Should You Insure Your Church?

Church Insurance | Church Coverage

brick church
Churches need to insure themselves against accidents that may occur on the premises or at events which they sponsor. Like all employers, churches may provide medical, dental, vision, disability, and health insurance to those who work for them. In addition, churches also may choose to obtain additional coverage for events and provide options to parishioners.

General Liability
The number of employees, parishioners, visitors, strangers, and volunteers moving through churches makes insurance coverage essential. Policies are available through a wide variety of sources. The first place to look is at your current policies and to meet with an agent who can help you improve your coverage and budget for the future.

***NOTE: Insurance requirements vary tremendously by state. If you are part of a larger church organization, you may be eligible to buy into their plan. Contact your parent organization first to see what coverage they provide or require.

Employee Plans
  • Medical coverage, dental, vision, life insurance, short-term and long-term disability are all options you may wish to extend to your employees.
  • Who is eligible? Will you provide coverage for families of employees? At what number of hours worked per week do you provide coverage for employees?
  • Even if the coverage is expensive, you could choose to pass along eligibility to part-time workers and allow them to pay the premiums themselves. This will depend largely upon the administration of the plan.
  • You may also want to invest in wellness plans for employees, such as a health club benefit. While these provisions may cost you something up front, they will potentially save your church money in the long run and set a good example for the community.

Other Kinds of Church Insurance
Natural disasters may be something your church has to deal with from time to time. This will (of course) depend mostly upon the region you live in. Coverage of this kind might include provisions for fire, earthquake, tornadoes, floods, or hurricanes. Additionally, you may also choose to pick up special insurance coverage for events such as fundraisers or picnics.

Church Insurance Tips
When evaluating a policy, ask for recommendations. Is there a substantial discount for purchasing multiple coverage plans through a single agent or provider? Usually there is.

If you have the time, it always pays to comparison shop. An insurance company would be delighted to serve a church as one of its customers; take the time to investigate multiple companies that offer the same coverage. Search online, too. You may be able to learn more about appropriate pricing through a few simple web searches.

Take Proper Precautions
Ask your agent is there are investments you can make that would reduce your premiums. For example a good fire or security system may require an investment up front but save money on premiums and encourage prevention. It's much cheaper to prevent a fire in the first place, saving not just money but heartbreak and loss. The key with insurance is remembering that you always want to have it, but you hope never to use it.

Written by: Diana Wynne