The Book of Discipline requires local church trustees to annually review and report on the adequacy of local church property and liability insurance coverage "to ensure that the church, its properties, and its personnel are properly protected against risk." Since 1797, the Book of Discipline has provided that the property and assets of the local churches are held in trust for the benefit of the denomination. Inadequate insurance puts local church property and assets at risk, including the denomination's trust interest therein. Please click here to download and review the minimum insurance requirements for local churches.
History of Minimum Insurance Requirements
During the 2016 General Conference in Portland, OR, Petition 60158, relating to adequate insurance coverage, was adopted. This Petition amends ¶ 2533.2 in The Book of Discipline (2012) and alters the responsibilities of a local church’s board of trustees as it relates to their report to the charge conference.
The board of trustees shall annually compare the existence and adequacy of the church’s insurance coverages to an insurance schedule annually published by the General Council on Finance and Administration. The purpose of this review is to ensure that the church, its properties, and its personnel are properly protected against risks. The board shall include in its report to the charge conference (¶ 2550.7) the results of its review and recommendations needed to timely bring the church into compliance with the published schedule.
Typical “a la carte” programs designed for businesses allow churches to pick and choose their coverage, which often leads to gaps in coverage. Churches need a package that covers all of the lines of coverage important to a ministry – i.e., sexual misconduct, employment practices, directors’, officers’ & trustees, employee benefits liability, and coverage for volunteers. This allows for focus on more important aspects of ministry.
This change provides guidance and empowerment to local church boards of trustees in ensuring that the assets of the denomination are protected by adequate insurance coverages. These dedicated (non-shared) limits provide a starting point for churches as they are entrusted to be good stewards in protecting God’s assets.