Many churches function similarly to other businesses. They have to pay their employees and provide oversight of their business practices. These actions help ensure that the church can continue to maintain a solvent record.
But no matter how good their intentions might be, church workers can make mistakes. These mistakes could lead to financial loss to parishioners or other harm to the church community. The affected parties might sue the church or request compensation for these damages. In such cases, a professional liability policy may help the church reduce its losses.
What is Professional Liability Insurance?
In a general sense, professional liability policies may help organizations in the event managerial decisions, clerical mistakes or other errors cause financial, emotional or bodily harm to clients.
Even if a mistake was accidental, the affected party may still have legal recourse for the damages. The church may be compelled to compensate or assist that party. The correct professional liability policy can help a church under the right circumstances.
Tailoring Professional Liability Coverage to Churches
Churches have to make sure they have insurance coverage to meet their unique needs. The various professionals throughout a church often perform vastly different duties. They therefore face different risks. The finance manager, for example, often has a very different set of risks than the pastor.
Churches may need a variety of professional liability coverage. They shouldn't assume that a generalized policy will cover all their risks.
Here are a few available types of coverage:
- Clergy Liability Coverage: Pastors may counsel or assist community members. However innocent the pastor's intentions, their advice may lead the recipient to make decisions or investments that lead to losses.
- Directors & Officers Liability Coverage: Churches often have governing boards which carry a degree of decision-making power. At times, these decisions may put the finances or property of others at risk. D&O coverage may help protect the board in case a breach of duty occurs and harms others.
- Employee Dishonesty Coverage: This particular coverage is slightly different from the normal liability policy. It protects the church first and foremost. It may also protect third parties in case of instances of employee theft or dishonesty. This is critical, as employee dishonesty poses a liability risk to both the church and the community.
Ensure that each professional in your church has liability coverage for specific duties. Should a professional liability claim arise, the church can better protect its assets. When a claim occurs, put in place oversight processes to cut the chances of a problem happening again.
Need coverage? Call California Church Insurance Services at (800) 767-8681 for a free church insurance quote.