Owning and running a church can be a rewarding experience. You get to team up with people who have the same basic beliefs as you do, create a sense of community, and provide help in a wide variety of ways. Whether your help is strictly for healing and strengthening the soul or you also provide help and support for people who need food, clothing and shelter, your days are full of responsibilities and keeping track of the details. Even though churches are generally non-profit organizations, they still need to protect themselves and their members with basic business insurance.
General liability is a business insurance that helps protect your church while protecting your parishioners as well. It is designed to provide a broad level of protection so that you’re covered for hazards and events that you may not think of in advance. General liability coverage may be required by the owner of your church building when you rent or lease your space, so that they can be assured there is a financial means of dealing with emergencies when they arise.
General Liability Insurance Includes:
- Premises Liability – Parishioners, volunteers and community members may visit your church premises on a daily basis. As people go in and out of the building or walk around the grounds, they are at risk of having an accident. When accidents happen that cause physical injuries and harm, the person injured may need care at a hospital or doctor’s office. Your churches premises liability can pay those medical costs so that the person does not sue you and is not left trying to pay the bills themselves.
- Products Liability – Products and advertising liability help protect you in two important ways. If your church sells products for fundraising for example, and the product are later found to be hazardous to the people who bought them, they may sue your church for the injuries and damages. If you create church advertisements that are later claimed to have caused harm to someone, such as claims of libel or claims of unauthorized photo or text uses, your liability coverage can help pay for your legal defenses, pay for damages, and pay any legal settlements.
- Completed Operations – When you provide services to other people, there is the unfortunate chance that one of those people will claim that the services you provided caused them harm. Completed operations coverage can pay for injuries or damages if it is found that your services did cause harm. It can also pay for your litigation defense costs and other settlements or judgments.
Business Owners Policy
A business owners policy (BOP) includes all of the general liability protection while adding coverage for your churches physical property and intangible assets. This business insurance is ideal for small businesses and organizations such as your church, because you can pick and choose only those types of coverage that you actually need. Examples of insurance options in a BOP include:
- Buildings and Contents
- Business Income and Extra Expense
- Electronic Data
- Newly Acquired or Constructed Buildings
- Employee Dishonesty Coverage
Churches often provide driving services to their patrons. Whether you drive occasionally to minister other areas or you provide transport services to your congregation, if you are involved in an auto accident the costs for injuries and repairs may be more than your church is able to handle. A business auto insurance policy protects you from having to pay those expenses out of church funds.
If your church has employees to keep the books, manage the food bank or answer phones, you are required by law to provide those employees with workers comp insurance. Workers comp provides protection in case of injuries and work-related accidents. When an employee is injured while working, workers comp will pay for their medical care.
Commercial umbrella coverage provides you with extra protection above and beyond the maximum limitations of your other business insurance policies.