ASK THE EXPERT
Updated: Jul 25, 2022
When should I prepare for storms?
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, churches are focusing many of their efforts on how to address the challenging issues related to this changing situation. The health and safety of others is, of course, a primary concern. Also of great importance is how to continue to safely and effectively manage church properties since safer-at-home orders are widely still in effect. One factor to remember that relates to managing your church property is that storm season is upon us. If you have yet to prepare your church for spring or summer storms, it is important to take steps to help protect your property.
Here are some things to consider:
Act now- It is impossible to predict with exact accuracy when storms will occur, but in many parts of the country, storm season is already underway. May can be a peak month for storm activity in those states typically affected by wind and tornadoes. Hurricane season usually runs from June-November and wildfire hazards can be frequent during the dry months of summer. All of this means that you should act quickly to help prepare your property for potential risks when it is reasonably safe to do so. However, be sure to continue to follow COVID-19 related orders as you carry out this preparation.
Geography matters- Again, it is important to understand and prepare for the storm challenges that are typical for your church’s location. However, severe weather patterns have been drastically changing in past years and storms can occur at any time. Try to prepare for both the expected and the unexpected.
Evaluate your property- Once you have identified the person or team of individuals responsible for storm preparation, what should happen next? You should evaluate your property. Someone, preferably a person with a maintenance background, should regularly be reviewing property conditions. This person should note if there are things like windows, siding, roofs, etc. that need to be replaced or repaired. They should also notice if there are dead trees, limbs, etc. that should be removed from your grounds. Proper upkeep of your property can help minimize damage that may occur as a result of a storm.
Know your coverage- It is very important to understand what your property and casualty coverage entails and how it relates to potential storms. Always keep a copy of your policy handy for quick reference and if you have questions on your coverage, contact your agent or carrier.
Know your claims contact information- Just as you should always keep a copy of your insurance policy handy, you should also keep your claims contact information handy. In the unfortunate event your property is damaged by a storm, being able to quickly access this information is important to report your incident.
Despite the uncertain times with relation to COVID-19 and the general uncertainty surrounding weather patterns, there are ways you can help protect your church property during storm season.
Questions on if your coverage is appropriate? 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.
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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.