Many churches have an active and thriving youth group, allowing them to minister to a younger generation and providing a safe and fun place for children and teens to enjoy fellowship and become stronger members of their congregation. These groups can be very valuable to your church’s ministry, and they should be protected. Here are a few insurance-related items to consider when thinking about your youth ministry.
Safety starts with your youth group leader. Whether your youth group is led by paid employees or volunteers, it is very important that you perform background checks on all staff working with your church’s younger members to help ensure that they do not have any prior incidents of misconduct toward minors. Be sure to engage a reputable background screening organization as you engage in this important work.
Plan Events with Safety in Mind
Occasionally, your church may plan larger-scale events for your youth group, like an overnight lock-in at the church or a carnival. Depending on the scope of your event, you may want to check with your insurance provider to ensure that the activity would be covered under the policy. Whenever you plan a youth event, you may want to ask participants to sign an activity participation agreement. The agreement should outline the activities included in the event, establish the rules associated with the event, and allow you to collect emergency contact information from your attendees. Ensure that all events are properly staffed to cover the activities taking place, and that the staff has easy access to first aid equipment in the event of an accident.
Think About Transportation
Some youth group activities take place off-site, with participants being transported in a church-owned vehicle. If your church owns such a vehicle, make sure it is properly insured, with all potential drivers listed on the policy. Keep your vehicle tuned-up and inspect it regularly to help ensure all seat belts and safety devices are in proper working order. Do not transport more passengers than your vehicle allows.
Keep It Fun – and Safe
Whatever your youth group is doing, providing a fun and safe environment is an important part of ensuring the enjoyment of everyone involved. If your youth group is meeting in one of your church’s outdoor spaces, be sure the area is free from debris and the surfaces are clear of any holes, cracks or obstacles that could lead to a slip, trip, or fall. Keep your playground equipment tuned up and replace any rusted or broken pieces. Your insurance agent or carrier can provide more information on how to help keep your property safe so that it can be enjoyed by all.
With some care and forethought, it can be easy to provide a safe, enjoyable time for your youth group. If you are ever concerned about whether your youth group is properly covered, do not hesitate to reach out to your insurance agent, who can help you determine if your coverage is appropriate. For a free, no-obligation coverage assessment, speak with a dedicated representative today!
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.
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