Your Church At Risk


Here are nine areas to consider when developing a risk management plan for your church. CMI can help you identify and manage your risks through insurance and safety services.

  • Accident Prevention: Are your sidewalks well lighted, dry, and covered with non-slip material? Are walkways and doors kept free of obstructions? Are parking lots safe? Is playground equipment maintained?
  • Childcare: Do you use a paging or other system to ensure children return only to authorized parents? Do you do a background check on all of your workers and volunteers?
  • Fire Protection: Does your church have a fire alarm system and fire extinguishers readily available? Are your fire sprinklers maintained?
  • Transportation Dangers: Does your church own vehicles that are well maintained? Do you use volunteer drivers? Do they have adequate insurance? Are they trained to drive large vans or buses?
  • Counseling: Does your church (or the individual counselors) carry professional liability insurance? Do you have a policy that covers counseling activities?
  • Finances/Payroll: Are dual signatures required for all checks above small amounts? Are all church credit cards properly maintained and regularly checked? Are at least two people present when offerings are counted? Does your church file the appropriate tax forms for all employees, including W-2s and 1099s?
  • Volunteer Selection and Training: Does your church thoroughly screen volunteers who will be driving church vehicles or working with children? Do you supervise volunteers and train them in their responsibilities?
  • Security: Does your church have an electronic security system in place? Do you have a strictly enforced key monitoring system? Do you have adequate lighting around your doors, parking lots, and at the rear of your buildings?
  • Church Employees: Do you have up-to-date hiring policies? Do you provide ongoing training? Do you have a sexual harassment policy?

Prepare Your Ministry For The Next Disaster

Prepare Your Ministry For The Next Disaster

There are many things businesses can do to prepare for the impact of the many natural hazards they face including floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes.  Developing an emergency preparedness plan is one of the most important strategic decisions you will make as a small business owner.

Your Church Insurance Company May offer Resources

Check with us to determine if your business insurance company has tools and resources to help you. Your business insurance will respond to many hazards and risks that are insured under your policy.

Three Questions to Ask About Your Ministry

  1. How vulnerable would your business be if a disaster or other emergency were to occur?
  2. Do you have a plan to protect your employees and business?
  3. Have you provided emergency preparedness training to employees?

The American Red Cross offers free tools that may be useful to you:

Get Your Church Prepared

  • Review your policy with us to make sure you understand the nature of your coverage, the deductibles, and the limits of your insurance.
  • Create evacuation and shelter safety procedures.
  • Create backup copies of critical data and programs.
  • Train your employees annually in emergency preparedness.
  • Protect vital business records. Keep your most important documents in a safe that has been tested and listed by UL (Underwriters Laboratories) as being resistant to fire, heat, burglary tools and torches.
  • Create an emergency contact list.
  • Learn what kind of emergencies might affect your business.
  • Decide ahead of time what you can do if your building becomes unusable.
  • Make emergency preparedness part of daily procedures and communications.

Thanks to the American Red Cross and U.S. Small Business Administrating for providing some of this information.

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Posted in Church Insurance Church Risk Church Safety by Scott Stuart. Comments Off on Prepare Your Ministry For The Next Disaster

Church Insurance Renewal Planning

Start Planning Your Next Commercial Insurance Renewal

If you own or manage a business and have an insurance renewal coming up, you most likely are not preparing for it, but you should. Now is the time to connect with your broker to start the planning process. Here are a few tips to help you get the process moving. Or call us, and we can manage the entire process.

  1. Starting early gets you at the front of the line when it comes to underwriter’s time. This can help save you money.
  2. It is important to determine if there are changes in your operations and may cause a need for different kinds of insurance.
  3. Review your policy exclusions, do you want to make changes?
  4. Develop a clear structure of what kinds of coverage you need. You may need cyber liability, employment practices, and directors and officer’s coverage. For example, some insurers are open to considering more favorable terms and conditions. And in some cases, insurers are offering multi-year coverage — for which you can lock in favorable rates to protect your business for the next several years.

Suggested Renewal Timeline

90 days from renewal. Meet with a broker and set goals and objectives. Have broker build specifications.

60 days from renewal. Send out specifications to underwriter.

20-30 days from renewal. The client and broker meet to review options and determine the final program, coverage selected, and pricing.

5-10 days from renewal. Final paperwork prepared, signed, and invoiced.

5 days from renewal. Binder documents and certificates delivered.

10 days after renewal. Policies delivered.

Give us a call today, and we will get to work for you!

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Church Risk Issues

Every business faces risks of various kinds. If you have employees you have the risk of employee injury. You most likely buy workers’ compensation to protect yourself from this risk. No owner or manager wants to believe that their business is exposed to great risks; however, many situations may expose your company to lawsuits, liability and substantial expenses. An unfortunate number of these situations go unnoticed by many business owners until it is too late.

Comprehensive risk management is important to the overall success of your business. Unaddressed risks may result in uninsured losses that could potentially cost your business thousands of dollars.

A good risk management plan starts with reviewing your potential risks then developing a plan to treat or manage these risks. Commercial insurance is a good tool that can address many of your business risks. However, many business owners often don’t consider the following risks.

Some Important Business Risks to Consider

The risk of being sued by employees – There are many state and federal laws that protect worker’s rights. These include harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and civil rights. We can provide you with a quote for employment practices liability insurance that will address many of your employment risks.

The risk of lost income – If you have a loss or damage to your building you may not be able to resume operations for a period of time. Your business is at risk for lost revenues. Business income insurance can offer protection.

Cyber liability risk –  If your business accepts electronic payments, handles sensitive customer information or stores key information on the internet, you are at risk. Cyber liability insurance protects against these risks, and is an important coverage option to explore for many businesses.

We Offer a Fresh Perspective to Your Church Risks

As part of our service we can review and examine your operations and help you identify the important risks. Then we will design a risk and insurance program tailored to meet your needs. The goal of risk management is to protect your church from being vulnerable. Many church risk management and insurance programs focus on keeping the company viable and reducing financial risks.

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Posted in church board Church Insurance Church Risk Church Safety Missions by Scott Stuart. Comments Off on Church Risk Issues

How an Agent Can Go From a Vendor to a Trusted Advisor

My goal in these articles is to create a dialogue among agents and insurance buyers about the differences between being a vendor and becoming a trusted advisor. This concept starts with how insurance is viewed. Insurance cannot be viewed as a product, but rather a relationship. Insurance buyers need to understand that the insurance relationship consists of the agent, the buyer, and the insurer. The insurer does not really care about the buyer; they offer a set of products. The agent is the one who should care about the buyer, and develop a relationship through education, not selling.

You will not move from a vendor to trusted advisor overnight. Here are the stages: vendor, credible source, problem solver, then trusted advisor.
What Are the steps an agent should consider?

• Understand the needs of your client
• Know your client’s industry
• Be willing to do some work without compensation
• Stop selling and do more educating
• Develop other contacts within the business
• Be willing to evaluate business processes
• Don’t assume insurance holds all the answers
• Ask your client to allow you access to information
• Help them identify emerging issues and needs of their business and industry
“The man who will use his skill and constructive imagination to see how much he can give for a dollar, instead of how little he can give for a dollar, is bound to succeed.” – Henry Ford

Posted in church board Church Insurance Church Safety Uncategorized by Scott Stuart. Comments Off on How an Agent Can Go From a Vendor to a Trusted Advisor

How To Keep Your Church From Burring Up

Firemen at work on fire

Every church has the risk of having a fire. But the good news is that the likelihood of having a fire at your business can be reduced through action you can take.

Having the right kind of business insurance is very important to every business, because you rely on business insurance to protect your assets in the event of a fire, theft or other loss. In 2015, there were over 344,000 commercial fires which caused 3,275 deaths and over 11,600,000,000 of damage. (FEMA Report)

Here are some actions you can take that may reduce the severity of a loss if and when a loss does occur. This is a good checklist for you to review annually.

  • Test smoke detectors monthly
  • Check fire doors. They are not permitted to be propped open by wedges or any other temporary device.
  • If you have an automatic sprinkler system in place, this will provide primary fire protection for your business.
  • Best practices for fire safety is for smoke detectors and fire extinguishers on every floor. Your best option are multipurpose extinguishers.
  • Make sure nonessential electrical equipment is turned off at the end of the workday.
  • Are all exits clearly defined and visible?
  • Keep exits unlocked during business hours.
  • Be sure the area directly around the sprinkler head is free of obstructions. Move any items that are stored within about a foot and a half from the sprinklers.
  • Require spills of flammable or combustible liquids and hazardous materials to be cleaned up promptly.
  • All exit doors should be able to be opened from the direction of exit travel without the use of a key or any special knowledge or effort.
  • Are your employees familiar with the firefighting equipment of your business?
  • Have a safe assembly point for employees outside the building.
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Your Employees Driving Record Can Damage Your Ministry’s Reputation

A Ministry Insurance Review

When an employee gets into an accident while driving a company vehicle, there are many implications for your business. Depending on the accident an employee’s CDL can be suspended, canceled or revoked.

Employers are often caught in the middle especially if the employee in question has a good track record.

What Can Employers Do To Protect Their Business?

  • Establish guidelines for reporting major violations
  • Develop a company policy regarding driving accident and violations
  • Check MVRs annually
  • Develop a company policy for “occasional” drivers (for example, office employees who may drive to the bank or post office during the course of their work.)
  • Complete a thorough background check on al potential employees
  • Institute radium drug testing of all employees.
  • Provide driver training programs
  • Develop guidelines for the use of personally owned vehicles on company behalf.

Whether your company needs to purchase Commercial Auto Insurance on one vehicle or a fleet, there are solutions for you. We understand you may have questions regarding Commercial Automobile Insurance and we are ready to help you.

Posted in Church Insurance Church Risk Church Safety by Scott Stuart. Comments Off on Your Employees Driving Record Can Damage Your Ministry’s Reputation

Planning a Summer Construction Project?

Is your church starting a construction project this spring? Make sure you have the insurance protection you need. A traditional liability policy provides coverage for people injured on construction sites, but there are risks associated with construction projects that require special insurance. CMI can help you review all insurance and contract documents, callus today.

What you need to know

  • Standard church insurance policies don’t cover new construction.
  • Before a project begins, either you or the contractor must purchase builder’s risk coverage to insure the new building or addition during the construction phase.
  • Clarify in writing who’s responsible for insuring the building while it’s being constructed.
  • After the project is completed or occupancy begins, you’ll want to cancel the builder’s risk coverage and endorse the building onto your policy.
  • Get a certificate of insurance if you are requiring the contractor to carry insurance.

Some common claim examples include:

  • Rain causes exposed wood floors to warp and crack.
  • Wind damage to walls that are not secure.
  • Workers drop windows while installing.
  • Thieves target valuable construction materials, like copper pipes.
  • Church member overloads equipment in the truck.
  • Fires do far more damage to an unfinished building than one with fire prevention systems in place.

Before a project begins, either you or the contractor must purchase builder’s risk coverage to insure the new building or addition during the construction phase. Brotherhood Mutual offers a Builder’s Risk endorsement which covers unfinished buildings and the construction materials on construction sites.

Contact CMI today to add this coverage to your policy. Not a Brotherhood Mutual customer yet? Contact us and we’ll help you get connected.



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Posted in Church Insurance Church Risk Church Safety by Scott Stuart. Comments Off on Planning a Summer Construction Project?

How To Prepare Your Church For Summer Interns

Many churches offer college students the opportunity to hold a summer intern position. These can be rewarding for the college student as well as provide some help to the business. Offering paid or non-paid internships can create risk for your business. We wanted to highlight some of the business risks associated with having interns. Before you bring that person on board, make sure your business is well prepared.

• You should have a written plan. It should include a job description, hours, and line of authority.
• Check to see if there are any state regulations that might be impacted.
• If you offer a paid internship, you will need to treat the intern like any other employee. We suggest having a formal agreement indemnifying the terms of the agreement, including the time period of the internship.
• If the internship is a paid position, don’t forget about workers’ compensation.
• Make sure you comply with Healthcare Reform relating to employee benefits.
• Make sure the intern understands they are not entitled to “regular” company benefits, i.e. retirement, insurance, vacation, etc.
• The internship must provide similar training that would be given in an educational environment.
• There must be a “true” benefit for the intern.
• The internship cannot be for the sole benefit of the company.
• The intern must not replace regular employees, and should work under the close supervision of existing staff.
• Unpaid internships for for-profit companies are subject to the U.S.

Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act. There are provisions if you offer educational credit. Here is a link to the U.S. Department of Labor.
We recommend you check with the department of labor to make sure your program meets all of the requirements. There have been many businesses who have been sued as a result of improper internship programs.

Posted in Church Insurance Church Safety Workers compensation by Scott Stuart. Comments Off on How To Prepare Your Church For Summer Interns

A Ministry Guide to Earthquake Insurance

Earthquakes occur almost every day in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Portland. Most are not large enough to cause damage, but sooner or later a big one will hit. The resulting damage, loss of life, and the impact on our economy could be devastating. Many businesses may not even give earthquake insurance much thought, but if you are in the process of business planning or working through your renewal, earthquake insurance may be wise to consider.

Why You Need Earthquake Insurance

  • Your business policy does not cover damage caused by earthquakes. You must either purchase an earthquake coverage endorsement or purchase a separate policy for earthquake insurance.
  • You can’t count on the federal government to help.

What Earthquake Insurance Can Insure

  • Buildings
  • Business personal property
  • Loss of Business Income
  • Earthquake Sprinkler Leakage
  • Betterment or Repairs required by local ordinance or law

We recommend every business complete a short risk assessment that can include the following questions:

  1. Do you operate in a high risk area?
  2. What would your potential loss be?
  3. Do you have resources to repair or re-build if there is damage?
  4. Can you minimize the loss through building retrofits or additional construction?
  5. What is the cost of insurance?

If you do purchase earthquake insurance, you’ll probably want to buy enough to cover the costs of rebuilding your building and replacing damaged personal property. That means the amount of insurance you buy generally should be based on replacement or reconstruction costs and not the current market value.

Posted in Church Insurance Church Risk Church Safety by Scott Stuart. Comments Off on A Ministry Guide to Earthquake Insurance