Dear Pastors, Treasurers, Finance Chairs and Trustee Chairs:
It is very important that churches carry adequate Property & Casualty insurance on their buildings, vehicles and operations. This is because one uninsured incident can result in significant financial costs and potentially, the closure of a church's doors. Being adequately insured is probably the single-most important action a church can take to protect it's assets, it's people and it's ministry from unforeseen events.
When it comes to Property & Casualty insurance, every church should be obtaining coverage directly from an insurer or through an agent. It is important that those policies meet the minimum insurance requirements set by the Conference (see attached). In addition, the General Church recommends an Umbrella policy for any church with over 500 members. An Umbrella policy is required by our conference if the church operates a preschool.
Listed below are some tips as it relates to Property & Casualty insurance:
- Make sure your policy includes adequate coverage for "bonding" of those that handle money (required by The Book of Discipline). Bonding, or "fidelity" coverage is typically included in your package policy. In terms of how much coverage is needed, think about the volume of funds that flow through the church and the amount of money that could be misappropriated before it was detected. Churches with robust internal controls, need a lower amount of coverage vs. those with lax financial controls.
- Make sure that your policy has updated and accurate values for the costs to rebuild church structures and replace contents. It is important that these values are periodically updated to reflect changes to structures and local costs of construction. If this hasn't been done in awhile, request a "site-visit" from your insurer to update such values.
- Shop your insurance around every few years to ensure that your premiums are competitive in the marketplace.
- Permanently retain insurance policies, even if expired. This is especially important for certain claims (such as alleged sexual molestation), which can surface years or decades after your policy has expired.
- Report claims to your insurer immediately. Many insurers have time-limits for reporting beyond which they will not service a claim.
Listed below are some agents/insurers that area churches are using for Property & Casualty insurance. This is not a complete listing and I do not recommend one over the other. Each church should undertake its own due-diligence when selecting an agent or insurer.
Also, please note that Workers Compensation insurance continues to be provided by the Conference to all churches and church-controlled preschools. Participation in the group policy is required; therefore churches and church-controlled preschools should not purchase this coverage directly.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Church Mutual Insurance Company
955 West Mountain Road
Queensbury, NY 12804
Territories: NY & CT
1-800-554-2642 menu option 1 (you will be put in touch with the rep that handles your geographic area)
Emery & Webb Inc.
Fishkill, NY - Phone 845-896-6727 Stuart Walker and Francis Ward
Pawling, NY - Phone 845-855-1112
Poughkeepsie, NY - Phone 845-454-4220
Rhinebeck, NY - Phone 845-876-4065
Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services
2 Gannett Drive
White Plains, NY 10604
Territories: NY & CT
United Methodist Insurance
PO Box 5000
Bennington, VT 05201
Fred Morris Agency 1980 Route 112, Suite 2
Coram, NY 11727
Territories: Long Island
Thom Ianniccari, CPIA
PO Box 43, Mahopac, NY 10541.0043
Office (888) 889.9827
Direct Number (914) 715.2991
Inter City Agency, Inc.
42-40 Bell Blvd. Suite 103
Bayside, NY 11361