Did you know?Thousands of churches are sued every year, often for things they considered to have ministry value, and often by their own members. Damages from these lawsuits have reached as much as $120 million.The most common general liability claims are slip and fall claims.
No time is a good time for a lawsuit.
Don't wait until the unthinkable happens. While we’d like to believe churches are immune to legal disputes, churches and other not-for-profits are treated no differently than secular businesses in today's legal system. In fact, ministries often have more liability because they allow so many people to participate in their activities.
Because the GuideStone Property and Casualty Program is designed exclusively for churches and ministries, our liability coverage automatically extends to trustees and deacons or other church members working on your behalf. It may also be extended worldwide when you sponsor a mission trip or tour.
Optional coverages may increase the level of protection for your church. You might consider:
- Pastoral professional liability coverage for damages resulting from pastoral counseling.
- Church directors' and officers' coverage for damages resulting from wrongful acts and reimbursement of loss and claims expense.
- Abusive act liability coverage for actual or threatened abuse or molestation by one of your employees or volunteers acting on your behalf and resulting in injury to someone.
- Umbrella liability for increased limits of coverage.
Make sure you have adequate liability insurance limits.
All it takes is one injury to put a ministry in the red:
- The average award for an injury claim is $117,333.2
- Defense and court expenses can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for a claim of any size.
Not all liability policies cover every type of ministry you engage in. Are you sure you're covered? You can be found liable even in:
- Backyard Bible clubs
- Vacation Bible school
- Upward® sports programs
- Wednesday night meals
- Mother's Day Out, church schools and day care
- Seasonal dramas
Ministry is a careful balance of risk and reward. Liability concerns should never prevent you from offering a ministry program that meets people's needs. But the financial impact of a lawsuit — even if you aren't guilty — could ruin your ministry.
You need strong coverage that will protect you against the financial losses associated with liability claims. When you feel the rewards outweigh the risks, we're there to help.
2 "General Liability Claims Management." www.Marsh.com. January 2009.