for churches. If your church provides cremations or burials, then you can also purchase a type of liability coverage called cemetery professional liability coverage.
The Best Way to Buy Insurance for a Church
If you want to buy church insurance, there are many different options to consider and lots of additional products that are designed to meet the unique needs of an organization such as yours. You can get a quote for church insurance from an expert commercial insurance agent and ask them any questions you might have while you speak to them. It can often save you time, and it means you get the best levels of coverage for your church's individual needs.