Owning and operating a house of worship—whether it be a church, synagogue, temple or chapel—can be a rewarding endeavor. These establishments play a major role in bringing faith-based communities together for a wide range of activities and celebrations, such as prayer services, religious studies, youth programs, weddings, baptisms, funerals, confirmations and holiday parties. However, operating a house of worship also carries significant risks. House of worship owners have to manage numerous property and liability exposures and often provide many additional services (e.g., serving food and drinks, hosting events and leading various community programs) that can dramatically increase the number of risks. That’s why it’s vital to have effective loss control measures in place. This resource outlines common risks houses of worship must address and offers helpful strategies to avoid possible claims.
Third-party claims of property damage against houses of worship could lead to costly claims. Bodily injuries to employees, volunteers, members or visitors could also result in litigation. To minimize general liability risks, nonprofit organizations can implement the following procedures:
- Ensure parking lots and sidewalks are free from hazards, debris, snow and ice.
- Make sure floor plans and exit routes are posted in key areas so building occupants know how to exit the building in an emergency.
- Maintain all bell towers, steeples, minarets and other religious structures and keep them closed off to the public.
- Make sure that outdoor playgrounds have a safe base surface, and all outdoor pieces of equipment are in working order and there are no sharp objects.
- Install non-slip treads and sturdy handrails if there is a ceremonial Ensure it is a safe size and depth. In addition, there must be policies and procedures in place to prevent unwanted users from entering it unsupervised.
It’s essential for houses of worship to implement proper risk management precautions to limit costly insurance claims and lawsuits. It can also offer various benefits, such as greater member satisfaction, bolstered employee and volunteer safety, fewer liability concerns and reduced potential for property damage.
Although this resource provides a range of loss control strategies, houses of worship don’t have to establish risk management programs alone. Working with a qualified and experienced insurance professional can make all the difference. Our team of P&C experts at ChurchInsure is here to help. If you need assistance with insurance solutions and additional loss control techniques for houses of worship please contact us today at (336) 250-0075.
ChurchInsure is a division of Anchor Insurance Agencies specializing in the unique insurance and risk management needs of religious institutions. Visit our website to learn how we can serve you at anchor-insurance.com/churchinsure.
© Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.