Insuring Your Church
Few of us are concerned about insurance until we make a claim. What should church leaders be considering before a claim is needed?
It is essential for your insurance cover to be designed for your requirements, as this not only ensures your assets are protected, but also that your insurer understands your activities. Having the right insurance cover that is fit for purpose can provide peace of mind for church leaders, and helps to protect those in your church including staff, volunteers, and the wider congregation.
Most insurers have amended their policy cover and wording due to the pandemic, so you should ensure you acquaint yourself with these changes to fully understand what you are or indeed are not covered for.
Types of insurance cover
Insurance cover is usually provided by specialist insurers and brokers who understand a particular sector and offer appropriately worded policies that reflect the needs of the industry. Combined packages provide a variety of materials damage and liability options, including sector-specific specialist covers for places of worship and connected faith-based organisations.
Core covers can include:
- Public liability and products liability.
- Employers’ liability.
- Legal expenses.
- Group personal accident.
- Trustee, Directors, or Officers liability.
- Material damage.
- Equipment breakdown.
- Goods in transit.
Keeping good risk assessments and policies
The Covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on many insurance covers, as insurers expect organisations to be operating in line with Government guidance, having appropriate risk assessments in place in order to minimise risk.
Good risk assessments are a key part of ensuring your organisation is operating safely and can make a huge difference when submitting an insurance claim. Similarly, your organisation’s Health and Safety policy can play a part in any insurance claims you make.
For instance, if a church volunteer climbs a ladder to adjust a projector, or change a lightbulb, they are technically working at height so need to have received appropriate training and safety instruction since volunteers are classed as employees.
Checking these policies is the first step of a claim, so it is important to keep yours updated and relevant.
Another important consideration is when you last had a rebuilding valuation carried out on your building. For instance, is the sum insured still adequate to cover the costs of site clearance, rebuilding, plus associated costs such as legal and planning?
Most policies include an underinsurance clause which means that only a proportion of the costs may be covered if the sum insured is inadequate. This can prove very costly in the event of a claim.
Liability and indemnity
You should also consider whether your indemnity limits are still adequate, as claims settlements and legal costs are always increasing.
Dependent on your requirements, you will usually find optional covers like:
- Loss recovery.
- Employment practices liability.
- Care and treatment included under Public Liability.
- Subsidence cover for buildings.
It is also useful to be aware of your equipment inventory. Do you have an up-to-date record of your equipment?
Maybe you have acquired additional equipment or indeed disposed of some since you last reviewed your sums insured.
Most insurance policies are written on a new for old basis so the sum insured should reflect the figure needed to replace everything as new.
Finally, when planning church events, it is crucial to know what your insurance cover allows.
Some activities will need special licenses, and if you are using any third-party organisers such as a caterer or inflatables company, you will need to ensure they have adequate insurance cover and agree responsibilities between you.
If you are using any professional caterers at your event, you should check they are registered under the Food Safety Act and with their Local Authority Environmental Health Department and ensure that they are health and safety compliant.
You can read more on the specific insurance considerations for church events on my article for Kingdom Bank.
We can help
Kingdom Bank’s specialist insurance brokers are here to help. As an experienced broker with a deep understanding of the specific needs of churches and charities, we’re able to support you with expert advice on the cover you need to protect your organisation and those you serve.
But we’re more than just insurance brokers: we’re committed to helping churches grow. By arranging your insurance through us, you’ll become a partner in that mission by investing in Kingdom ministry across the country.
Visit the Kingdom Bank website for more information or call 0115 921 7270 and our team will be happy to discuss your requirements.