Updated Information that concerns the churches of Christ
We feel that one of our most importand goals is to provide important information that concerns your congregation. Keep this webpage bookmarked so that you can come find up to date information that could affect the matters that a congregation must deal with. This information will help with decisions on loss control and being Good Stewards of the Lord's funds.
I interviewed Jim May, an elder from the congregation, about the church’s experience. Mr. May told me that if his story could help someone, he wanted me to share it. He doesn’t want your church, like his, to have to say “hindsight is 20/20.”
In January of 2016, someone left a food warmer on in the church kitchen overnight which started a fire. It ruined the kitchen and part of the main worship building.
Mr. May was unprepared for the length and uncertainty of the process. It was 6-8 months before the completion of the repairs. Imagine the difficulty of conducting regular worship when you don’t know when you’ll have a regular place to meet. The congregation also had many questions that were hard to get answers to, and when the insurance company asked for necessary information, they didn’t know or couldn’t readily supply the information.
Mr. May and his congregation learned that the best way to handle a devastating loss is to be prepared beforehand. The lessons Mr. May wants to share with you are these:
Have an emergency plan.
Practice the plan.
Make an inventory.
Understand the claims process before you have a loss.
In the event of a loss, it’s also important to know your responsibilities. This expedites the recovery process. Here are the steps Sulphur Well should have taken after the loss to make the process easier.
Prevent further damage to the property.
Report the loss, and get a claim number.
Record every conversation, i.e. who said what would happen by when.
Find your insurance policy and read the "reporting a claim" section.
Submit an inventory of what was lost, because it is the congregation's responsibility to prove the loss
It was easy for Mr. May and the Sulphur Well congregation to see how they should have prepared. We want to encourage you to look at your congregation’s preparedness. Ask the difficult questions now, and use the answers to create a plan.
Things for You to Consider before Disaster Strikes
What is your plan in the event of a disaster?
Is it documented in a safe location other than the church building?
How will you communicate to the congregation when a major loss occurs?
About three years ago a preacher lost his library: books, sermon notes, and classroom material. Afterwards it was valued around $53,000. It's replacement could have been easy had he done one thing.
Preacher's Personal Property is that one thing. On your policy there is a baseline limit in a church specific policy for $25,000. If you have a lifetime of material, it will be well over that amount per our example.
Depending on the value of the property changes the amount it cost to cover it. It's challenging to give a simple answer to a complex question. It does not drastically affect the premium when it comes time to pay.
Take a look at your policy and see what the current limits are for 'Preacher's Personal Property'. If you have question about how to find it, give us a call. We will show you where it is.