Liability Insurance for Churches: Preventing Lawsuits

In an earlier blog post, we looked at the 3 key benefits of insurance for churches, citing protections against claims of negligence and employee liability claims as two of the biggest reasons for church officials to purchase a policy. While having the right type of liability insurance for churches is absolutely necessary for your clients, it’s also vital to understand the most common reasons for lawsuits, and how they might actually be able to prevent them. Of course, there is never a guarantee that your clients can avoid being sued, but below are some ideas from on how to possibly reduce their risks.

Adopt clear employee job descriptions. If an employee was unauthorized to act beyond the scope of his or her job, and causes your client’s church to lose money or to create any harm to a member of the congregation, your client could find themselves facing a suit. It’s important to be clear in all employee job descriptions pertaining to staff and volunteers.

Assess and address safety issues. Your client should make it a regular practice to go through their church and look for any potential hazards. They should look at their property not through the eyes of a healthy adult, but rather an older adult who might be physically or visually impaired, or even a small child who could run into a sharp corner.  If there are hazards in your client’s church that can’t be reasonable repaired or removed, then they need to provide adequate warning.

Look at event risks. If your client’s church hosts VBS, youth groups, church socials, movie nights, etc. they will want to assess the specific risks of each event. A buddy system should be used for all children and youth workers so they are never alone with young people, particularly overnight. Also, there should always be an appropriate amount of adult supervisors per child.

The above mentioned ideas are just some ideas to help reduce liability insurance risks in churches. Taking these steps could help your client avoid liability insurance claims. However, mistakes do occur and it’s important for your client to remember that a lawsuit can result from even an accusation of a wrongdoing, without an actual wrongdoing occurring.

Charity First is proud to serve all the insurance needs of the religious sector with a package policy tailored exclusively for denominational/non-denominational churches, synagogues, temples and more. Please contact us today to learn more about liability insurance for churches, at (800) 352-2761.