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Risk Management
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Kristine Baker
(800) 728-7228, x5549
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100 Witherspoon Street
Louisville, KY 40202

Recommended minimum standards of property and liability insurance for churches, presbyteries and synods

The 1999 survey of presbyteries reflected various amounts of insurance coverage purchased by presbyteries and revealed a significant number of presbyteries do not have minimum standards of coverage for their member churches.

After reviewing the information gathered in the 1999 survey, a Joint Insurance Committee established recommended minimum standards of property and liability insurance. These recommended minimum standards should be used as a general guideline only. As always, an insurance professional must be used to evaluate the insurance needs of each church and middle governing body.


1. Buildings and Contents at Appraised Replacement Cost as an agreed value endorsement.

A. 80 percent Co-insurance: an alternative to agreed value, offered by some companies as a percentage of value, providing coverage up to fixed limits.

B. Special Form: the broadest coverage available, normally including fire, vandalism, sewer back-up, theft of property, etc., unless specifically excluded or deemed not necessary by an insurance professional.

2. Supplemental Coverage: off-premise coverage, newly acquired property, debris removal, rebuilding to code requirements, necessary demolition of building, personal property of ministers and others, stained glass, organ, other musical instruments, art work, valuable papers, loss of business income and related extra expenses.

3. Boiler and Machinery: as boiler and machinery types require, including all related expenses spoilage and similar costs.

4. Earthquake: where appropriate for geographical area, written separately unless specifically stated in policy.

5. Flood: where appropriate, also written separately and may be offered with state or federal assistance.


1. General Liability: $1,000,000 per claim/occurrence, $2,000,000 aggregate; covers most risks, including products, bodily injury, property of others; $10,000 no fault medical payments including volunteers and athletic activities; contractual liability; fire legal liability at $100,000 limit; day nursery/child care; pastoral professional liability and sexual misconduct coverage at $1,000,000 limit.

2. Umbrella Coverage: $10,000,000 per occurrence or aggregate, in excess over primary limits of general and automobile liability; review of coverage by insurance professional for additional excess limits.

3. Automobile: $1,000,000 per occurrence or aggregate, including uninsured and underinsured motorist protection; $10,000 medical coverage; Personal Injury Protection in states where applicable; hired and nonowned coverage to policy limits.

4. Workers’ Compensation: As required in each state, including pastors and all employees.

5. Directors and Officers: $1,000,000 per claim/occurrence, or aggregate, for corporate protection of session, deacons, trustees, officers in performance of regular duties.

6. Employment Practices Liability: $250,000 per claim, or aggregate for claims related to employment, benefits, termination and sexual harassment.

7. Crime Coverages: $50,000 per claim or occurrence for protection from employee dishonesty, theft or loss of money or securities, depositors forgery; volunteers with access to church funds in any way should be covered.