top of page

Pastoral Counseling Liability Coverage

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

When it comes to insurance, there are some unique protections most churches need. For example, you might need a policy that includes coverage for stained glass windows or pipe organs. Or, you might need special event insurance for a youth group event or holiday celebration. One very important coverage your church must have is pastoral professional liability insurance, also known as pastoral counseling liability insurance. The minimum requirements set forth by the General Council on Finance and Administration dictate that all United Methodist churches carry this important coverage with limits of $1,000,000 per occurrence, $3,000,000 aggregate. Need a quote for your church that includes pastoral counseling coverage? Speak to a representative today!

Pastoral Counseling Liability Coverage helps protect your church from exposures associated with spiritual guidance that is provided by pastors, church employees, or volunteers under the direction of your pastor. This counseling may be provided in a formal (for example, a scheduled class/session) or informal (for example, an impromptu conversation in a hallway) setting. It can be fee-based or free. Regardless of how and when the counseling is performed, coverage is still necessary to help manage its associated risks.

While members of a congregation often turn to church leaders because they are trusted figures, there is still the potential for negative allegations or outcomes to occur based on advice received. Advice may be viewed as damaging in an emotional or physical way. An example of this might be misguided counseling to congregants on adultery or substance abuse. Pastoral counseling liability coverage offers protection in instances like these.

Many churches have policies and procedures in place to help ensure members of the congregation can safely receive spiritual guidance. While these policies are strongly recommended, they do not eliminate the need to have pastoral counseling liability coverage. Remember, lawsuits can happen whether an allegation is justified or not and legal costs can add up quickly.

Questions about pastoral counseling coverage?

You can help keep your ministry protected and offer pastoral counselors peace of mind with appropriate coverage today by contacting one of our dedicated representatives at


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.


bottom of page