Updated: Jul 26
I've had a claim. What do I do next?
A loss of any magnitude can be a stressful situation for your church. You may be overwhelmed and unsure of what to do. In the unfortunate event that you do have a claim, there are several steps you should consider throughout the process.
Call first responders- To help ensure the safety of your people and property, be sure to call an emergency phone number, like 911 or local fire/police/ EMT departments, immediately. Doing this is the first critical action to take when an accident happens.
Attend to any injuries/gather information- If people are injured, attempt to help with their injuries as much as possible. When it is safe, record the names of anyone involved (including witnesses) and their contact information (name, phone number, addresses). If there is an investigation, cooperate with authorities. Provide facts, but do not admit fault.
Notify your insurance company- Contact your insurance carrier right away to let them know your church has experienced an incident. This notification is very important as it will create the actual claim. An adjuster should reach out to you to discuss the event and provide further feedback, usually within 24 hours.
Protect your property- If it is safe and reasonable to do so, try to protect your property from further damage. For example, you may attempt to close a door if you have flooding. Do not ever try to mitigate loss if it is likely to be dangerous.
Keep evidence of your loss-Take pictures of the damage to your property related to the incident. These may be required to submit to your insurance carrier. Additionally, do not throw out damaged items/property without confirmation from your adjuster that you may do so.
Keep proper documentation in relation to the claim- If you need to make emergency repairs or purchases, keep all of your receipts as well as the names of repair companies you use.
Cooperate with your insurance company- Following the guidelines provided by your insurance carrier can help to make the claims experience smoother and may result in faster resolution. If you have questions about what you should be doing, contact your carrier first to discuss your options.
Some additional tips to consider that can help you BEFORE you experience a loss are:
Keep your insurance policy handy and understand what it covers- If you have questions about your coverage or need a copy of your policy, contact your insurance agent or carrier.
Know your claims contact information- Write down and/or save your insurance carrier’s claims contact information to avoid having to search for it during a hectic time.
Maintain appropriate coverage- Having coverage that is appropriate for your church and its exposures is imperative in helping prevent further devastation after a loss. Be proactive in protecting your ministry.
Chose an insurance agency and carrier wisely- Your insurance agent and carrier should not only help you select appropriate coverage, but they should offer compassionate, fast, fair claims with outstanding customer service. Be knowledgeable about what features and benefits are available to you in association with your coverage.
Looking for coverage for your church?
When you are covered by UMIP, we will be there when you need us. Churches have unique needs. As a part of the denomination, we understand the unique needs of United Methodist churches and their operations, which is reflected in our coverage options. Your ministry deserves outstanding insurance and UMIP works for you each day to help protect your church’s people, property, and finances.
Let's talk! Contact us at 484-654-3380 or at UMI@sovinsurance.com.
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This content has been prepared by United Methodist Insurance Company (UMI) for informational purposes only. No article or document may accurately contemplate all possible scenarios or church resources. As such, this information is meant to foster discussion by the individual church and its members to develop a plan tailored to its own circumstances. UMI is providing this information with no warranties or guarantees of any kind and it should not be viewed as legal, financial, or other professional advice. All liability is expressly disclaimed. Any claim examples described herein are general in nature, may or may not be based on actual claims, and are for informational purposes only. Any coverage available for a claim is determined from the facts and circumstances of the claim as well as the terms and conditions of any applicable policy, including any exclusions or deductibles. In the event of a conflict with the content herein, the terms and conditions of any issued policy will control. Individual coverage may vary and may not be available in all states.
The commercial insurance coverages for United Methodist Insurance are sold and serviced directly or indirectly by Sovereign Insurance Agency (CA Lic. No. 0B01380) ("Sovereign") and underwritten by various available insurance markets. Sovereign pays United Methodist Insurance a royalty for the use of its intellectual property.