The Easter celebrations are near– it is time to celebrate with religious services, music, candlelight, flowers, and chocolate eggs. Easter is a festival of hope and new beginnings and is one of the most festive events among Christians worldwide. On the Sunday after Good Friday, families and friends go to their church to celebrate and pray for a bright future.
Churches are among the most common sacred places to celebrate religious festivals, together with temples. Churches and temples provide a sense of community and belonging. They are known as religious organisations that deliver the best faithful services to believers.
Religious organisations are also known as non-profit organisations and are affected by risks. Similarly, churches are responsible for the safety of the people who enter the premises and participate in the service. Some unfortunate risks could lead to lawsuits and reputation damage to the church and employees involved.
Yes! Some people would sue a church. Religious organisations purchase church insurance to reduce the impact of these risks. The insurance helps protect the church’s liability and financial loss when facing a challenging situation. This article will explain why it is essential for these religious organisations to have church insurance and how you can help your place of worship by informing them about the insurance.
What Is Church Insurance?
Church insurance is a solution that consists of various insurances to protect the religious organisation, employees, ethical values, and the property itself. It is hard to compare a religious organisation to a business, but they share similar risks.
The risks include: third party injuries, employee injuries, property damage, misunderstood advice, negligence claims and more. Non-profit organisations typically have a tight budget, and these risks can financially ruin them.
Therefore, the insurance solution includes public liability, professional indemnity, property all-risk, employee compensation, and employee practice insurance. Each insurance covers different risks and will provide financial cover to recover and face the situation in the best way.
What Does Church Insurance Include and Why?
Churches always have people coming in and out, especially on Sundays and religious holidays. The religious organisation is responsible for the public’s safety when they enter the premises. You wouldn’t expect injuries or illness to occur in a church; however, third party injuries could happen anywhere. It could include someone slipping or any injury. Anything could happen at the location.
For example, a third party slipped and fell during a crowded Sunday due to the recently polished floors and broke their arm. The third party injured can sue and blame the site for their injury. Therefore, the church will be liable to pay for the medical bills and compensation (depending on the injury severity).
The church insurance solution includes public liability insurance for such claims. The public liability insurance will cover all the medical and settlement costs in case of third-party injuries, illness, or property damage. It is hard enough to run a religious organisation on limited funds, and one should not have to worry about unpredictable risks.
The church’s physical property is one of the most critical factors to the religious organisation. The property is where people feel safe and comfortable. The church property includes the building and all the precious artefacts inside owned by the church. However, a lot could happen to the property- due to the weather, fires, floods, vandalisation or theft. Such risks can cost a church a lot of financial loss and may not be able to repair or replace with a limited budget.
For example, in 2020, several churches in the Philippines were destroyed by strong winds brought by Super Typhoon Rolly. Natural disasters like this can’t be avoided no matter the precautions taken. But unfortunately, the organisation may not have the funds to rebuild the church, and sometimes, the donations are not near enough.
Therefore, property all-risk insurance is crucial in the church insurance solution. Property all-risk insurance will reimburse any costs spent on replacing or repairing the property due to uncontrollable action. In addition, the insurance will cover if the property is damaged, lost or stolen. Although, all the artefacts need to be informed to insurers by the religious organisation.
The church’s primary purpose is to provide a place for prayers and religious advice. When advising the public, the religious professional is liable for the outcomes. They provide a service to help the public believe and grow as a community. However, giving advice is followed by the risk that a public member may feel the religious advice/service caused them loss due to the professional’s negligence.
For example, a third party may sue a religious organisation because one of the priests abuses his position by taking money for inaccurate religious advice (which should be free). In addition, the public members will have the right to sue the church for inaccurate advice and negligence.
Professional indemnity insurance is also another crucial addition to church insurance solution. PI insurance will cover when a third party sues a business or professional induvial due to an error. Therefore, the insurance will cover cases where a party feels they have suffered a loss due to the church’s services, like counselling.
Churchs have various important employees. Each employee is vital to the religious organisation and its purpose. These employees include popes, priests, pastors, volunteers, and admin staff. There is always a risk of employee injuries. The religious organisation is liable for their safety while performing their duties.
For example, staff on a ladder cleaning a religious statue on the premises may fall. A fall from a height will cause serious injuries such as broken bones and bleeding. The church will be liable to pay for the medical bills and compensation. In addition, if the employee is earning from the duties, they will still need to be paid as they recover.
Church insurance consists of an employee compensation element. Employee compensation insurance will cover the cost of any employee injuries. In addition, the insurance will reimburse the costs of medical bills, potential compensation, and salary. The insurance allows the church to provide the best care for its valuable employees and volunteers.
Religious organisations are known for their ethics and teaching. The ethics include the way they treat their employees. Therefore, religious organisations should treat their employees equally and fairly. Employees should be treated ethically with no type of discrimination.
Although there is always a chance that employees may feel they are victims of wrongful employee practice and take legal action. For instance, an employee informed her religious organisation supervisors that she was getting a divorce, and was instantly fired. She sued the religious organisation claiming the organisation wrongfully terminated her. They will have to pay legal costs to defend their choice and settlement costs.
In such cases, the employee practice insurance is the perfect segment of the church insurance solution. At times it is not the religious organisation’s fault and possibly a miscommunication mistake. Employment practice coverage helps with claims that arise about allegedly wrongful employment activities. These include wrongful termination, non-ethical practices, and discrimination. In addition, the insurance will cover legal, settlement costs and financial loss if the case is lost.
Why Should You Inform Your Church/Temple About Church Insurance?
Churches provide a beautiful service and don’t expect much from their community. But unfortunately, not enough religious organisations understand the need for a strong insurance solution; sometimes, just one insurance isn’t enough.
Therefore, churches and temples need to protect themself with church insurance. The insurance solution provides a large financial benefit faced by any of the above risks or claims. It is the perfect solution for a religious organisation that is already on a limited budget and must spend carefully.
Hence, you should inform your local temple about church insurance to help them provide the best service to the public without unnecessary worries. Give back by educating them about insurance and protection from risks.