Insurance for Churches

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And Other Houses of Worship

insurance for churchesWhatever your place of prayer—whether it’s a church, temple, mosque, synagogue, or shrine—our team of local agents is here to help you insure it. At C&S, our agents have decades of experience working with clergy, church members, and church officers to ensure the sacred place your community has cultivated is fully protected—physically and financially.

Property Insurance for Churches

Churches, rectories, and other houses of worship are often historic or uniquely-designed buildings. They are incredibly special places, where parishioners celebrate holidays, sacred events, and gather to share in their faith. Many houses of worship are constructed with valuable icons and materials (marble, granite, decorative glass)—not to mention painstaking craftsmanship. These spaces may also contain expensive sound and lighting equipment, musical instruments, religious art, and rare antiques.

Given the gamut of property insurance risks (fire, wind storm, vandalism, water damage, etc.) it’s important to select an insurance partner who will work to understand the intricacies of your property. Selecting the right types of coverage and the appropriate coverage limits is best done with an agent who takes the time to learn your history.

Liability Insurance for Churches & Church Employees

Liability coverage comes in various forms, which can be bundled into a single insurance package or added (a la carte) as “endorsements,” depending on the carrier and the types of liability protection needed. Because houses of worship are open to the public, they encounter many of the same general liability risks as other commercial properties: namely, property damage and personal injury. Someone could get hurt in your building or in the parking lot, for example. If you maintain a cemetery, cemetery liability insurance is another consideration.

Additionally, clergy members face professional liability exposures with regard to any advice or counsel they may provide, abuse or molestation allegations, and faulty employment practices (e.g., discrimination or wrongful termination). Ask our agents to explain these associated coverages: professional liability insurance (a.k.a. errors & omissions insurance), employment practices liability insurance, and other key polices, as they apply to your religious leaders and/or religious school officials.

Auto Insurance for Church Vans and Other Vehicles

Does your church, temple, or mosque own or lease any vehicles? There’s quite a lot of planning that goes into properly insuring commercial vehicles—whether you’re regularly offering ride service to your congregants, or simply supplying vehicles for clergymen and women. Ask us about required and recommended coverages—including gap insurance.

Keep in mind, too: any company can get you an auto insurance quote, but not many will go the extra mile when it comes to providing convenient, Massachusetts RMV services. Our team offers in-house registry services and, in certain cases, RMV “runner” services, which can save you the time and stress of a trip to the RMV.

Workers Comp for Priests, Rabbis, Ministers, Etc.

Yes, nuns and priests need workers comp. Likewise for rabbis, ministers, sextons, cantors, church office administrators, and youth workers. Although you may be a nonprofit entity, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re exempt from the Workers Compensation Act.

Government mandated workers compensation requires most employers to pay employees lost wages, medical bills, and related expenses. In exchange for these benefits, employers generally cannot be sued by employees for compensation for injuries or illnesses covered by the act.  Most employers–including houses of worship–meet this obligation by purchasing workers’ compensation insurance.

Umbrella Insurance for Churches

Umbrella insurance for churches provides additional liability coverage, above the limits of your primary policies.  It acts just as its title suggests–as an extra barrier that extends over underlying coverages.  Underlying coverages such as general liability, commercial auto, directors & officers, and worker’s compensation policies can all be augmented with umbrella coverage.

In the event of a claim, the appropriate underlying policy (say, general liability, for example), would pay out first towards any loss. Once the limit of that policy is exhausted, the umbrella policy is triggered, and would pay further damages up to its policy limit. Umbrella policies are helpful because they can step in to augment any of your underlying policies, which saves you from seeking higher coverage limits on all the different types.

D&O Insurance for Churches

Directors and officer’s insurance makes sense for many churches and other places of worship where a group of leaders is tasked with financial oversight, appropriation of funds, and other types of operational decision making. D&O coverage acts as a hedge against lawsuits (naming the church and/or its individual officers as defendants). It’s designed to step in and cover legal defense costs and any potential settlements. Carrying this coverage protects not only your institution’s financial assets, but the assets of your directors and volunteers.

What does commercial insurance for churches cost?

It’s impossible to provide even a ballpark figure, without knowing some key facts about your unique religious institution and operations. Some of the primary “rating factors” that go into determining cost include:

  • The cost to replace your church, temple, or mosque if it were totally destroyed
  • Number and type of church vehicles
  • Number and type of church officials/employees, along with the type of work they perform
  • The coverage limits you select
  • Any prior loss events or insurance claims in recent years

What are some common risks faced by churches, synagogues, mosques, ministries, and other houses of worship?

It’s a sad fact of our modern society that houses of worship and their burial grounds are sometimes targeted in malicious attacks. Arson attempts, mass shootings, vandalism, and other crimes of racism or religious intolerance are on the rise. In fact, according to the FBI, religion-based hate crimes climbed nearly 35% between 2014 and 2018.

More than ever, it’s important to work with an agent who understands today’s options in crisis response/crisis events coverage—not only to support recovery efforts after a crisis, but to think proactively about risk management and prevention efforts.

Abuse and molestation allegations are also serious exposures faced by today’s religious institutions. Religious schools and daycares carry added risk, and sometimes struggle to find the coverage they need. Our agents can help your religious school understand risk mitigation requirements (e.g., teacher-student ratios, supervisory protocols, background checks), while ensuring you’re still getting competitive rates with a well-rated carrier.

What are the leading insurance companies for churches?

Several carriers specialize in insuring houses of worship. They are unique in the way they package specialty coverages, as well as their willingness to insure certain exposures that other companies might exclude (e.g., religious childcare centers or religious schools on church grounds).

For more information on your church insurance, synagogue insurance, or other religious house insurance options, contact our team at 508-339-2951.