church plant insurance without a building

Church Insurance without a Building

part 2 in a 4-part series on church plant insurance issues:

Along with the government, the insurance industry seems to be hung up on church buildings. But you’re a church planter; how do you get church insurance without a building?

church plant insurance without a building

You’re going to want church insurance sooner rather than later, even when it’s just a few families meeting in your living room. There’s more to the policy than just protection from slip & fall.

Fortunately, more and more the insurance companies are getting used to church planting. Not that long ago it wasn’t unusual to get the deer-in-the-headlights look when trying to explain to an insurance agent that you are starting a new church.

Your Home is the First Church

The church insurance industry is pretty much not going to issue you a policy without its being tied to a physical location somewhere. So I set my church planters up using their home as the ‘worship facility’. Your insurance agent may ask you questions to fine-tune your rate, like:

  • How many square feet will you occupy?
  • Are you inside city limits?
  • How far is it to the nearest fire station? Fire hydrant?
  • What types of alarm systems are in the building (smoke, burglar, etc.)?

You’re Paying Less

The biggest factor in the cost of your policy is your square footage. Usually for meetings in your home, you’re not using more than about 500ft2 of space (think family room plus kitchen). But when you finalize a rented worship facility, your square footage is going to jump. I often see it go from 500 to 5,000-10,000. As a ballpark, I usually see premiums increase by about 50% of the original price.

Getting a Certificate of Insurance

A standard practice in the insurance and real estate world is to get a Certificate of Insurance as proof for your landlord that you are covered. It’s usually a 1-page summary of some of the limits of your policy, but more importantly, it names who gets the check if there’s damage to the building. I don’t usually go to the trouble when it’s the planter’s house, especially since it’s usually only for a couple of months. But when you sign a lease for a school or movie theater, they’ll require one. And usually before they even finalize the lease.

Because this is such common practice, you should be able to call your agent, let them know about the new facility and precisely how the management wants to be named, and your agent should be able to get you the certificate within 2 business days.

What to Do

If you haven’t already applied for insurance, or if you got turned away because you don’t have a building, find an insurance agency that ‘gets’ church planting. They should have no problem getting you church insurance without a building.

If you already have a policy and you’ve just signed a lease, don’t forget to tell the insurance company about the new facility! They may not cover a loss there if they think they’re still insuring your home.

More in this Series

  1. Church Plant Insurance
  1. Insuring Church Plant Trailers
  2. Workers’ Compensation







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