A church is never just a building. A church is a community center, a place of worship, a social club, and more all wrapped into one single entity.
Because of that fact, all of the 380,000 different churches currently operational in America need some kind of insurance. Church insurance companies exist for this very reason, but it can be hard to know what exactly to look for in terms of the type of insurance you need.
We’re going to highlight some of the main insurance types for churches. We’ll also go into different types of insurance companies, so you know who you can trust.
That way, your church can keep on operating both safely and securely long into the future.
You Should Always Get Any Type of Insurance From Dedicated Church Insurance Companies
Searching for insurance isn’t an easy thing to do. The unfortunate reality is that there are a number of questionable companies out there who exist to manipulate those in need.
This is particularly true in the case of church insurance. Pastors and church managers are not business owners, they’re men (or women) of the cloth.
As a result, a lot of people who manage churches don’t have business expertise behind them. This can mean it’s a particular area of insurance that’s rife with companies trying to take advantage.
As a general rule, you should always make sure to get any of your church insurance from a dedicated church insurance company.
These are companies who are specialists in this particular kind of insurance. They work closely with industry leaders across religious practice, to make sure any insurance they give out is best for this particular area.
Do your research on church insurance companies before you commit to any kind of insurance. There are a number of benefits to church insurance companies, which we’ll go over next.
Then, we’ll be highlighting the kind of insurance your church needs.
The Benefits of Getting Insurance From Church Insurance Companies
The first major benefit of working with dedicated church insurance companies is their specialist expertise. These are companies that only provide insurance for churches or religious institutions.
That means they’re going to know the specialist info your church and congregation needs. A church isn’t like a regular form of business, it’s a different entity entirely.
If you’re trying to work with a regular insurance provider, they won’t understand this core difference. That can mean you end up paying too much. Or, you won’t get the type of insurance your church genuinely needs to operate.
By working with a specialist, you’ll limit any unnecessary expenses. That means your church can put the money you’ve saved into initiatives that really matter.
These specialist providers will also be able to work with churches of any size. From superchurches to small local parishes, they’ll have experience working with them.
That means they know exactly what kind of particular concerns you might be facing. It also means they can help you to expand your congregation and cover in the future, should you need it.
Finally, you know that specialist insurance companies are legitimate. They will be able to present you with a track record of working with churches just like yours.
This can help you avoid being caught out by dodgy insurance dealers. Now you know the many benefits of specialist insurance providers, we’ll outline some types of insurance for churches.
Churches Need General Liability Insurance
The first main type of insurance we’re going to cover is general liability insurance. This form of insurance for churches actually covers two different things in one.
The first is covering situations where someone gets injured whilst attending your church. Accidents can happen at any time, and anywhere. Churches, despite being holy places, are unfortunately no different.
Members of your church could accidentally burn themselves on a candle. Or, they could trip whilst walking to their seat and injure their back.
All of these different injuries can be a nightmare for your congregation and you if you’re not covered. General liability can also cover your church if anyone’s property is damaged on your premises.
This can be things like cars being broken into whilst in a church car park. Or, it could be a bag that, once again, drifted a little too close to one of the candles.
If you take out general liability, your church can cover these incidents before they happen.
All Churches Should Consider Taking Out Property Insurance
Speaking of property, your church shouldn’t just be covering your congregation’s property. You should make sure the church’s property itself is also covered by insurance.
This can be achieved by taking out what’s known as property insurance. The great thing about property insurance is that it protects your actual church building.
If a fire starts in your church, or bad weather causes the roof to cave in, you can claim on property insurance. Property insurance also covers any belongings that you have inside the church itself.
That can include anything from benches and candles to stained glass windows and murals. If your church has expensive artwork or windows to protect, property insurance is absolutely essential.
Complex stained glass windows for instance can cost tens of thousands of dollars. They’re often a worthwhile investment, but they need to be protected.
Without any insurance, you’ll have no way to claim damages if any of these items get damaged. That’s the case even if they’re damaged for reasons outside of your control.
Sexual Misconduct Liability Insurance For Churches
This is a bit of a touchy subject, but it’s an area that has to be addressed if you’re managing a church. You should always make sure to take out sexual misconduct insurance for two main reasons.
The first reason is if any false allegations are claimed against a member of your parish. This insurance will help you to fight any false allegations, and ensure they don’t damage your church in the long run.
The second reason is in case any sexual misconduct actually occurs in your church. This could be caused by a particular vicar, or by a member of your congregation.
But just like with accidents, these gross actions can happen anywhere, including in a church or at a religious site. Taking out this insurance makes sure you can claim if this impacts your church in any way.
Counseling Acts Liability and Professional Liability Insurance for Churches
Counseling is a part of the job when it comes to managing a church. You need to be able to advise your congregation on how to live their lives to better themselves.
This can be through sermons, confessions, 1-1 sessions, or any other format. But to makes sure your church is protected, you need to consider taking out counseling acts liability.
You should also consider professional liability insurance, as well as counseling liability.
This is because sometimes members of a congregation may, rightfully or wrongfully, accuse church members of abuse. This could be in the form of emotional distress, physical harm, or other actions.
If these accusations occur, whether truthful or not, insurance can help to protect your church.
Umbrella Insurance Helps Churches When Asking What Type of Insurance to Get
A final tip to bear in mind is to consider taking out what’s known as umbrella insurance.
Umbrella insurance essentially covers any insurance that you haven’t taken out specifically as a church. Because of this, it can be a great overhang option if you only have a few types of insurances already.
It can also be a beneficial choice for your church if you’re unsure what insurance type to commit to.
Umbrella insurance can however be a more expensive option, for churches or businesses. This is due to the fact that the terms covered in umbrella insurance are when the terms of your regular insurance have been reached.
As a result, this is likely only an option for churches with larger budgets and congregations. You may also have heard this insurance called excess liability before.
Other Insurance Options for Churches to Consider
Finally, there are some other insurance types to consider in specific circumstances. If your church owns a vehicle, like a church bus, you’ll need motor insurance.
If you rent your vehicles, you’ll need to consider getting hired, or non-owned auto insurance. If your church employs anyone, you should also consider taking out worker’s compensation insurance.
To find out what exactly your church needs, it’s best to talk to an expert. An insurance company that’s dedicated to providing insurance for churches will be able to talk through your options.
Where Can I Find Out More About Insurance for Churches?
You should now have a better idea of what type of insurance your church needs to take out right now. There are many options, so it’s always worth talking to a specialist where possible.
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