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Church Insurance Explained

Churches are difficult buildings to categorize in insurance terms. Places of worship are generally unique, architectural buildings of high value that possess antiquities and fittings of high economic and emotional value like statues and stained glass. To compound that further, churches tend to be open at all hours and have little or no security. As well as insurance to the building and the artifacts that are kept in the building, church insurance also provides a public liability insurance that covers the congregation that visits the church.

Who is a potential candidate ?

Churches generally run on sponsorship and donations provided by the congregation that visits the church. In the event of damage to the building, or theft of items within the church, or a liability claim, the church can easily face hardship and require an extraordinary amount of funds to continue to operate in the same way.

Church coverage protects the church from a situation like this and also ensures that donations to the church are not channeled to costs that could have been covered by relatively inexpensive insurance.

What typically does it cover?

This product is very broad as it covers the property and liability within the property. In terms of property, church insurance typically protects the insured from damage to the property caused by weather, theft and faulty equipment. Church insurers normally audit each specific property as they are all so different in terms of value. The valuation by the insurer will directly affect the cost of the policy.

In terms of liability, covers churchgoers in normal church attendance as well as on special occasions and unscheduled visits. Full fire, legal and medical cost liability comes as standard. All church workers, contractors and volunteers that suffer injury onsite are usually fully covered.

What typically does it not cover?

Some modern churches have daycare centers to look after children during services, as well as hold Sunday school classes. Any accident that arises in these situations are only covered to a degree but not fully covered. These situations are not typically considered church scenarios, so churches looking for this kind of cover should specify this as an extra they require.

Additional coverage that policy holders might take out in this area

As churches tend to hold many people, extended liability insurance may be an option.. A typical policy will cover between $1million and $5 million in public liability. That kind of payout is normal for one person in a lawsuit so to have that umbrella as a level of cover when you have over 100 churchgoers will be inadequate.

Artifacts of extreme antiquity, such as old statues, old furniture or old books contained with the church library may not be covered fully, so extra coverage may be needed to ensure that no losses are incurred in the event of an accident.

What will it cost?

Some churches can hold several hundred people whereas others less than 50. Some churches are in rural areas and constructed from timber and other are in cities and constructed from sandstone. As you can see there are numerous areas of assessment before a cost can be determined. The cost of insurance will invariably be cheaper than the cost of repairs of liability without insurance.

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