Insurance For Houses Of Worship - Explained

February 11, 2020

As a pastor or church administrator, you are not only tasked with leading your congregation; you also have to create a stable financial foundation for your ministry to thrive.

That means making sure donations are coming in. It also means making sure those donations are used to serve the church.

Purchasing a great insurance program doesn’t just free you from worrying about catastrophic losses. It also lets you use church resources the way they were intended instead of preparing for disaster.

But what do you need to know when purchasing insurance for houses of worship?

Your ministry’s specific needs will dictate what policy to obtain. With that said, here are the basic coverages for church property and casualty insurance.

Insuring Your Church Property

Church property insurance covers your congregation's investment in the ministry. Churches often have large buildings that are only made possible by years of generous giving. Your congregants made sacrifices so they could donate. They trusted that you would build them a church.

If a fire burns down your church, a property insurance policy will pay for the reconstruction efforts and make sure your ministry is whole again. You can insure most of your church property under this coverage, whether it be church hall insurance or the pews that your members sit on.

Covering Your Ministry's Liability

Churches have a significant number of activities that normally occur. Whether it be band practices or summer camps, there is always the risk of someone getting hurt or property being damaged.

A liability insurance or church fellowship insurance protects the church from lawsuits arising from your events and operations.

Additionally, churches need coverage for the messages they preach and the beliefs they hold. Traditional insurance policies don’t cover any claims that do not arise from bodily injury or property damage, which is why you need a specialty insurance broker to help you find a policy designed to cover the liability of religious institutions.

Make sure to talk to your insurance broker about coverage for your church's stained glass. This is often not covered correctly under traditional commercial property insurance coverage.

Protecting Your Congregation

When you are responsible for the well-being of others, you want to ensure that they are taken care of in the event of an accident.

We frequently see scenarios involving volunteer workers, church recreational sports, or church events. You can get an accident policy that covers the medical bills of these individuals if they are injured during a church activity.

These policies usually take the place of medical payments coverage in the church liability policy. An accident policy gives you more options to broaden coverage and increase the limits of insurance to match the type of activities your volunteers or participants are taking part in.

Assisting Your Ministry Leaders

Making financial and leadership decisions on behalf of a nonprofit comes with substantial liability.

Read our insight "Directors And Officers Insurance Claims For Nonprofits" for more information about directors and officers liability for nonprofits.

As a leader of your church, you can be held personally liable if you are accused of breaching your fiduciary duties to the church – even if the accusations aren't true.

A directors and officers (D&O) policy will protect you from settlements and help you hire an attorney to defend you in court.

Additionally, experienced board members will want to see that you have D&O insurance in place to protect them.

Summary

Church fellowship insurance is an integral part of your ministry's financial stability. Transfer your risk to us and use your money to better serve the church instead of preparing for the worst-case scenario.

LandesBlosch specializes in insurance for houses of worship. We currently insure over 400 churches in the United States, and can advise you on the best insurance for your unique ministry.

About The Author: Austin Landes, CIC

Austin is an experienced Commercial Risk Advisor specializing in property & casualty risk management for religious institutions, real estate, construction, and manufacturing.

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