Updated: Jul 25, 2022
The Book of Discipline requires that church treasurers be bonded (¶258.4.b) to help protect your church and its finances. If your church currently doesn’t have a bonded treasurer, you could be putting your ministry at risk of potential financial difficulties. But there is good news – acquiring a bond can be simple and easy.
What is a bond? A surety bond (bond) is a binding contract that helps ensure financial obligations are met and/or provides coverage for certain damages if those obligations are not met. They are often issued to and held by people in fiduciary roles. As an example, a surety bond can help protect an organization if the bonded party mishandles funds, intentionally or unintentionally.
How does it work?
A bond mandates that the insurer issuing the bond covering the treasurer will pay a set amount of money to the insured if the treasurer does not fulfill a contractual obligation. This can help the church recover associated losses.
Why do I need a bond as well as insurance?
All United Methodist churches are required to have insurance for their church to help protect their people, property, and finances. This coverage must also adhere to the minimum insurance requirements set forth by the General Council on Finance and Administration.
However, all churches are also required to have a bonded treasurer. A surety bond is its own stand-alone product and the protection it offers is usually not included with standard property and casualty coverage. It is important to remember that even if you have employee crime and dishonesty coverage, in many instances that type of coverage may not provide the same level of protection as a bond or may even be insufficient in some cases. Please also note that while your employee crime and dishonesty will likely need to meet a deductible, your bond will not.
Can others be bonded?
Absolutely! While treasurers are required to be bonded, many churches opt to bond anyone who has access to financial information including board members, ministers, etc. When obtaining a bond, you’re bonding the position/title, not the person. So even if someone leaves your ministry or a specific role, you won’t lose the protection offered by a bond and have to start the process all over again. Be sure to speak to an agent if you have any questions as to who may or may not be covered.
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.
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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