By its very nature a church is grounded in love: God’s love for us and in turn the church’s love for its members and the community make churches unique and special. Because the very foundation of the church is goodness it can be easy for the church administration to not focus intently enough on avoiding risk.
The sad reality is that churches do get sued every day by their members and guests alike despite the goal of spreading happiness and the good news. For this reason a pivotal component in the infrastructure of every church should be their insurance program. Here are 2 coverages that every church needs but many churches are currently uninsured for:
#1 Pastoral Professional Liability:
One of every pastor’s most important roles is to provide counseling and advice for their congregation. Often these conversations entail topics that are very private and emotional and possibly life altering. For this reason every church should have professional liability to cover their ministers in the event of an accusation of counseling malpractice. Pastoral professional liability is not typically covered under most general liability policies. Remember in the event of a lawsuit you have to defend yourself even if no wrong doing occurred.
#2 Sexual Abuse and Molestation:
While this topic is painful to discuss every church is exposed to a possible accusations involving a sexual nature. A high number churches do not have this policy and there is no coverage under a general liability policy. The reason for this is that many churches may not believe that something like this could happen in their congregation but as this article from The Christian Broadcasting outlines sexual crimes against children in the church are on the rise. While it may or may not be true that something like this would never happen in your church the important point is that even if no crime was committed an accusation can still be made and the church still has to defend. Without insurance coverage even a false accusation of sexual abuse or molestation could easily close a churches’ doors.
The Bottom Line
In the world we live in no institution is safe from liability and churches are no different. Whether a minster or church member truly committed a crime or a false accusation has been brought every church must be prepared. By making sure you work with an insurance specialist experienced in the special coverage needs of churches you can have peace of mind in knowing that you are protected if the unthinkable happens.
For more information on Church Insurance, be sure to read: