Ask The Expert

Updated: Feb 11

What should you look for when purchasing insurance?




Searching for insurance for your ministry can quickly become an overwhelming experience. What kind of insurance does my ministry need? How much coverage is needed? How can I find a reliable agent? These are just a few of the questions you may be asking yourself on your insurance journey.

To make things a little bit easier for you, we’ve compiled several different tips designed to help you be more informed during the insurance buying process.

Choosing an agent and an agency

When you’re thinking about buying insurance, it’s important to consider the agent you’re working with. You want an agency that has experience in working with organizations like yours and can connect you to carriers with experience serving your industry. An agent needs to be licensed and have experience. An independent agent will typically have more options for you to choose from, while a captive agent typically only works with one insurance company, which could substantially limit your ability to compare. Many consumers opt to go with independent agents because it can allow them more options.

In addition to finding a reputable agent, it’s important to have a carrier with a proven track record of reliability should something occur since the carrier is the insurance company that will write your policies and is responsible for paying your claims. All carriers have financial strength ratings, and you should typically look for a company with an excellent rating. A quick online search can help you identify what a company’s rating is.

Finding a policy that is tailored to your organization

Every organization is unique, so it’s a good idea to secure coverage that addresses your individual organization’s operations and risks. It is important to understand what your policy offers protection for and what is excluded. In some cases, there are supplemental policies available to help with normal excluded risks. Be sure to talk to your agent about what coverage is appropriate for your church. What products and limits work for one church will not necessarily work for you. Also be sure to remember that United Methodist churches must adhere to minimum requirements set forth by the General Council on Finance and Administration in adherence with The Book of Discipline. You can learn more about minimum requirements on our UMIP website.

Knowing what affects insurance costs

The cost of insurance is different for each church; many factors including that a church is a non-profit organization, the size and age of buildings, and geography have an impact on your premium. Additionally, more comprehensive coverage can sometimes come with a higher price tag, but it may be beneficial in the long run if you have a claim.

There are many ways you can save money on insurance. Additionally, there are certain things you can do from a risk management and loss control perspective that may qualify you for lower premium amounts. Be sure to ask for quotes from multiple carriers so you can comparison shop to help get a better rate.

Additional questions?

We hope that these tips will help you during the insurance buying process. We also have a complete guide to purchasing insurance for your church. Purchasing insurance can be confusing, and at times difficult, but it’s nothing to lose sleep over. If you have further questions regarding insurance or want to learn more about if your coverage is appropriate for your ministry, the United Methodist Insurance Program (powered by our exclusive agency, Suracy Faith), is happy to answer your questions. Contact UMIP powered by Suracy Faith at 866-203-0777 or UMIP@suracy.com.

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Cleveland, OH 44139

The content available on this website 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 by Suracy Insurance Agency, Inc., which is AmVenture Insurance Agency, Inc. (CA Lic. No. 0L47868) in certain states, (“Suracy”) and underwritten by various insurance markets with Suracy as an appointed producer or insurance intermediary.  Suracy pays United Methodist Insurance a royalty for the use of its intellectual property.

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