What you should know about church insurance

 

For many people, churches are much more than just buildings. They are sacred spaces that carry great meaning to all who gather there for prayer, community, connection and spirituality.

It is for these reasons that churches must take steps to provide safe spaces for occupants and mitigate risk on their properties.

Purchasing insurance is a great way to fully protect congregants, visitors and assets of a church. This week, AkitaBox, an industry thought leader and facility management software provider interviewed Walt Wellborn of Whitman Insurance Agency to help gain insight on insurance best practices for your church.

AkitaBox: What types of insurance should a church consider purchasing?

Wellborn: Many churches wonder what types of insurance they need for their organization. Examples of insurance that a church can buy include property insurance, contents or personal property insurance, liability insurance, commercial auto insurance, flood, wind, hail and earth movement insurance, workers’ compensation, event insurance and umbrella insurance.

AB: Typically, what is included in a church insurance package?

Wellborn: A church insurance package will generally include property insurance, liability insurance and workers’ compensation. Commercial auto and event insurance are usually separated out.

AB: What assets, equipment and machinery are typically covered within a church’s insurance?

Wellborn:  Insurance will cover sanctuaries, air conditioning and heat, electrical, plumbing, commercial kitchens, family centers, schools and similar assets. Sometimes, insurance will also have endorsements for high-end property, including stained glass windows, pipe organs, expensive audio or video equipment, alters, railings and artwork.

AB: What qualities should a church look for in an insurance company before creating a partnership?

Wellborn: Churches should conduct research on insurance companies and work with one that directly deals with churches and their needs. Church Insurance is not like standard commercial or business insurance. There are similarities, but churches have specific needs that have to be met. It’s a good idea to make sure that the insurance company you choose to work with can meet your church’s unique insurance needs.

AB: Do churches have higher insurance premiums than other building types?

Wellborn: Sometimes, yes. Church buildings are different than regular commercial buildings. Churches, for instance, tend to be older and require more maintenance. Church buildings also elicit emotional attachment from the people who use them. For many, a church is much more than a building and assets. When we insure churches, we do our best to use replacement cost value over actual cost value. Our hope is to return a church to its ‘whole’ state as much as possible, especially after an incident occurs.

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Meaghan Kelly is a marketing content copywriter for AkitaBox. Passionate about fostering a culture of continuous learning through engaging, impactful content. Enjoys visiting new coffee shops and discovering the world through travel. Dog lover, clarinetist and reading enthusiast.

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