Your church is home to many people in your community. The church plays an integral role in the lives of many people in the United States today. Regular churchgoers have integrated their church family into their daily lives. Moreover, they’ve formed tight-knit relationships with other church members, attending weekly service and staying for church gathering such as an all church BBQ.
A sudden accident or an unforeseen event could quickly eradicate all of that, causing these church members to despair. If you’re involved in church operations or help run a church, you’ll have often heard people recommend church insurance. The reality is that many churches find themselves in court, battling abuse allegations or property disputes. While getting church insurance from a reliable church insurance agent may not prevent you from getting into a lawsuit, it can safeguard your church’s future.
What is Church Property Insurance?
One of the most commonly subscribed insurance policies for churches is church property insurance. A gathering place is essential for convening church members to be able to build each other up, before we head back out to our local communities to further spread the message of hope in Jesus. However, your church’s building is prone to numerous risks. Fires are a frequent hazard for any structure, no matter how holy. Similarly, elemental forces and natural disasters can wreck your building, leaving your church members without a home. A church property insurance policy protects your building from such events and disasters. Moreover, it also covers the damages incurred to any items within your church building, like pews and podiums. Another essential coverage provided by church property insurance is business income with extra expense. The extra expense coverage provides your church with additional monies, to be able to temporarily relocate your church building while your church is being rebuilt as a result of a fire. Many church insurance policies include $100,000 in coverage automatically, however you should figure out ahead of time, if that amount will be enough to cover you at a temporary location.
Why is Church Property Insurance Expensive and How to Reduce It?
The cost of church property insurance depends on a few parameters. Here’s a look at them:
The type of material you use can impact your church’s property insurance price. Moreover, the age of the building and the overall shape can also play a role in determining insurance replacement costs coverage. The materials used play a role in the overall cost of calculating your insurance cost. While it may be tempting to manipulate the construction material, it is not advisable. The last thing you will want to happen, is you use a lessor quality material than you currently have, and at the time of loss you are not able to rebuild your church building you once had but rather a lower quality building.
Conducting a thorough replacement cost estimator, will ensure your church buildings are not over-insured or under-insured. If your church is over-insured this can help reduce your overall insurance premiums. However if your church is under-insured, by increasing your building limits to the proper amount, this will save your church hundreds of thousands of dollars at the time of loss if not millions of dollars.
If you’re renting a portion of your church building to another church or organization, it will be important to identify the square footage leased out that your church is not using. This unused space is known as a lessor risk exposure. This can decrease your insurance cost so long as you are collecting insurance certificates from the church or organization that is using that unused space. An example of this would be your church building is twenty thousand square feet in size. As the building owner, your church only occupies eight thousand square feet of the total twenty thousand square feet. The other church or organization occupies the other twelve thousand square feet. The twelve thousand square feet of space would be your lessor risk exposure as your church does not have access or use this space as your own.
Reduce Liability Limits
Another way to reduce your insurance premiums is to consider lowering your overall liability limits. While we do not recommend removing coverage all together, when possible, see what coverages can be reduced in order to provide some insurance premium relief. An example of this would be the following. You currently carry $1,000,000 in abuse and molestation coverage. Instead of removing the coverage all together, you could reduce this coverage down to $250,000. This way your church still has some coverage in the event of a loss. It is important to remember if the claim exceeds $250,000, your church will then become liable for any amount exceeding your insurance coverage amount.
Most church insurance companies will assess your building’s location and its access to a fire hydrant before insuring. In addition, they also check the responsiveness of the local fire department. Insurance companies will typically want your church building within 2 to 5 miles from the nearest first station. These parameters can impact your insurance cost. Each church building is assigned a fire protection class. The fire protection class (“PC”) ranges from PC-1 to PC-9, the higher the number the more expensive your insurance premium will be. These protection classes are assigned by your local fire department.
Insurance companies also take into consideration your church building’s exposure to risk. For instance, if your building is near the coast, it’s subject to winds and hurricanes, increasing risk. While in California, if your church building is near the mountains, the risk of fires will increase the risk to the church insurance company.
Additional Ways of Reducing Premium
Several ways exist to reduce insurance premiums. These include:
Insurance companies charge their premium based on the property’s value and the contents. Most companies will mark an annual increase of 3 to 6 percent unless you provide up-to-date and accurate figures for building replacement costs. Following this measure can help ensure you only pay for the coverage you require, keeping premiums low.
Most insurance companies will place a coinsurance clause in your contract since most building owners don’t get appraisals regularly. However, by conducting building evaluations regularly, you can increase the coinsurance, thereby reducing your premiums.
Obtain Church Insurance Today
Whether you’re looking for church liability insurance or property insurance, Integrity Now Insurance Brokers can assist you with your property needs. They’ll place your church in contact with their top-rated insurance carriers, providing you with the most comprehensive coverage policies at affordable rates.
Contact them today to get your church insured.