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Updated: Jul 25, 2022

What is a Certificate of Insurance and why do I need one?

Most people are aware that the Book of Discipline requires all churches to maintain appropriate insurance coverage to help protect their people and property.  However, once a church secures their coverage, how can they prove they are in compliance? 

A Certificate of Insurance (COI) is a document that provides proof of insurance and typically outlines:

  • Types of coverage and limits

  • Policy number

  • Policy effective date

  • Insured’s full name

  • Carrier of the coverage

It is a good idea for a church to maintain this important certificate in its records as a reference. 

There are a variety of reasons why a church may be required to provide a COI.  For example, a church might be asked to provide a COI if it is hosting an event - either on or off-site.  This could be a Christmas concert, Halloween trunk-or-treat, or Easter egg hunt.  COIs are also often required when traveling to other locations for field trips, retreats, or camping.  A COI is typically sent to a church by its insurance agent electronically or via mail when the policy is initially secured.  If needed, a church can request a COI from its agent at any time.  It is recommended to allow at least 4-5 business days from the request to secure a COI, but turnaround times may vary. 

It is important to remember that a COI provides proof of coverage, but it cannot be used to change or add coverage.  If a church has questions about coverage or needs to make changes to a policy, contact the insurance agent. 

Questions about Certificates of Insurance or how to secure appropriate coverage for a 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

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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.


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