As an organisation in the service of people you need to make sure you are properly financially protected for your major risks through charity or church insurance. If you’re not sure where to start here’s a rundown of important things to cover, as well as some tips for risk management in each case.
1. Your people
Being in the risk management, faith and insurance business we believe people always come first. This includes your ministers, teachers, volunteers, employees and other community members.
Types of church insurance you may need include:
- Personal Accident in case of accident and injury to ministers, pastors, chaplains or volunteers.
- Business Travel cover for missionary or other trips.
- Workers’ Compensation compulsory cover for employers. See our previous post for more information on this.
People protection: managing the risks
Keeping your people as safe as possible reduces the need to claim on your insurance and incur associated costs. Here are some ways to go about better church safety:
- Creating sound risk management and emergency planning procedures.
- Maintaining safe premises to avoid slips, trips and falls.
- Taking proactive steps to protect people’s privacy.
- Developing and maintaining sound child safe / child protection policies.
- Maintaining healthy workplaces and safe work practices.
- Being well-prepared before going on overseas trips.
2. Your property / church assets
Property cover provides financial protection for your building, contents, cash, church relics and equipment in case of a covered event such as fire, flood, cyclone or burglary. It also includes ‘interruption’ cover (called Consequential Loss) to cover costs incurred while your organisation gets back into business after a disaster.
Types of cover include:
- Industrial Special Risks – cover in case of material damage, and for Consequential Loss.
- Crime Coverage in case of theft, fraud, dishonesty or burglary.
Property protection: managing the risks
There are many ways to go about reducing the risk of property damage or loss, such as:
- Fire safety practices and procedures.
- Regular property maintenance – including of your building’s roof as this helps make it more resistant to the impact of wild weather events.
- Sound security procedures and systems to deter would-be criminals.
- Protecting stained-glass windows if your church has them.
- Strong finance management procedures such as segregation of duties, dual authorisations for online transactions and secure cash handling.
3. Your liability
Liability insurance provides cover in case someone claims to have been injured or suffered loss due to your negligence and takes out a lawsuit against you. For example, a congregant or visitor might claim they were injured when they tripped on a damaged step on your property.
Liability insurance includes cover for the cost of compensating claimants and for your legal expenses in a case.
Insurance types include:
- General liability: public and products in case of injury or loss claims.
- Management liability – for cases where someone alleges that directors, officers or employees have caused them harm.
- Professional indemnity (PI) – in case of losses or harm due to professional services. See our previous article on PI insurance for churches for more detail.
Liability: risk management
Developing safe church policies and procedures goes a long way towards reducing the risk of lawsuits, such as through:
- Providing safe premises to reduce the risk of injuries.
- Reducing the risk of accidents outside through safe and well-maintained car parks and grounds.
- Implementing standards of conduct around counselling and pastoral care and child care.
- Keeping up with safety obligations through essential safety measures.
- Sound fire safety and prevention practices and procedures.
4. Your data
You should also consider how you will protect your organisation’s data and information.
The main type of cover for this is cyber insurance in case of losses and business interruption due to a cyber event.
Your data: risk management
Reducing the risk of cyber attacks and financial losses requires a proactive approach, such as through implementing sound cyber security measures – including strong passwords, firewalls, anti-virus programs and regular backups.
You can also find tips for reducing the risk of identity theft and online scams from our cyber security posts.
For more information on church insurance
While general business insurance can cover many of the above risks, we believe it’s important for faith centres and charities to get tailored cover through church insurance or insurance for non-profit organisations.
Our insurance page provides more information on our specialised insurance products. If you’d like to speak to someone in person about insurance and risk management for churches and charities, get in touch with us by email or call 13 000 FAITH.
Written by Tess Oliver
Tags: asset protection, insurance, risk management