Safety Library

Tips, Tutorials, and Checklists to help manage ministry risks

Protect Your Vehicle Repair Ministry with Car Care Coverage

A car care ministry involves several unusual risks for churches


A young woman benefits from the church's Car Care Ministry

Brotherhood Mutual developed Car Care Ministry Coverage to provide protection for churches that operate a vehicle repair ministry, or ministries that repair and donate vehicles to individuals in need of personal transportation. It's the company's response to a growing ministry need among churches.

he wording of standard commercial auto, property, and liability policies does not cover these situations. Insurance for this kind of exposure is generally purchased with a garage liability policy. Insurance companies that write this kind of policy are reluctant to insure a church, however, since it is not a professional repair center. If they do provide coverage, the premium is generally high.

Risk Management Considerations

A car care ministry involves several risks that are unusual for churches. When implementing a car care ministry, it’s important for leaders to consider these risks and establish policies and procedures to minimize potential damage or injury.

Basic Safety

Basic safety procedures are required anytime work is being done on an vehicle. These basic safety procedures may include the following:

  • Make sure the vehicle is in "Park" and use "chock blocks" to ensure that the vehicle will not roll while work is being done.
  • Make sure the keys to the vehicle are not in the vehicle when work is being done on the engine to avoid injuries associated with a running engine.
  • Make sure the battery cables are detached when work is being done on an electrical component to avoid injuries due to electrical shock.
  • Develop appropriate procedures for the use of lifts, jacks, and jack stands.

Disposal of Hazardous materials

Car care generally includes disposal of materials that are considered hazardous or dangerous to the environment. Some basic procedures addressing hazardous material and environmental issues may include the following:

  • Establish a plan with local parts stores or government agencies for the disposal and recycling of batteries and fluids before beginning your car care ministry.
  • Use appropriately marked containers for fluids.
  • Have a secure and clearly marked storage area for all batteries and used fluids that will not be immediately taken to the appropriate disposal location.
  • Establish a procedure for cleaning up spills of hazardous materials in accordance with locally applicable laws and regulations.

Donated Vehicles

Often a car care ministry involves vehicles that are donated to the church to be repaired and provided to a needy individual or family. To be sure that there are no legal title problems with a donated vehicle, churches may consider the following procedures:

  • Examine the title to ensure that the person donating the vehicle is legally able to transfer the title to your ministry.
  • Consider using a service such as CarFax to investigate the history of each donated vehicle.
  • Determine if your local jurisdiction will allow your ministry to carry an “open title” to the vehicle, or if your ministry must apply for a title each time a vehicle is donated.
  • Determine if your local jurisdiction limits the number of vehicles that can be processed by your ministry without an auto dealer’s license.
Coverage Highlights

The primary coverages of the Car Care Ministry program are:

  • Operations liability: We will cover liability resulting from autos that are serviced by the church, or that have been donated to the church, while these autos are in the church's care, custody, and control as part of its car care ministry operations.
  • Completed operations: We will cover liability for work performed by the church on a serviced auto after such work has been completed as part of the church's car care ministry operations.
  • Damage to auto service facilities: We will cover damage to an auto service facility related to the church's car care ministry operations at the facility.
  • Damage to tools, equipment, and fixtures of others: We will pay up to $3,000 for damage to, or loss of, tools, repair, or diagnostic equipment, auto lifts, or other personal property or fixtures of others while this property is in the church's care, custody, and control.
  • Medical payments to volunteers and bystanders: We will pay up to the limit referenced in the policy for reasonable and necessary medical expenses incurred by a church volunteer or a bystander who is accidentally injured while performing work on, or while operating, a serviced auto or a donated auto in connection with the church's car care ministry operations.
  • Loss of use: We will pay up to $500 for reasonable and necessary loss of use of a serviced auto if the auto is damaged or lost in connection with the church's car care ministry operations.
Cost Factors

The cost of the coverage will depend primarily on three factors:

  • Frequency of operation: The number of automobiles that are being serviced on a monthly basis.
  • Degree of hazard of the operation: The type of service activities that are being performed.
  • Procedural factors: The number of workers involved in the ministry and their level of training, where the work is being performed, how the vehicles are elevated for repair, and how materials are disposed of, etc.