Auto Insurance Basics for Your Ministry

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What is Commercial Auto Insurance?

Commercial Auto Insurance protects your ministry against claims related to the vehicles you own, both for damages to those vehicles and liability arising out of accidents involving your vehicles.

In addition to insuring your owned vehicles, you should also consider purchasing Non-Owned Vehicle Coverage. This is an essential coverage for any ministry asking employees or volunteers to drive on its behalf.

The Basics of Coverage

Many types of coverage are available when tailoring your commercial auto policy. The following are some common auto coverages, but the specifics of your own coverage will depend upon your policy and should be reviewed with your insurance agent.

  • Collision Coverage: Can help with repairing or replacing a vehicle that was involved in a collision with another vehicle, object, or overturned in an accident.
  • Comprehensive Coverage: Can help with repairing or replacing a vehicle that was damaged by specific circumstances such as fire, lightning, or theft.
  • Liability Coverage: Protects your ministry if you are found at fault for bodily injury or property damages to a third party, including the other party’s medical costs, lost wages, and your legal expenses if a lawsuit is brought against your ministry.
  • Rental Reimbursement: Can pay for a rental vehicle, up to certain limits, after an accident causes damage to your insured vehicle.
  • Personal Injury Protection: Can pay medical expenses and income loss for accident-related injury suffered by occupants of your ministry owned vehicle.
  • Underinsured Motorist/Uninsured Motorist Coverage: Can pay for damages caused by a third-party driver who either does not have insurance, or not enough insurance. 
  • Medical Payments: Can cover medical or funeral expenses for accident-related injury suffered by occupants of your ministry owned vehicles.

What are examples of Ministry Auto claims?

If you’re like most ministries, much of your automobile risk relates to vehicles driven on your behalf. While every situation is unique, these scenarios help illustrate the types of auto-related risks that the proper coverage can protect against.

  • Your church organizes and sponsors a trip to a rally in another city. A church member uses his van to transport some of the teenagers. While traveling home from the convention, the driver loses control of the vehicle and it overturns. Several of the teens are seriously injured. The parents file a lawsuit against the driver and the church. The church is covered on an excess basis after the driver’s insurance.
  • A ministry leader rents a van to transport members to your church-sponsored ski outing. When returning home, the leader dozes off, and the van collides with another vehicle. Several injured members from both vehicles file claims against the driver and the church. The driver of the other vehicle files a property damage claim for damage to her car. These claims are covered on an excess basis after the owner’s and driver’s insurance.

Next Steps

In summary, Auto coverage provides essential protection for your ministry: both the vehicles you purchase and those driven on your behalf.

Worried about the cost? A ChurchWest Ministry Insurance Advisor can bundle your Auto coverage with other ministry-specific coverages as part of a comprehensive insurance package. By bundling your coverage with ChurchWest, you can get the best protection at the most affordable price.

Click the “Get a Quote” button at the top of this screen to contact your local advisor, or explore our other coverage pages to learn more about guarding your ministry’s finances and reputation.