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Three Unique Insurance Considerations for Churches

Updated: Jul 26, 2022

Your church isn’t like a business or other non-profits; it’s unique. It operates uniquely and has unique needs that should be reflected in your insurance coverage. Here are three unique insurance considerations for your church.

1: Errors and Omissions

Many parishioners come to your staff looking for spiritual counseling, guidance, and advice. Providing this type of support leaves your organization vulnerable to potential liability for physical or emotional injury to congregation members who feel negatively impacted by their guidance. Errors and Omissions Insurance can help protect your ministry by covering court costs and settlements associated with claims of negligence arising out of spiritual counseling, guidance, and advice.

2: Active Threat

Churches are particularly vulnerable to armed intruders and active threat situations due to their open and welcoming nature. Unfortunately, the rising prevalence of these types of situations has increased the demand for coverage designed to help protect religious institutions from the financial ruin that can happen after one of these situations.

Active threat policies can cover expenses that are typically excluded from general liability coverage, such as legal liability, organization interruption coverage, physical damage coverage, and medical expenses, as well as costs for cleanup and recovery.

3: Sexual Misconduct

It is unfortunate to consider this for ministries, but sexual abuse is one of the top reasons churches go to court, and sexual abuse and molestation coverage can help mitigate the cost of defending a sexual misconduct claim. Sexual misconduct liability is a type of coverage that addresses the risks associated with physical or emotional injury resulting from sexual abuse, molestation, or exploitation. These types of claims can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and potentially result in bankruptcy for those without adequate coverage. It is also recommended that your ministry implement policies and procedures to help limit the opportunities for misconduct and maintain/develop a comprehensive response plan.

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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