This is a very good question but honestly it is not asked enough. To understand the importance of this question consider the following: If your church participated in one of the following examples would your church’s insurance policy cover you?
- A fall festival that includes hay rides and games
- Purchasing a Christian radio station
- A public sermon held off of church grounds at a local outdoor arena
- A Easter egg hunt down the street at an open lot owned by a church member
- A special sermon where the pastor rides a motorcycle down the center aisle
- An Easter egg drop where the eggs are dropped from a helicopter to kids below
These are all true stories I have in my career helping churches with their insurance programs. Were the churches covered in these examples? The answer is, no. In every instance the church needed to purchase additional coverages or policies. Given this what is the best procedure for your church when you are considering a special event or making changes?
1. Contact your church insurance agent as soon as you know about the change or event:
Some changes are easy and fast to address but others are much more challenging like the example involving the helicopter egg drop. The sooner you contact your agent the quicker he or she will be able to make sure that you are covered and for the best value.
2. Consider reaching out to your agent even if you just have an idea:
Often your church insurance specialist can give you much needed advice about ways to go about certain changes or events from an insurance perspective. It is also sometimes possible that additional premiums may affect your decision. By contacting your agent ahead of time he or she may be able to help give you an idea of any additional costs.
3. Whatever you do don’t wait till the last minute
The worst idea is to wait till the last minute before calling your agent. Unlike personal insurance that can often be done in “15 minutes or less” over the phone, insurance for churches is more complex and often takes a little bit more time.
The Bottom Line
Your church insurance specialists should be looked at as a valued partner. When in doubt, or even if there is no doubt, the best practice is to call your agent and ask. It will save your church a lot of headaches and let you focus on your congregation and your ministry.