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Why is hired/non-owned auto insurance important?

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

Spring has sprung! With that, many churches are taking advantage of the nicer weather and seeing an increase in events, outdoor activities, and driving/being on-the-go. While some churches strictly use church vehicles if driving is necessary, many churches’ employees and volunteers often drive personal vehicles for church-related activities. In these instances, it is important to remember that securing hired/non-owned auto coverage is recommended because of the additional protection it can provide your ministry. If a church employee or volunteer is driving their personal vehicle for a church-related activity (for example, dropping off a deposit, delivering food, driving someone home from services, etc.) and an accident occurs, your church could be responsible for damages and injuries due to vicarious liability. However, if you have hired/non-owned auto coverage in place, you may benefit from the additional protection it offers for things that are not covered by personal or commercial auto coverage. Even if a church employee or volunteer gets into an accident and has personal auto coverage, that personal coverage may not cover all of the damages and it is likely that your church could also be liable for damages since the employee or volunteer was performing church-related activities. Also, consider that commercial auto coverage should cover employees in the event of an accident while driving church vehicles, but it may not cover church-related accidents that happen in a personal vehicle unless hired/non-owned auto is part of the commercial auto policy.

Hired/non-owned auto insurance is purchased in addition to your church’s commercial auto coverage. It is designed to address incidents when accidents occur while an employee or volunteer is driving their personal vehicle for church-related activities.

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.


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