When most people think about insurance, they prioritize coverage for their health, vehicles, homes and businesses. And even though running a church is not the same as running a for-profit business, treating it as such regarding insurance and liability is not a bad idea. Churches are viewed as sacred places, but accidents and wrongdoing can happen anywhere, so it is smart to rely on some type of church insurance to help mitigate potential damage.
Top Risks For Churches
Houses of worship are not only full on Sundays. Many churches host daycare centers, discussion or study sessions, fundraisers, community meetings and other events year round. These activities involve risks to the people attending and to the property. Here are some of the biggest threats to church security.
Theft and Burglary
Unfortunately, churches are frequent targets for burglary and theft. Many people know that some houses of worship store religious items that are made with precious metals or valuable for their history. Also, the open-door policy of some churches can make them vulnerable, especially at night or at times when vigilance of the church and its surroundings is low. Church insurance for theft and burglary may cover items such as stained glass windows, art and religious artifacts, which normal business insurance policies commonly exclude. Additional ways to reduce the likelihood of burglary are locking the doors, installing lighting around the entrances and parking lots and setting up a security system with alarms and/or security cameras.
Water and Storm Damage
Just as weather can be a big threat to homes and schools, it can be so to churches. From floods to hail and lightning, storms can cause millions of dollars in property damage each year. Power surges can affect computers, sound systems and other electrical equipment. Also, water damage to roofs, floors and walls can result from broken pipes and leaking faucets. Make sure your church insurance plan covers the areas of your church you are most concerned with protecting.
Thousands of fires occur every year in religious properties, costing millions of dollars in structural damage and incurring indirect costs of canceled income-generating activities, temporary rentals of other spaces and suspension of services. Some of the most common causes of church fires are candles, malfunctioning heating equipment or electrical wiring, cooking and arson. Some church insurance plans can cover fire damage and resulting liability or medical issues. In addition to having insurance, keep fire extinguishers handy, extinguish all candles before leaving the room and schedule regular HVAC maintenance.
Sexual Abuse and Misconduct
If you or your employees are accused of sexual harassment or misconduct in or outside of the church’s property, the liability portion of a church insurance policy may step up. Try your best to prevent sexual misconduct in your church by making sure all protocols and policies are followed, especially among employees or volunteers working with children. Run thorough background checks on all prospective employees or volunteers and train them, as well as event attendees and members of your community, to speak up if they suspect any type of sexual misconduct is happening.
People can get injured while participating in events organized by your church, and in some cases they may want your church to cover the costs of the damage or medical bills. Church liability insurance can, to some extent, protect your church members, officials, staff, volunteers and employees if third parties are injured while performing duties for the church. Many churches opt for general liability insurance, but keep in mind that some plans can cater to your church’s specific needs or regular activities. These are some of the cases in which King Insurance Partners can assist you.
Many churches operate cars, vans or buses to transport their members and attendees to daycare, camp and other events. People can get injured at or on the way to or from these events, so if your church heavily relies on transportation, you may want to invest on a church insurance policy with good vehicle coverage.
International Mission Trips
Some churches send their members abroad for charity work, proselytizing and other reasons. If this is your case, make sure you find a tailored plan of insurance for churches that frequently organize mission trips.
Many people from a congregation may turn to their priests, pastors and other religious leaders for spiritual guidance and practical advice. And although most advice may be given with good intentions, it may unintentionally affect someone’s life negatively. Some church insurance plans include sections for pastoral liability.
Church Insurance Providers
King Insurance Partners can be your premier church insurance agency. We have provided church insurance since 1974 and helped clients reduce their costs by up to 40 percent. If you think you may be paying too much for your insurance plan, contact us for the possibility to save significant money while maintaining an insurance policy that suits your needs. Call us today for a consultation!