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.
Houses of worship are at risk of various liability concerns. For example, property damage resulting from fires, storms, vandalism or theft could leave the space unusable. In addition, property damage to a third-party caused by a house of worship or its members can lead to costly claims. Therefore, it’s important for houses of worship to take the following measures to limit their property liability:
- Ensure the building is kept in good repair with no visible water intrusion marks, good electrical wiring and adequate fire detection systems.
- Place fire extinguishers throughout the building and ensure they are rated for the areas in which they are located.
- Clean cooking equipment and grease traps regularly to prevent grease buildup if the property has commercial kitchen equipment.
- Install an automatic extinguishing system inside the kitchen if there is a commercial kitchen.
- Ensure that properties with sprinkler systems have measures in place to protect valuable items prone to water damage if the sprinkler system is activated.
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. Contact us today at (336) 250-0075 to discuss insurance solutions and additional loss control techniques for houses of worship.
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.
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