Strategies to protect the innocent, Insurance to defend your ministry.
Sexual abuse is a tragic reality in ministry. Instances of sexual misconduct can traumatize victims and their families, and allegations can destroy the reputation of your ministry. Painfully, allegations of child abuse remain the number one reason that ministries end up in court.
Sexual Misconduct Liability insurance pays for designated claims of bodily injury, emotional injury, and personal injury connected to sexual misconduct and related to a policyholder’s operations, including non-employment sexual harassment.
Insurance is no substitute for protection. We’ve written extensively on the need for background checks, mandated reporter training, and a child safety plan to prevent and reduce the risk of abuse. If you’re a ministry in California, make sure to watch our webinar on mandated reporter legislation and requirements for your organization.
That said, even the best procedures can not fully eliminate the possibility of abuse. Sexual Misconduct Liability Insurance is a vital aspect of any ministry risk management program. Buying the right coverage can pay for defending your ministry, and providing a path to restoration for victims.
It’s important to understand the difference between sexual harassment and sexual misconduct. Sexual harassment is typically an employment-related matter, while sexual misconduct is the result of relationships built within a ministry environment, such as abuse of a minor by a youth leader.
Coverage exists for both, and it’s important to tailor your insurance program based upon your ministry’s unique risks.
Having a clear claim reporting history is crucial when it comes to sexual misconduct liability insurance. Claims can come forward unpredictably, sometimes many years after the alleged incident occurred. Therefore, it’s essential to keep a record of all your policies in both physical and digital format, so if a claim comes forward, you’ll know which carrier to call and report a claim.
It’s also important to understand the type of policy you have. Occurrence-based policies provide lifetime coverage, regardless of when the claim is reported. In contrast, claims-made policies limit claim reporting to a certain time frame, which can be extended if “tail coverage” is purchased. Reviewing the terms of your past policies can help you ensure that you have the coverage you need.
If you lack prior coverage, retroactive insurance may be the best solution for your ministry. A ChurchWest agent can broker the best retroactive coverage at the best price.
These are a few Sexual Misconduct Liability scenarios that we’ve seen ministries like yours face. While every situation is unique, these scenarios help illustrate the types of sexual misconduct risks that this coverage can protect against.
Sexual harassment is not limited to the conduct of your employees. Consider the following claim scenario:
This coverage pays designated legal defense expenses incurred on behalf of covered persons who deny accusations of sexual misconduct related to a policyholder’s operations. This coverage varies by carrier, and should be verified with your insurance agent to confirm the specifics of your actual policy.
NOTE: No payment of court awards, judgments, or fines is provided.
In conclusion, Sexual Misconduct Liability insurance is an essential protection for your ministry against claims of sexual misconduct and abuse. The coverage responds to a wide range of scenarios, including but not limited to allegations of child abuse.
By partnering with a knowledgeable insurance provider and maintaining proper records of past policies, you can defend your mission and provide an avenue for restoration to victims.
Worried about the cost? A ChurchWest Ministry Insurance Advisor can bundle your Sexual Misconduct Liability 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.