Protecting a house of worship is different from protecting a warehouse, or your home, or your business. The types of policies you need vary depending on your contents; after all, a relic or stained glass window, or an ancient copy of the Torah or Koran, are more valuable (in terms of coverage) than, say, the furnace or your office supplies. For this reason, it is important to have the right coverage on your church, temple, synagogue, or mosque.
Every house of worship is different, of course, so today we wanted to take a look at the more general policies you should have. They can usually be customized to your church’s unique needs, but it’s a good idea to have an attorney review your policies before you sign on the dotted line.
General liability coverage
One of the most important types of insurance to have is general liability coverage. General liability provides coverage in various situations. If a volunteer was doing something at the church and that volunteer sustained a serious injury, the church would have insurance to cover the cost of medical expenses for the injured volunteer. If someone got hurt while attending mass because of something that happened inside of the church, general liability coverage would protect the church while allowing the victim to collect compensation for various injuries. It can also protect you if a member of your order – or of your flock – is accused of sexual impropriety.
Business interruption coverage
Churches aren’t like “regular” business, of course, but they do share some similarities: you have expenses and utilities, and employees who are paid. If your building has to be renovated, the bank is still going to want the mortgage payments, and your employees will still need their paychecks, even if they are working from home or a makeshift office. Business interruption coverage will help you keep up-to-date on your bills and expenses while your church is rebuilt. Please review the policy for specific coverages.
Property damage coverage
Property damage insurance provides coverage for different types of damage that can occur to the church. If someone attempts to break into the building by smashing through some of the stained glass or if someone drives right into the building, causing damage to its exterior, having property damage coverage is essential.
Flood coverage may need to be purchased separately
Traditional coverage options will usually not include damage caused by floods. If a storm occurs and there are heavy rainstorms for days, flooding can damage the inside the church. When there is a lot of standing water on the floor of the church, it can eventually cause damage to the structure of the building and cause mold and mildew. As a precautionary measure, it helps to have flood coverage, and in certain parts of Florida and Alabama, that coverage is a requirement.
All churches should have a certain level of coverage provided by an insurance company of their choosing. For more information on the types of insurance policies that are best for churches to have as a means of protection, get in touch with the insurance dispute lawyers of Warhurst Law. You can call our office at 251-207-1296 or complete our contact form. We currently provide legal services to clients in Alabama, Florida, and throughout the Southeast.