Churches and non-profits often suffer naive misconceptions that parishioners or populations they serve are too grateful for their service or charity to sue when something goes wrong. Times have changed. Adequate insurance is necessary.
It is important to choose an agency with experience insuring churches and non-profits. Most churches are small, independent entities lacking the resources to self-insure. In this case, choosing a local agent with commercial and property insurance experience is a prudent choice. The agent should be able to place the policy with an established insurance company which has experience covering church or non-profit entities.
Below is a list of some types of coverage to consider. There may be additional factors to contemplate before deciding on which policy to purchase. Always consult your insurance agent!
Church authorities need to decide whether to insure for actual or replacement cost. In old, historic churches containing hard-to-replace or irreplaceable structures, treasures or artifacts, actual replacement may be hard to calculate. The cost of insurance may be difficult to price or prohibitively expensive. Newer churches can get by with replacement costs. All real estate owned by the organization should be covered.
Professional Liability, Acts/Errors/Omissions Coverage:
Many clergy and staff provide professional counseling or professionally licensed services to their constituents. Failure to provide appropriate professional coverage may not only be foolhardy, but illegal.
This covers a church for property damage caused by the church to another person. Volunteers are a particularly difficult variable to consider. Consult with experienced agents and even legal counsel to choose appropriate insurance policies covering volunteers. Many insurers have special rules regarding volunteers. These rules can be extensive and costly. Compliance requires extra documentation and oversight to avoid voiding coverage.
Directors and Officer Liability Insurance:
Many churches have auxiliary service organizations that are non-profit in nature; such as, shelters, soup kitchens and schools. These entities often have independent boards and officers. When choosing this coverage, tailor it to be sure it is appropriate.
“Our blogs are for general education information only and may not represent your unique needs. Coverages will vary. Please contact your insurance agent to verify your specific policy terms and conditions.”