What You Need to Know About Insurance for Religious Institutions

“No good deed goes unpunished,” Oscar Wilde famously quipped.  Over 100 years ago.  Why does this still ring true? 

If you are responsible for leading a religious institution, Oscar Wilde’s insight may make you feel seen.  You probably started your vocational journey to help others, bring healing to some, and do your part to make the world a better place.

And you’ve probably seen some of this come to fruition.  But along with the fruit, weeds have almost certainly grown as well. 

In some cases, the weeds can be significant.  As a religious institution, you’re responsible for all the same liabilities as a small business.  Employees.  Property. 

And more. 

If your religious institution offers child care, counseling, or life coaching, you may be liable for more than you’re aware of. 

We don’t want you to be surprised and sidelined by issues you did not know could haunt your religious institution.  We want you to have everything you need to do the good work you are destined for.   

At JFA Insurance Brokerage & Associates, Inc., we understand the unique exposures facing religious organizations.

Here is what you need to know about insurance for religious institutions. 

Religious Institutions Have Unique Insurance Needs

Does your religious institution own a building for worship?  Does your building host other functions?  Do you rent out space to other businesses or allow community organizations to utilize your facilities?

Or does your religious institution meet in homes?  Are the homes owned or rented?  Do you utilize public spaces for gatherings?

This is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. 

Religious institutions have such unique needs that it’s imperative that you have an insurance broker on your side.  With a commitment to service and a specialization in commercial insurance, we have the expertise to keep your building, congregation, employees, and volunteers secure.

Types of Insurance Religious Institutions Should Consider

One size will not fit all.  We are committed to listening to you so we can understand your needs.  We’ll labor to ensure you understand your options.  Here are a few insurance offerings you should consider:

General Liability

General liability insurance protects your religious institution from common business risks.  With general liability insurance, you’ll be protected if someone is injured, property is damaged, and more. 

If your religious organization does not own or rent property, then general liability insurance will usually be sufficient to cover property damage, should it occur. 

However, if your religious institution does own or rent property, you will want to include the following type of coverage on our list.   

Property Insurance

Protect your protect institution’s building, contents, and other assets from various risks such as fire, theft, vandalism, and natural disasters.

Proper property insurance coverage will not only protect your building but also its contents. 

If you don’t own property but instead rent, you may still need property insurance to protect your equipment. 

There’s no guarantee that the facility you rent from will have the insurance coverage you need to protect the material goods your congregation has purchased. 

Umbrella Insurance

No one accesses their insurance policy unless they must.  Typically, that means something unfortunate has happened, and you need to add more work to your already full plate so that you can clean up a mess you didn’t have in your schedule. 

Umbrella coverage provides an extra layer of insurance for your religious institution. It provides additional coverage when your underlying policy limits have been exhausted.

It can also cover specific areas that may be a “loophole” in your policy, keeping your organization protected.  

Commercial Auto

You should consider adding commercial auto insurance if your religious organization owns vehicles.

Not every state requires car insurance.  That’s not good news if you are in a car accident.  Especially when you consider that obtaining insurance is not required to obtain a driver’s license. 

Directors and Officer’s Liability

Most religious institutions have a board of directors that provides leadership and accountability.  These boards can be called by a variety of names.  But the function typically remains the same. 

Religious organizations ought to have insurance coverage that can protect the institution from legal claims related to the decisions and actions of board members and officers on behalf of the institution.

Religious Counseling Services Liability

Counseling is often a central part of most ministers’ vocation.  You want to provide this level of care.  Many congregants desire this level of care from their religious leaders. 

Counseling services are expensive and not always included in a person’s health insurance plan.  Further, people often want to have an established relationship with a guide who will attend to the deep wounds in their hearts. 

However, a professional can be sued for any advice they offer.  Even if there was no charge for the service. 

Counseling liability insurance will protect your religious institution in the case of advice given that proves to be harmful. 

Get the Insurance Guidance Your Religious Institution Needs Today!

With over 30 years of experience, we have what you need to be protected.  After determining the needs of your religious organization, we rely heavily on our relationship with several national carriers, including Utica National, Hanover, and Philadelphia Insurance Companies. 

Because of our longstanding relationship with these providers, we won’t rest until you have the best coverage and rate.

From covering stained glass and fine art to passenger vans and buses, the knowledgeable agents at JFA can protect every aspect of your religious institution.

Once a policy is in place, we will review it annually to account for any changes that could affect coverage.

By ensuring your religious organization is properly protected, you can return your attention to where it belongs – your congregation and community.

Reach out today for a free quote!

@philip@elixircreative.com – here’s my second blog for JFA for the month.  Let me know if you have any questions!

_Assigned to Philip Alexander_

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