To some extent, the insurance portfolio for a church is similar to insurance required by any commercial business. On the other hand, churches have very specific needs uncommon to other types of risks.
Churches need property insurance for the church building itself plus separate buildings such as a parish hall or rectory. Property insurance provides protection against perils such as fire, lightning, wind, and hail. Two main perils not included in standard property policies are earthquake and flood. Earthquake insurance can usually be added to the property policy by endorsement or a separate policy may be purchased. Flood insurance is purchased as a separate policy though the National Flood Insurance Program.
Calculating the replacement cost (RC) of a church building can be very different from determining the RC of other commercial structures due to the unusual architectural associated with churches. It is important to insure the church building for the proper amount of insurance.
The church needs general liability coverage to protect itself against lawsuits involving a slip and fall or incidents that might occur at a church function.
The church van needs to be insured under a commercial automobile policy. If used for transporting parishioners, be sure your agent is aware so the proper policy can be obtained.
Many churches have valuable “holy hardware” (such as chalices, crosses, etc.) which need to be insured under a fine arts type policy. Such policies establish the value of each item and provide theft coverage.
An employee dishonesty policy or bond is essential for all churches. Large amount of money are usually handled by parishioners and there have been many cases of embezzlement. Churches should have proper insurance but should also have checks and balances such as requiring two signatures on checks and making sure the person counting money does not make the deposits.
Pastoral professional liability coverage should be purchased to protect the church pastors from lawsuits involving the giving of poor advice.
Sexual molestation liability coverage is essential in this day and age.
Acquiring proper insurance for a church requires a detailed conversation with your C.T. Lowndes & Company agent and a tour of the church facilities by the agent.
The above is not intended to be a complete listing of coverages needed by a church as each risk has its own special set of circumstances.