Protecting Our Church Leaders
A tailored insurance policy can provide a number of benefits to an insured. In the case of a religious commercial policy, you can expect to find specific liability and property coverages unique to the needs of a faith-based organization. In this newsletter we will look at three specialized coverage options.
Directors and Officers Coverage:
Church boards are comprised of volunteers who are interested in preserving the stability of a congregation through wise business practices and strategic planning. They understand tough decisions are required with respect to budgets and management duties. Thankfully, these decisions are often made with little, if any, conflict. However, what happens when a dispute, allegation or suit is brought against a church board? The board members may be at risk of being held personally and financially responsible for the decisions they make on behalf of the congregation. A Directors and Offers policy is designed to offer protection to the board members against claims made against them.
Employee Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI):
The day-to-day work environment of many religious institutions often combine the necessary feel of a traditional corporation with an equally important faith-based and ministerial approach. When working in such a unique environment, the risk for a potential employer/employee conflict or misunderstanding can be amplified. While a strict corporate code of conduct is not always an appropriate response in a religious operation, a more casual approach can also leave room for interpretation with damaging results. It is necessary to establish an appropriate balance for religious employers to use when managing employee relations. However, in the event of a wrongful termination, discrimination or other personnel dispute, EPLI coverage would provide protection to the employer against an employee complaint or allegation.
Clergy Counseling Coverage:
The pastoral duties of our clergy extend far beyond a weekly service. One very significant responsibility is to provide faith-based counseling. Once again, this presents a unique liability. Counseling is designed to provide guidance through strong theological training, understanding and conviction of faith. This is a unique counseling perspective and environment for the parishioner and pastoral staff which require clear safeguards. How a counseling session is handled, interpreted and executed may result in unintended consequences. Such consequences might include serious allegations of defamation, negligence or other claims. For added protection, the clergy coverage is designed to safeguard against such situations and is a smart coverage option for those who meet carrier requirements and guidelines.