Houses of Worship share the mission of serving their respective communities, strengthening worshipers and others with matters of faith and other needs. Notwithstanding the importance of the institution, facilities can suddenly face closure due to unexpected calamity.
How do church, mosque and synagogue members protect themselves from risk of losses, besides of course prayer?
Of course, tailored insurance coverage is a necessity. But, besides that, instituting proper risk management policies can prevent and/or reduce the potential for loss from any of the various hazards that exist.
Follow below to see how a house of worship can fight back against related risk exposure.
Most Common Liability for Houses of Worship:
Slips and falls are the leading cause of liability for any business or non-profit, like a religious center. To prevent or reduce the risk make sure the facility’s parking spaces and sidewalks have any cracks repaired and that winter’s snow and ice is removed. Additionally, caution signs should be placed by wet flooring, with hazardous areas roped off. If a spill occurs, it should be cleaned up immediately.
Corresponding insurance should include general liability and incorporate any outreach, charity and or special events. House of worship members should be included in coverage.
Sexual Abuse lawsuits are another leading problem that board members need to be cognizant of. To avoid this type of case, house of worship officials should choose volunteers and employees with care, putting a focus on background checks and reference character evaluations. Due to the prevalence of incidents, no adult should be alone with a minor and all volunteer and employee activity should be reviewed.
Related abuse and molestation insurance should come with general liability coverage.
Counseling Risks are par for the course when the ministry or clergy offers this service – usually free of cost. House of Worship counselors should be on the lookout for cases that require professional referring. Failure to refer a client for professional counseling or medical intervention could result in an errors and omissions lawsuit, as could speaking about matters that were told in confidentiality.
Corresponding pastor’s professional liability insurance should be procured along with general liability coverage.
Most Common Property Issues
Lightening can incur much damage to a house of worship building along with the items therein. It should be noted that lightening can run through pipes and electrical lines, as well as phone lines. This can cause fires, along with power surges and shock waves, resulting in damages.
Related insurance comes in the basic form and special causes of loss coverage.
Storm damage is another big concern for houses of worship. To mitigate the potential of losses, board members should be on top of maintenance and repair work. Special attention should be given to roof problems, overgrown tree branches and security should be upheld at entry points, while sand bags should be placed in strategic areas when floods threaten.
Corresponding insurance should include replacement costs and wind and hail insurance.
Theft and burglary is one of the issues to highlight because thieves are consistently making off with copper from the air conditioning units. This may cause severe breakdown and costly repairs and/or replacement costs. Overseeing personnel should cover the air conditioning unit with a cage and musical instruments can be shielded from robbery by installing a central station burglar alarm heard by the police.
Related insurance covers churches, mosques, synagogues and other houses of worship.
Winter and pipe bursts are unfortunately a reality that houses of worship need to be keenly aware of because the ensuing damages can be devastating. Preventive measures include sufficiently insulating the pipes, along with a plumber’s repair and maintenance program.
Corresponding insurance should include water damage for houses of worship.
Last, but certainly not least, is the risk of fire in a house of worship. With candles often an integral part of services, this is a real exposure. Using smokeless brands of candles will remove this risk. In addition, faulty and outdated wiring and the risk of arson should be considered. An electrician’s repair and maintenance program is an important aspect of prevention.
Related fire damage insurance should be included in the basic and special causes of losses insurance.