How to Buy Church Insurance

A good church insurance policy is one that frees your leadership to focus on ministry. The key is finding an insurance agent and company that are right for your ministry. Consider the following areas of insurance before you make a purchase.

General property and liability protection

  • Protect your building and its contents against damage caused by fire, water damage, and adverse weather. Look for policies that would allow you to continue operations while your building was being restored because one of these perils had rendered it unusable.
  • Prepare your ministry for worker’s compensation and liability claims brought about by employee work-related injuries or illness.

Additional protection options

  •  A commercial auto policy typically covers injury liability for vehicles that your ministry owns, whereas a non-owned vehicle policy is for borrowed or rented vehicles.
  • Foreign travel insurance for long- and short-term missions may provide coverages for medical care, medical-related evacuation, accidental death, foreign liability, travel assistance, and other services.
  • An excess (umbrella) liability policy can provide excess liability protection, if needed, and extend the limits of other coverages.
  • A multi-peril policy offers optional coverages to protect against lawsuits alleging injury resulting from sexual misconduct, pastoral counseling, directors’ and officers’ liability, employment discrimination, equipment breakdown coverage, and other coverages that address specific ministry needs.

What to look for in an insurance agent

  • Choose an agent who works for you, not a single insurance company. A captive agent is a paid employee of the insurance company he or she represents, while an independent agent can sell products from multiple companies.
  • Ensure that the agent has certifications and experience specific to insuring churches and ministries.
  • Seek endorsements from ministries similar to yours.
  • Review printed materials and other educational resources the agent offers, and determine their relevance to your own risks.
  • Determine whether the agent understands how ministry organizations operate.

What to look for in an insurance company

  • Choose a company that gels with your mission and values.
  • Choose a company that offers policies designed to meet the unique needs of ministries.
  • Ensure that the company has a reputation for satisfying customer claims in a complete and timely manner.
  • Consult the A.M. Best Company ratings and other indicators of fiscal integrity.