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When storms hit

What your church can do before and after the damage for maximum protection

Risk management practices often pay off when it comes to reducing your risk of theft and injuries. While there's not much you can do to avoid a windstorm or lightning strike, you can reduce the financial hit by taking some precautionary measures.

Some of the most frequent causes of church loss include wind, hail and lightning damage. But if you do your planning and preparation now, when disaster strikes, your response time may be minimized.

What you can do to prepare

  1. If you haven't already developed an inventory of church property and equipment, begin now to create one. Supplement your list with video or photos of your buildings and their contents. In the inventory, list all property owned by the church, including date of purchase, cost, brand, serial number, etc. Be sure to include copies of receipts. You may prefer to keep your working inventory at your church. It’s advisable to keep two copies, updated annually, in separate locations.

  2. Form a Risk Management Team. Designate one person to head up "disaster recovery," and assign backups in case that person is injured or unavailable. Each team member needs to know recovery procedures in the event of a disaster. They also need to know where important documents are stored, including property and casualty insurance policies and contact information.

  3. Keep your property in good repair. A well-maintained facility is less likely to have incidental damage, such as fallen tree limbs and roof damage.

What you can do when disaster strikes

  1. Be wise. Depending on the damage incurred, your church may not be structurally sound. Don't enter a building that has exposed electrical wiring, standing water or gas leaks.

  2. Contact your insurance company as soon as possible. The GuideStone Property and Casualty Program® offers 24/7 claims service to help minimize disruptions to your ministry if you are insured through us. Call the dedicated claims line at 1-877-889-GSPC (1-877-889-4772).

  3. Have your policy information ready for quick claims processing. You’ll need:

    • Policy number
    • Church or ministry name
    • Name of contact person, telephone and facsimile numbers
    • Date of loss
    • Description of loss

  4. Make a complete list of all damages. Where possible, use your inventory list and photos taken prior to the storm. Begin getting estimates for repairs. If you're a GuideStone Property and Casualty customer, GuideStone's adjusters will work with you to verify the value of the damaged property.

Are you wondering if your property and casualty insurance policies have your church fully protected? GuideStone's experienced P&C representatives can help you identify gaps in your policies that leave you exposed. For more information or a personalized quote, call us at 1-888-98-GUIDE (1-888-984-8433).