What If Your Church Was Damaged During A Riot?

The recent riots in most major cities has prompted us to provide some much needed information regarding commercial insurance and how it interacts with riots and unrest.

Generally speaking, damage to your building and other property due to a riot is a covered peril.  This would include fire, theft, and vandalism.  If you were forced to close your business by civil authority but had no building damage, you may be able to collect for lost revenue, depending on how your policy is written.  Remember, each policy is unique, so call our office for a review.

Property damage caused by rioting, civil commotion, and vandalism are covered under most standard commercial insurance policies.

Glass is usually part of covered property and built into base coverage, as long as it is part of a building or structure (i.e., store windows and plate glass on office fronts).  However, there may be a separate glass deductible.  In some cases, you may need to have a special glass endorsement for coverage to apply.

Businesses that are forced to shut down operations or limit hours due to rioting, vandalism, or civil commotion, and have coverage for the loss of income under business income insurance (also known as business interruption) should be covered.

What If the Fire Department Refuses to Put out the Fire?

Insurance companies generally will not deny a claim because the fire department pulled back for safety reasons.  If civil authorities limit or restrict access to a burning building, your insurance will not be jeopardized.

Final Thought

Each policy is unique and all losses are subject to your actual policy terms and conditions. Give our office a call to review your coverage. We are here to help you manage your risk.

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Make Your Ministry Safe After COVID-19

As many people are getting back to work, many employers wonder how they can have their employees return safely. Employers are confronted with the complexities of returning employees to work in a manner that is safe and ensures operational continuity.

Now is the time administrators should be building policies and procedures so that when employees and the public return, you will have a plan in place.

  • Conduct a Hazard Assessment for new protocols/equipment put in place consistent with OSHA rules.
  • As with all policies and procedures, employers should ensure that any return-to-work protocols are implemented in a fair and non-discriminatory manner.
  • Develop communication systems for returning workers, ensuring that they are aware of the safety measures in place and how to comply with them.
  • Make sure that proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and general cleaning materials such as soap and hand sanitizer are available.
  • OSHA recommends providing tissues, no-touch trash cans, hand soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, disinfectants, and disposable towels for workers to clean their work surfaces.
  • Consider appointing a chief COVID officer responsible for ensuring that all public safety and health guidelines are implemented and that employees follow them.
  • Intensify cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation.
  • Stager breaks and recreation times.
  • Close off common spaces where employees or others are likely to congregate.
  • Consider what screening procedures are needed for visitors to the school.

OSHA requires employers to provide employees with a safe place to work. Employers may be responsible for workplace safety violations related to the coronavirus outbreak under OSHA’s “general duty” clause, which requires that each employer furnish to each of its employees a workplace that is free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm.

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Ministry Security

Are you involved in a church or ministry and are responsible for safety and security of your employees, members and/or guests? Now is the time to become trained in handling “lightning strike” situations before they happen. The Church is a target for radical organizations and individuals who seek to wreak havoc regardless of the cost. It is Leadership’s job to prepare for these situations and implement the plans to minimize and/or prevent disaster from happening. As one of the Security Team members at my home church I can tell you from first hand knowledge that these risks exist. Suburban and rural churches are just as much at risk as the inner city churches.

One of the tools we provide at CMI Risk is the availability of information and reputable conferences regarding church safety/security. A ministry security regional training is taking place this coming September 20th at Mt Scott church of God in Portland, Oregon. Please visit www.cppssite.com/training/1. This training is being conducted by the Center for Personal Protection and Safety which is sponsored by Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company. Below are a few of the topics that will be discussed;

· Shots fired incident
· Pro’s and con’s of outsourced security guards
· Keys to creating a healthy and safe workplace
· How to recognize a crisis before it occurs
· Training for safe Mission Trip travel
· How to develop a safety and security plan for your church

Don’t miss this opportunity to protect the bride. Take action now and become equipped for the issues that face all of us in church leadership!

How to Set Up a Safety Program

Work safety and its implications written on a blackboard

It can be as simple as 1.2.3

Developing a companywide safety program can be one of the best things you will do for your business. There are many benefits to your business including an engaged workforce, lower workers compensation costs, and reduced workplace injuries.  Here is a simple overview of how to get a safety program started.

STEP ONE

Make sure all managers and owners are one hundred percent behind establishing a culture of safety.

STEP TWO

Assign someone to be the health and safety lead. This could be a line employee but don’t make it a top manager.

STEP THREE

Set up a safety committee made up of a cross section of employees. Management should be on the committee. Meet monthly to review accidents and to conduct facility inspections.

STEP FOUR

Establish safety training for every employee that is specific to their job.

STEP FIVE

Develop a written safety program and make sure every employee has a copy.

STEP SIX     

Determine if there are any personal protective needs and make the investment.

Every safety program will have some or all of the following items as part of the plan:

  • Management Commitment
  • Documented Safety Philosophy
  • Safety Goals and Objectives
  • Committee Organization for Safety
  • Line Responsibility for Safety
  • Rules and Procedures
  • Safety Communications
  • Safety Training
  • Accident Investigations

Workplace injuries and illnesses can be prevented. The key to achieving safe production is to identify and control all workplace health and safety hazards. Remember, your broker and worker’ compensation insurer can be a resource to you.

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COVID-19 and the New Cyber Challenges

The CIOVID-19 pandemic has affected the way we do business in a very significant way.  Many businesses are requiring people to work remotely.  Employers are finding that having employees work remotely may be the new normal.

COVID-19 has forced us to become more dependent on the internet, as desperate measures, like social distancing, disrupt economic activity and everyday life.

This new way of doing business could mean that employees are collecting client information from home or other places that may not have the same cyber security as an office network.  In some instances, employees who are working remotely are forced to use their home computers because they do not have a company laptop.

Top Work-from-Home Cyber Concerns

  • Unsecured video conferencing
  • Using unsecured networks
  • Spam and phishing campaigns exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Maintaining security-critical operations, such as patch management
  • Supporting employees to ensure they have what they need to work from home without sacrificing security
  • Theft of client information from lap tops
  • Changes to regular security-critical processes
  • Using social media platforms from unsecured networks

What Can Employers Do to Reduce the Threat?

  • Do not open email from people you do not know.
  • Do not reveal personal or financial information in emails, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information.
  • Do not provide personal information to unknown websites or uninvestigated third-party messengers.
  • Do not share the virtual meeting URL’s on social media or other public channels.
  • Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails, and be wary of email attachments.
  • Lock your screen if you work in a shared space.
  • Provide corporate computers/devices to staff while teleworking, where possible.
  • Use secure, password-protected emails when sending documents.
  • Ensure that adequate information technology resources are in place to support staff.
  • Provide secure video conferencing for corporate clients (both audio/video capabilities).
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Event Cancelation Insurance

A Church Insurance Update

Is there anything worse than planning and preparing for a special event only to have it canceled at the last minute due to weather, or some other unforeseen reason? Special events are important and you want your event to go off without any issues. Event Cancelation Insurance helps protect your business and the planning days leading up to it.

Special events can include: sporting events and competitions, trade shows, conferences, lectures, festivals, fairs, film, television, premiers, concerts and tours, corporate functions, community events, weddings and other special family gatherings.

Event Cancellations Insurance can help if you face a cancellation or postponement due to an unforeseen event such as illness, inclement weather or loss of speakers. Event Cancellation Insurance will provide reimbursement for deposits forfeited and other charges paid or contracted to be paid by the insured. This can include transporting costs, catering services, property and equipment rentals, location rentals, accommodations (including travel arrangements and accommodations for a honeymoon if applicable), specialized equipment, flowers, event photographs, videos and entertainment expenses.

Event Cancelation Insurance should not be confused with Event Liability Insurance, which is designed to cover guests and other third parties if they are injured or suffer loss at your event.

Examples of Event Cancellation Claims:

•    Heavy fog at spectator event

•    Heavy winds at a balloon event

•    Snow/hailstorm at golf event

•    Flooding of local roads prevent access to venue

•    Pool sanitation issues at swimming event

•    Flooding at boat race

•    Convention center destroyed by fire

•    Performer unable to attend due to accident or illness

Event Cancelation Insurance policy terms

Event Cancelation Insurance has many unique terms. Remember insurance policies will vary. Here are some of the essential terms found in an Event Cancelation Insurance policy.

Loss: Expenses which are irrevocably expended in connection with the insured event.

Expenses: The total of all costs and charges which would have been incurred by the Insured in organizing, running and providing services for the insured event.

Cancellation or Cancelled:  The inability to commence the insured events.

Deductible: The insurance is subject to the deductible stated in the schedule, paid by the insured.

Insured obligations: The insured shall do all things necessary to avoid or diminish a loss under this insurance including rescheduling the insured event.

Typical Exclusions:

  • Contractual dispute
  • War, civil commotion, and riot
  • Fraud, misrepresentation or concealment
  • Cancellation or postponement voluntary by you
  • Any reduction in attendance that is not explicitly attributable to the necessary cancellation, disruption or rescheduling of the insured event

Like any insurance product, the terms and conditions of the policy will govern all claims settlements. This information is intended to be a brief overview of the issue and is not a replacement for the actual insurance policy you purchase.

Event Cancellation Insurance is an integral part of your risk management plan and is designed to protect against the loss of costs, expenses or revenues associated with this exposure. The price to secure Event Cancelation Insurance is very reasonable and available.

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Why It Is Important to Have Us Review Your Lease Agreements

A Business Insurance Update

Most businesses enter into lease agreements from time to time. These agreements might involve equipment, buildings or other products and or services.  Every lease agreement has insurance provisions.  Your commercial insurance may or may not respond to the lease requirement, so it is important for you to understand how your business insurance relates to your lease agreements.

  • The lease agreements state who is responsible for insuring what. If you are leasing a building and the lease requires you to insure the building, it will need to be added to your business property policy.
  • There may need to be improvements made to the leased building for which you are also responsible.
  • Many leases also require some level of commercial liability insurance.  If you do not have the correct terms and limits you could jeopardize the lease.
  • Certain leases also have care custody and control provisions. Your business insurance may need to be modified to protect all parties.
  • Typically, all leases have some sort of subrogation clause which puts legal requirement on your insurer.

It is important for businesses of all types to have this important type of coverage in order to protect their financial interests. Without a commercial property insurance policy, businesses are fully responsible for the costs associated with property damage and loss.

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COVID-19 And Your Business

Most of us are doing our best to comply with the COVID-19 stay at home order.  However, there are also many of us who still must go to our place of work.  Here are some things you can do to help maintain safety and financial health for your business, employees, and clients in the workplace during this time of uncertainty.

We recommend you check with your City, County, State, OSHA, Department of Health, and other agencies for provided employer guidelines, as during this COVID-19 event, policies can change daily.

COVID-19 Workplace Safety Tips

  • Do not leave any valuables clearly visible or accessible.
  • Mandate all employees wash hands frequently and provide antibacterial supplies.
  • Develop an Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response Plan.
  • Restaurants that offer takeout services should remove all tables and chairs.
  • Provide gloves for staff to use when cleaning, and frequently clean rooms and any areas to which people have access.
  • Limit food sharing.
  • Disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, tables, desks, and handrails regularly.
  • Use videoconferencing for meetings when possible.  When not possible, hold meetings in open, well-ventilated spaces.
  • Consider adjusting or postponing large meetings or gatherings.
  • Add COVID-19 information and updates on your webpage and social media sites.
  • Limit non-essential work travel.
  • Consider regular health checks including temperature and respiratory symptom screening, of staff and visitors entering buildings (if feasible).
  • Require workers who are ill to stay home.
  • Consider posting “NO TRESPASSING” signage.
  • Create a communications plan.  Review your employee and client needs.  Who are the key stakeholders with need for information from your organization?  What information do they need, who needs it first, and for what purpose?
  • Disable access to your public WiFi network.
  • Deactivate any nonessential reoccurring deliveries or services that bring extra people into your workplace.
  • Make regular site visits to monitor your shop/business and manage inventory and storage conditions.  Consider randomizing the times this is done to avoid establishing a detectable pattern.
  • Implement social distancing measures with your clients.
  • Increase physical space between workers at the worksite.
  • Stagger work schedules.
  • Decrease social contacts in the workplace and limit in-person meetings.

Be Aware of COVID-19 Scams

The FCC offers the following tips to help you protect yourself from scams, including coronavirus scams:

  • Do not respond to calls or texts from unknown numbers, or any others that appear suspicious.
  • Never share your personal or financial information via email, text messages, or over the phone.
  • Be cautious if you are being pressured to share any information or make a payment immediately.
  • Scammers often spoof phone numbers to trick you into answering or responding.  Remember that government agencies will never call you to ask for personal information or money.
  • Do not click any links in a text message.  If a friend sends you a text with a suspicious link that seems out of character, call them to make sure they weren’t hacked.
  • Always verify the authenticity of a charity (for example, by calling or looking at its actual website) before donating.  (Learn more about charity scams.)
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Tips for Working at Home

Does COVID-19 Have You Working From Home?

Due to the stay at home mandate, there are many people who are working remotely these days.  It appears this mandate will last at least another month.  Many people have thought that working remotely would be great, but working remotely is a double-edge sword.  Sure, you get to stay home, but studies show that it can be harder to focus on work. 

Benefits of Working Remotely:

  • Remote employees tend to be more productive
  • Remote workers cost employers less
  • Remote employees tend to be happier and more satisfied
  • Remote workers have a better work/life balance

Remote Workers Need to Be Aware of These Challenges:

  • Lack of a work routine
  • Tendency to over-work
  • Lack of human interaction
  • Prioritizing a work project
  • Interruptions from family, pets, phone calls, and the doorbell

How to Make Working Remotely Work for You

  • Confine your workspace to a specific area in your home.
  • Set up your workspace like your office.
  • Set a schedule and create a routine.
  • When in doubt, go with over-communication; update your boss frequently on everything you are doing, and whether your schedule and deliverables are changing in any way.
  • After work, stay off electronic devices for some time to transition to “home time.”
  • Take regular breaks.
  • Get dressed every day.  Taking the time to get dressed and perform your usual self-care routine can prove a big psychological booster. 
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Church Insurance

Property Insurance

When your ministry’s property is damaged, destroyed, lost, or stolen, your ministry suffers financially and in other ways. Brotherhood Mutual’s property insurance offers protection for physical items—from songbooks to steeples.

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance fills the gaps and protects your ministry’s people and finances. Brotherhood Mutual offers a wide variety of liability coverage options to help safeguard your organization from the unique risks Christian ministries face.

Excess Liability Insurance

Churches and related ministries aren’t immune to legal action, or the millions of dollars in damages that courts are known to award. That’s why Brotherhood Mutual offers optional excess liability coverage to provide an ‘umbrella’ of protection over your ministry’s primary liability coverages—general, vehicle, and employers’ liability coverage.

Save Money with Deductible Reduction

Get rewarded for ministry safety. If you’ve operated your ministry without a payable claim for two years or more, we reduce your deductible on a future covered claim. The longer the loss-free period, the higher the reduction—up to $500. Ask your agent for details.

Your Brotherhood Mutual agent can walk you through various coverage options and limits, and create the right insurance protection for your ministry.

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