The most basic form of liability insurance, General Liability Insurance should cover ‘general’ claims against your ministry. A General Liability policy typically covers your ministry in the event someone is injured or suffers a loss in relation to your ministry activities. Basically, this coverage is designed to respond to claims of bodily injury or property loss caused by your ministry operations. Coverage usually includes compensating the other party, defending your ministry in court and paying court awards or settlements, subject to the liability limits of your policy.
It’s important to remember that not every kind of claim is covered by General Liability. While the policy normally responds to third party bodily injury claims, injuries to your employees are typically covered separately under a Worker’s Compensation policy. Many other forms of liability are excluded or covered under different insurance forms.
How much insurance do I need? (Just tell me, right?)
When managing risk, we ask two questions:
- How likely is this risk to occur?
- What would be the total damage of the risk if it did occur?
The likelihood of a risk is tied to how often you perform that activity, and how effectively you manage that risk. For example, your odds of a trip and fall claim go up as Sunday morning attendance increases. On the contrary, implementing safety procedures such as repairing sidewalks or drying floors quickly would decrease the likelihood of a slip or fall.
The total damage of a liability claim can be impacted by many factors, and these factors should be considered when choosing liability limits. Some regions and cities are more likely to award higher settlements than others. Also, the more relatively liquid assets your ministry owns, the more enticing it may be for a plaintiff’s attorney to pursue a claim above and beyond your insurance policy. To learn more about your “judicial environment,” check out this great article by Brotherhood Mutual.
What does this mean for my ministry?
We recommend discussing these insurance questions with an agent who specializes in serving ministries. An agent can help you understand these factors and tailor a risk management program specific to your ministry. A specialized agent will have deeper knowledge of common ministry risks, as well as the legal environment and compliance topics facing faith based organizations like yours. We have your back!