When you are operating a church, you do it to help your local community and come together with others who follow along the same belief system as you. And while your church is likely a non-profit organization, you are still open to some risks. Damage to your church from a natural disaster, liability with an injury of a parishioner or community member, or any other number of things can happen. Protect your church with proper church insurance.
Types of Church Insurance
With each of your different risk exposures, there are various insurance policies to cover them. Choose from the following essential types of church insurance:
Your church is at risk for liabilities with your premises, any products you provide and completed operations. All three areas of coverage are included under general liability insurance. For example, if you provide special services for community members, like helping to rebuild their home after a fire, any further damage caused even by accident, is covered under completed operations. If a church member is injured while in your church, such as tripping over a branch on your grounds, it will be covered by premises liability. Items you sell, such as muffins for fundraisers, can cause illness. The medical costs are covered under products liability.
If you utilize a vehicle for your church, such as driving elderly patrons home after church service or attending a local event, business auto provides coverage for your vehicle. You can choose what to include, such as collision coverage, bodily injury coverage, uninsured motorists’, vandalism and/or theft.
Church Business Owner’s Policy (BOP)
To combine multiple coverages for your church into one policy, you can choose the business owner’s policy (BOP). This is a package type of policy that lets you customize it with what you want covered. It always includes general liability and you can also choose from business income and expense, buildings and contents, employee dishonesty, electronic data and newly acquired or constructed buildings. Many insurance carriers can also add professional liability usually called “Pastoral Liability” to the BOP policy.
Damage to your property becomes your responsibility and can be disastrous to your finances. With business property insurance coverage, a fire for example, that causes damage to your church can help you pay for the necessary repairs.
If you have a website for your church to let community members know about future events and special things happening, it should be covered by a cyber liability insurance policy. Cyber crimes are still prevalent, even after taking the proper security measures. This policy protects your business from cyber crimes like spyware, computer viruses, and data breaches.
By law, you are required to carry a workers’ compensation policy for every employee. They are at risk while working in your church, whether it means your accountant getting carpal tunnel syndrome or other repetitive motion injury, or an employee falling off a ladder while hanging lights during the holiday season. With workers’ compensation, their medical costs are covered by the policy.
Some events may cause more damage than what other policies can cover, since they all have limits. The liability policies for your Church (General Liability and Commercial Auto, for example) all have coverage limits. Umbrella liability insurance therefore is used to increase your liability limits for all of these risks under one policy to protect your business for claims that exceed your primary policy limits.
Church Crime Insurance
While you may think you are not exposed to crimes, they do still happen in churches. This might be vandalizing your property inside or out, stealing money from the collection plate, or stealing other items within your church. Protect yourself by getting a crime insurance policy to mitigate these risks.
Church insurance should cover each of your risks, ranging from the most common to those that might be less likely.Work with your insurance agency to craft the best coverage for your church. By doing so, you can focus on running your church for your community and not worry so much about the unexpected events that could occur in the future.