RRMJune 9, 2023 / RRMAdam Beyer

Church Insurance – Common Questions Every Church Should Ask When Evaluating Insurance Options

Your church is more than a building; it is a sacred space of worship and fellowship. A place where people can find community and serve their community as well. Managing a church is a great responsibility but it is not without challenges involved in ensuring your church is protected against unforeseen risks. Securing comprehensive church insurance coverage should be a top priority but wading through insurance types and coverage options can be overwhelming. In this blog, we will address common questions that every church should ask when evaluating insurance options, helping you make informed decisions to safeguard your church against potential liability.

Church Insurance – Common Questions To Ask When Evaluating Insurance Options

What types of coverage do we need?

Churches have unique insurance needs that go beyond traditional property and liability coverage. Common types of coverage that churches typically require include:

  • Property Insurance: Protects your church building, contents, and equipment against damage from fire, theft, vandalism, and natural disasters.
  • General Liability Insurance: Covers bodily injury or property damage claims that occur on your church premises, during church-sponsored activities, or as a result of your church’s operations.
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance: Provides coverage for medical expenses and lost wages if an employee or volunteer is injured while working for the church.
  • Professional Liability Insurance: Protects against claims of negligence, errors, or omissions arising from pastoral counseling, teaching, or other professional services.
  • Directors and Officers (D&O) Insurance: Covers legal expenses and damages arising from lawsuits alleging wrongful acts by board members or church leaders.
What risks are we facing that could lead to financial loss?

Identifying the specific risks your church may face is crucial in determining the appropriate coverage. Consider potential risks such as:

  • Property damage due to fire, storms, or other disasters.
  • Theft or vandalism of church property or equipment.
  • Liability claims arising from slips and falls, accidents, or injuries that occur on your premises.
  • Sexual misconduct allegations or other forms of misconduct by church staff or volunteers.
  • Employment-related claims, including wrongful termination or discrimination.
  • Damage to vehicles owned by the church or used for church activities.
  • Cybersecurity risks, including data breaches or unauthorized access to sensitive information.
How much coverage do we need?

Determining the appropriate coverage limits requires assessing your church’s specific circumstances. Factors to consider include:

  • Church size and activities: Larger churches with more members and activities may require higher coverage limits to account for the increased risk of claims.
  • Assets and property value: Evaluate the value of your church building, contents, equipment, and other assets to ensure they are adequately covered.
  • Financial capacity: Consider your church’s financial resources and ability to handle unexpected losses or claims. It’s crucial to strike a balance between appropriate coverage and affordability.
What exclusions are in our policy?

Understanding the exclusions in your insurance policy is vital to avoid unexpected gaps in coverage. Common exclusions in church insurance policies may include:

  • Acts of terrorism or war.
  • Damage caused by wear and tear or lack of maintenance.
  • Sexual abuse or misconduct claims (unless specifically covered by a separate endorsement).
  • Intentional acts or criminal behavior by church staff or volunteers.
  • Pollution-related incidents – Carefully review your policy and discuss any potential exclusions with your insurance provider to ensure you have the coverage you need.

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