Why Liability Coverage?
Medical emergencies and accident-related lawsuits are common liability hazards your ministry’s mission travelers could face, as are lawsuits that are a result of religious acts and religious communications. Here are some examples of how liability insurance can make a difference:
An American church team was doing outreach activities in Mexico with a local church. They hosted a party for neighborhood children that featured a candy-filled piñata. One of the mission team members lost his grip on the stick as he was trying to hit the piñata. It struck a Mexican girl in the eye, causing blindness. The girl’s parents sued the mission team member and his church, seeking payment for her injuries. The mission team’s liability insurance helped pay for multiple surgeries, and the girl’s vision was restored. It also paid to defend the traveler and his church against claims made in the civil lawsuit.
While stopping for gasoline before an excursion, missionaries in Italy accidentally started a fire at a gas station. They tried to extinguish the flames but were unable to stop the fire before it damaged a metal canopy. Police detained the team leader. Although he wasn’t arrested, the police told the American that he couldn’t leave Italy until he paid the damages, about $15,000. The team leader contacted the liability insurer’s hotline for help, and the necessary money was wired to Italy within 24 hours.
A mission team in Peru developed a practice of baptizing individuals who accepted the Gospel message during their outreach sessions. At one session, a young boy told a mission-team member that he had accepted the Gospel message, and he was baptized with several others. When they learned of the baptism, the boy’s parents became upset and filed a lawsuit in a Peruvian court against the mission team and the sponsoring U.S.-based church. The lawsuit alleged emotional injury on behalf of both the parents and the child. The court sided with the parents and awarded them a large judgment. Under the liability coverage available, the mission team and the sponsoring church were covered for all damages awarded to the family. The coverage also paid their legal defense costs.
What’s Right for Your Ministry?
If you’re a Brotherhood Mutual policyholder, talk to your agent to learn more about liability coverage. Or, a member of our mission travel team can help determine which options best fit your ministry’s needs. Request more information or call 800.876.4994 to learn more.