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Insurance for local Churches Together groups

Activities undertaken by Churches Together groups should have appropriate insurance cover for public and products liability risks.
Matters to consider are:
  • All activities off church premises need cover which is unlikely to come under the church’s existing policy.
  • Processions, open air services, carnivals, barbecues – all activities in the name of the Churches Together Group – should be covered.
  • Remember to include insurance against damage to borrowed equipment, e.g. an amplifier for an open-air service.
  • We live in litigious times and people are encouraged to sue in the event of any accident, including food poisoning from a barbecue.
  • In the event of a claim, the organising body may be assumed to have legal liability.
  • If the organisation does not have insurance cover, it may be individuals who are sued.
In seeking the best cover, the following points should be considered:
  • A full and accurate statement of activities should be given to the insurer (e.g. a ‘fête’ or ‘youth festival’ might include activities which the insurer would regard as dangerous and excluded). Dangerous activities will attract high premiums or will be excluded.
  • Insurers are likely to require an estimate of numbers attending and a statement of the denominations involved.
  • Do not rely on an “OK” from someone on the telephone; make sure that all cover is specifically recorded in writing. In the event of a claim, you will not be dealing with someone from the telesales department...., and you will need clear evidence of the cover.
  • Cover for the whole year (eg up to 6 events) might give better premiums than separate policies for each one.
  • Insurance companies vary their priorities and ‘loss leaders’ from time to time and it can be worth while to shop around. A good broker should do this for you, but dealing direct can be cheaper. The company which was best last time might not be best now.
Although a Churches Together group is the Churches acting together and not just an organization to which some or all churches in an area belong, a would-be litigant will ‘fire a scatter gun’ at any target which looks worth suing. If it comes to court, our theological argument won't stand up to their legal argument that Churches Together in X is in fact a legal entity and therefore liable.
Activities undertaken by Churches Together groups should have appropriate insurance cover for public and products liability risks. Though insuring may be seen regarded as irksome, it can also be seen as part of the organisers’ duty and privilege of care for others for whose safety and well-being they are responsible. Should an unfortunate accident happen causing long-term incapacity, the organisers would actually be relieved to know that it has been possible for proper provision to be made for the person afflicted. All this should not ruin the spirit and joy of joint activities. Insurance is something which may be overlooked and the result of any accident could be disastrous if cover has not been arranged. It is worth being prepared so that events can be planned with confidence.

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