Develop a Liability Insurance Strategy

Due to the legal risk involved in a church’s lay counseling ministry and other spiritual care ministries, it’s vital to develop a liability insurance strategy. There are several liability coverages in an organization’s insurance policy that are potentially relevant. As a church specialty insurer, Brotherhood Mutual designs insurance programs specifically for churches and other ministries.

Occurrence vs. Claims-made

Insurance plays a key role in managing risk related to lay counseling as well as to church operations generally. It’s important for church leaders to know whether the church’s insurance policy or policies provide coverage on an “occurrence” or “claims-made” basis.

  • Occurrence policies cover accidents and incidents that occur during the policy period, even if a claim or lawsuit is filed after the policy expires.
  • Claims-made policies cover accidents and incidents submitted while the policy was in effect. However, if a claim related to past events is filed after the policy expires, it is unlikely coverage would apply.

Churches should seek the advice of their insurance agent about this important coverage distinction, and especially before changing from one type of insurance policy to another.