by Richey-Barrett Insurance "Since 1902"
Church and Non-Profit Insurance

Church and Non-Profit Insurance

Church & Non-Profit Insurance by Richey-Barrett Insurance "Since 1902"

Church Insurance
Churches, houses of worship; and other religious institutions all have very special coverage needs. In addition to basic property and liability insurance, Religious organizations need to consider coverage for church council, abusive acts, professional liability of the minister and valuable property, such as stained-glass. Each insurance solution needs to be specifically designed to offer the greatest protection at the lowest cost.

Nonprofit Groups and Organizations
There are some very important considerations to properly ensure a nonprofit organization as well. The entity being designated as nonprofit is still a business, and has the legal responsibility of protecting the assets it accumulates. Insurance plays an important role in protecting nonprofit organizations from liability and property claims. Nonprofit organizations have a special need for customized insurance programs.

April 08, 2019
Vice President
L

ife goes on. Most of us want life to persevere after we leave this world. What about your church’s life? Will it survive the ongoing trend of closings occurring throughout thousands of mainline Protestant churches in the United States? With respect to what you associate with church life, do you believe in life after death?

March 04, 2019
Vice President
T

he pastor truthfully testified, “I didn’t know.” The jury adamantly decided, “You should have known.” Starkly revealing, this is new territory for civil defense attorneys and their church clients. Quick takeaway: While clergy and church employees who regularly interact with children must comply with mandatory reporting laws, they are being held to a higher standard in court.

January 29, 2019
President
Extreme Cold Is Coming to Northeast Ohio

Snow, ice, wind‐chill, and subzero temperatures will be arriving later today in Northeast Ohio

January 14, 2019
President
A

fter Church I was reading the bulletin and there was a small article that the Church will not be sending out annual statements of giving. The article stated if you need to know how much you gave, you will need to log into a secure portal and register. The next thought I had was this is a huge cybersecurity risk and I hope the online portalprovides Cyber Insurance for the churches in the program.

November 27, 2018
Vice President
S

omehow, shootings in public places keep finding their way into news stories. The most recent occurrences are the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, the shooting at the Mercy Hospital in Chicago, and the shooting at a bar in California. Between the three incidents, there were over 20 fatalities. This keeps happening, so what can we do to keep ourselves safer when it comes to high-stress situations like these?

October 16, 2018
Vice President
C

hurch calendars mark religious seasons and remind leaders and worshippers when it is time to transition to the next spiritual season. Your church should also have a maintenance calendar. As Northeast Ohio’s fall weather season approaches peak colors, hardy residents know that winter white is coming soon in the form of SNOW. Now is the time for preparation and preventive maintenance. Add some seasonal spice to your church calendar and call on volunteers to fulfill five, fun, fall commandments for maintaining the church property.

September 11, 2018
President
T

he median age in the United States continues to increase and Northeast Ohio is growing older faster than most other urban areas. With that in mind it is great to know the area is blessed with many great non-profit nursing homes and assisted living facilities that meet the needs of our aging society. Unfortunately, I was recently made aware of a new issue that is cropping up in some non-profit and for-profit facilities, Bullying.

July 30, 2018
Vice President
T

he rich heritage of Cleveland extends to its many churches and places of worship. From weekly Sunday gathering to community outreach, area churches and houses of worship serve spiritual, social, and economic needs of Cleveland’s diverse population and beyond. While many hands make light work, the practical reality is churches do not run well on auto pilot. The real world is complicated, people are flawed, and turmoil happens. Abiding by your church’s constitution and bylaws provides order and accountability in the conduct of church operations.

June 18, 2018
Vice President
C

hurch socials, or a close cousin thereof, are making a comeback. What a great way to promote fellowship and fun, especially during summer. Some churches keep it simple with an outdoor picnic following worship. More adventurous planners may opt for a full afternoon of fun outside. Are you thinking sunshine, the beach, and perhaps splashing in Lake Erie? Great ideas. Before you know it, your church members and friends could be heading to Huntington Beach Park, Edgewater Park, or Geneva-on-the-Lake for the church social of the season. Don’t forget the food… especially recipes prepared straight out of your church cookbook with one-of-a-kind love and taste!

April 30, 2018
Vice President
L

ightning strikes. It happened in March 2010 to the Euclid Avenue Congregational Church in Cleveland, Ohio, when fire from a lightning bolt ripped through the 123-year-old structure, destroying everything, including priceless stained glass windows. Is your church prepared to survive such disaster? Do you have any idea what it might cost to replace your stained glass windows? Conducting a thorough appraisal now on your stained glass windows may save you from additional despair later.

March 19, 2018
Vice President
L

ast month’s blog entitled “EYES ON CHURCH STAINED GLASS WINDOWS” focused on basic care and inspection of stained glass windows. Today’s topic approaches your church’s stained glass windows from another perspective, that of valuation. What are they worth, particularly if you ever need to replace them?

February 05, 2018
Vice President
W

hether your church stained glass windows are 300 years old or 30 years old, they need care. Inspection with your own eyeballs is a common sense starting point. Include it on your annual chores checklist to ensure your church’s stained glass windows continue to radiate the light of day. Note that while your goal is preservation and prevention, the means (proper repairs and corrective measures) should be professionally addressed. A professional contact suggestion for stained glass care is the studio from which the windows were purchased, if known, or The Stained Glass Association of America (Phone:  1-800-438-9581).  

December 18, 2017
Vice President
T

he holiday season, particularly the week of Christmas, is always a time of packing the pews. While more visitors and out-of-town guests provide extra fellowship and church life activity, the spike in auto and foot traffic may bring added risk. Church pastors, administrators, and members alike should be mindful and vigilant to safeguard people and church property. In addition to your church’s formal safety and security guidelines, the following checklist highlights 10 common sense “checks” and reminders:

November 06, 2017
I

f you did not hear about the terrible shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, 26 people were shot to their death during Sunday morning’s service. All of us here at Richey-Barrett Insurance offer our warmest condolences to everybody involved in the shooting, their families, and the Sutherland Springs community. This particular shooting is extremely sad, and it is terribly unfortunate that we have to even have this conversation about active shooters and fire arms policies in any public place, let alone in a church. Continue reading to learn about what you should do to help prepare for a catastrophe and what you should do during the event of an active shooting.

October 09, 2017
Vice President
C

reepy, crawly critters that go bump in the night aren’t confined to Halloween, or nighttime for that matter. Creatures you expect to stay outside where they belong don’t always confine themselves to nature’s protective cover.  They can and do get inside … causing tricky problems for building owners.

September 05, 2017
President
A

ccording to the Insurance Information Institute 30.2% of all church fires are started by lightning strikes. With that in mind, why don’t more churches have lightning rods? Lightning rods originally developed by Benjamin Franklin in the mid 1700’s still offer an effective method to divert the energy of a lightning strike. (read more)

July 25, 2017
Vice President
C

hurch pastors go about their business every day of the week. They are professionals frequently “on call” visiting the elderly, consoling the sick, religiously educating youth and adults, officiating at religious ceremonies, praying for people everywhere, and preaching the Word. One of the thornier areas of pastoral professional duties is that of counseling. Church members can and do reasonably expect the pastor to be available to provide emotional support in times of need or to be a trusted listener involving personal matters. Counseling is part of a pastor’s job, and counseling gives rise to liability exposure. Below are a few suggested risk control guidelines (these are not all-inclusive) for pastors to consider in their performance of counseling activities:

June 13, 2017
Vice President
A

re you a board member, employee, or volunteer of a non-profit entity/organization? If so, you should make sure the entity or organization you are affiliated with has appropriate Directors and Officers Liability Insurance. This is extremely important for a non-profit because it helps protect both the entity AND you from a lawsuit. 

May 02, 2017
Vice President
A

 former church member recently released from prison (a convicted sex offender) approaches the church minister to ask for permission/consideration to return to church. What is the minister to do?

This scenario is NOT out of the question today. It is foolish to pretend such a scenario could not exist in your church. Has your church thought about the issue of registered sex offenders participating in church or church functions? 

March 28, 2017
Vice President
S

pringtime has arrived in northern Ohio, and with it comes to the excitement of warm weather activities. Now is the time to start thinking about all the spring and summer activities connected with your church. Does your church recommend, sponsor, and/or participate in summer camp or mission trips away from the church? 

Anticipating and planning an event such as church camp or a mission trip generates a lot of excitement throughout your church community. As with any activity, the safety of your group is paramount. Whether it is one person or a number of people, safety and emergency plans are needed. The list below is a good starting point as you consider possible upcoming activities. Be aware this list will not cover every situation.

February 14, 2017
Vice President
P

rior to Columbine, the thought of any type of attack on a school, day care site, church, library, or office building was virtually unheard of. What can you do if you find yourself in the midst of an active shooter situation?  Listed below are action points of the ALICE program, which I first addressed in Part One of this two-part series on January 24, 2017.

January 24, 2017
Vice President
T

his is the first of a two-part series.

I recently participated in a training program for the prevention or minimizing of loss of life due to active shooters. This program incorporated lecture and simulation scenarios. The old protocol of lockdown, secure-in-place is no longer an adequate strategy, and this opinion is supported in the Ohio Attorney General’s School Safety Task Force Report (2013). Several agencies participated in recommending new standards for Active Shooter Response, which are included in the Ohio Attorney General’s Report mentioned above. The training program I attended is called ALICE (www.alicetraining.com). The ALICE Program evolved from the initial practice in 2001 of reviewing how things are done to a much more encompassing set of protocols which include lockdown, evacuating, and countering. ALICE and other similar programs are not without their critics (http://www.schoolsecurity.org/trends/alice-training/).

December 01, 2016
Vice President
B

en and Pen are long-time, members of ABC Church (All ‘Bout Church), a hypothetical church located on the outskirts of a large town with just over 100 members. Ben and Pen have decided to donate to ABC Church two acres of land they own near the center of town. ABC is excited and accepts the gift of land. Within one month, Ben and Pen transfer title of the property to ABC Church.

Following the title transfer, ABC Church leadership engages in several months of serious discussion regarding the use of the donated property. Should the church be moved to this new site? Would the town support a second ABC Church location? What if they constructed a building and then rented it out? Or should the donated property be sold? Finally, it is decided the most feasible option is to sell the land and invest the proceeds in an endowment created for ABC Church.

It appears simple and direct. What could go wrong with turning around and selling this two-acre land donation? The first concern is that the donated gift is real estate, always a subject to approach with caution. ABC Church should determine whether the land is currently zoned as residential or commercial. How will zoning affect ABC’s approach in selling it? Does ABC Church have clear title to the property?  

September 26, 2016
President
L

ast week Donald Trump was in Cleveland Heights Ohio for a town hall meeting at the New Spirit Revival Center. The Pastor of New Spirit Revival Center has been a Trump supporter since he became a candidate.  Read more

August 15, 2016
Vice President
G

eneral Liability insurance coverage is protection against accidental occurrences which are not excluded by contract language.  Common examples of covered General Liability claims are slips and falls on church property. A member or visitor may slip on ice in the parking lot in the winter months and end up with a broken leg and arm. The church’s General Liability insurance policy will typically provide coverage for such an incident.

The General Liability insurance policy specifically excludes any claim arising out of a professional act, error, or omission. Does a church have a Professional Liability exposure? The short answer is absolutely yes.

June 27, 2016
President
A

 few degrees of protection can reduce long term concerns.

As we head into the dog days of summer your Church may not have as much activity as during other times of the year.  But don’t let your guard down keep church safety on your mind so property loses can be avoided.  

May 16, 2016
Vice President
S

pring is upon us.  The church you visit, belong to, are a member of is now more active than ever. Spring cleanup, spring planting, and Spring/Summer programs are all underway.  The church has many member volunteers all working together to create the best experiences for the church community. 

April 11, 2016
Vice President
T

hreats of violence have increasingly given way to actual acts of violence. The risks can be elevated when large gatherings of people congregate to protest a hot button social issue, and the protest turns from peaceful to incendiary. At the other end of the spectrum are situations which can and have recently culminated in a lone wolf or two plotting and executing a deadly rampage with no forewarning. 

March 28, 2016
President
T

oday, March 28, is Dyngus day, a celebration that started in Eastern Europe to celebrate the end of the observance of Lent and the joy of Easter.  The festival used to begin with young boys drenching young girls with water. In Cleveland the day has become a day to celebrate Polka and the Eastern European heritage of the city. As celebrations go Dyngus Day is still relatively new to Cleveland.  However the need for proper insurance coverage is not.

February 01, 2016
Vice President
Y

our church is well-maintained and a beehive of activity, with people constantly buzzing around. Recently it has had three slip and fall claims that have been paid out under the Medical Payments Coverage section of the church’s insurance policy. John, your insurance agent, has called the church to advise this claim frequency is causing concern from your insurance company.

November 30, 2015
President
A

s a new member on the board the journey you are beginning can be very rewarding in helping your church reach its’ goals but understanding your responsibilities is a key to that success. "But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase." Daniel 12:4

October 12, 2015
Vice President
W

hat is meant by the term “safe church policy”? Essentially, it is an intentional plan implemented by a church to prevent acts of sexual abuse. A safe church policy is designed to protect all persons from acts of sexual abuse, whether an alleged act is committed by a person of authority (i.e. minister, pastor, rabbi, teacher) or a first-time volunteer.

Who is involved in implementing safe church policy? EVERYONE, from the minister, pastor, rabbi, and all the way down to anyone participating in a church program or activity is involved. This includes all employees, church council members, volunteers (including volunteer teachers), and all members and non-members participating in any and all church functions or activities. 

August 04, 2014
C

hurches and non-profit organizations like yours have some very unique insurance needs.  Important protection is required for your organization that others don’t have to worry about.  Your mission often times is to help people who have been affected by disaster.  How can you help others if you cannot recover from a disaster yourself?