Consider Protecting Your:
- House of worship such as a church, mosque, or temple
- Religious community and clergy
- Administrative structures
- Large para-church or mega ministry
- Faith-based association, nursing home, or charity
- Camp or conference center
Protect Yourself From:
- Wrongful acts by your board, employees, or volunteers
- Damage to buildings and shared properties
- Bodily injury to visitors on your premises
- Personal injury or property damage caused by your employees
- Environmental or pollution exposures
- False advertising, slander, or libel claims
- Weather-related events and power outages
- Building collapse, fire, vandalism, and burglary
- Replacing or repairing broken equipment
- Allegations of abuse or exploitation
- Board or employee dishonesty or misappropriation of funds
- Destruction of records and valuable papers
- Cyber threats and stolen data
Do churches need insurance?
Yes, churches need insurance. They need property liability, sexual abuse liability, Directors and Officers (D&O), cyber insurance and religious counseling insurance, to name a few.
How much is church insurance?
Church insurance policies vary. Common questions your church will receive are, how big is your church building, does your church run any side businesses such as a school or a coffee shop, and does your church host any events? All these factors will have an impact on the price.
Do churches need workers comp?
Yes, they do. Unfortunately, many churches think workers comp and state unemployment are the same, which they are not.
Do churches need to carry additional coverage for volunteers?
It depends on the insurance carriers and what is embedded in the general liability coverage.
How do you handle a church’s insurance if they own a school, coffee shop, or motor vehicle(s)?
Additional coverage would be required. For example, if the church has a school, it will depend on what the school offers, daycare, sports, etc. Motor vehicles and buses can be covered as well. If your church has vehicles that are over 15 years, work with a partner that has deep relationships with the carriers to avoid carveouts in your policies for older vehicles.
What a church needs to know about hosting community events.
It is a liability issue for the church. Some insurance carriers will limit the policy. Ensure you are highlighting that you host or plan to host events. Typical questions the carrier will ask are when the event is, what kind of event is it, and will information be passed around which could be a liability. Before an event is planned, it is recommended to speak with an insurance agent.
Why does a church need religious counseling services liability insurance?
In our litigious society, people may not like what they hear from their pastor or religious leader, and they must protect themselves. Like malpractice insurance for doctors, religious counseling services liability is similar. All professionals can be sued when they give advice, pastors and religious leaders are no exception. This coverage can assist if your advice is ever challenged.
Can a church pay for a pastor’s health insurance?
It depends. If the pastor goes on the exchange, the church cannot pay for the pastor’s insurance. Ministers get a housing allowance, which is not considered part of the pastor’s income, so it doesn’t go against the exchange.
Do churches offer health insurance?
Yes, they can offer health insurance to the pastor and the staff. Because budgets are limited, many churches opt not to provide insurance health insurance and instead provide cost-sharing plans.
Does your church need cyber insurance?
Yes. Churches are not immune to cyber risk. Regardless of size, threats can be from external and internal sources, especially if the church does not have an in-house IT person. Data breaches are not the only cyber danger that can threaten a church. Other cyber risks include malware and viruses that can hold a church’s data hostage until a ransom is paid and phishing emails that cybercriminals use to defraud victims. As churches increasingly utilize applications, devices, and other technology to enable ministry, they become more vulnerable to attacks.
What are the various types of abuse that can happen in a church?
Sexual abuse can take many forms. It can occur with or without an assault or physical touching and can happen on popular platforms such as Snapchat, Tiktok, Meta formally Facebook, or even sexting. Protecting children online and offline is imperative.
Do insurance providers cover sexual abuse?
Yes, however insurance companies are finding it challenging to provide sexual conduct liability coverage for two reasons: claims are rising, and the states are changing the laws. For example, before the law changes in Delaware, Pennsylvania, and California, victims had until three years passed their 18th birthday to file a lawsuit against a church for an action that occurred while they were a minor. Now, there is no age limit for victims in those states to file a suit. So, it becomes a real litigation problem for insurance companies. Working with a partner with longstanding relationships with the carriers is key to getting the coverage your church needs.
What can insurance brokers do to help churches prevent sexual misconduct?
Most insurance companies will provide guidelines for the staff and are recommended for volunteers as well. A vital component is that the insurance companies want people to be part of the church for six months before working with children. It is recommended to always have at least two people in the classroom who are not related. If an incident occurs, who will be the witness? A spouse or daughter will not help in court. Conducting reference checks is a must. When hiring a new church employee, it is advisable to contact the prior employer and ask questions such as "tell me about this individual, what were they like, did they work with children?" The pastor or other church members are likely to share off the record that the person should not be around children.
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