April 7, 2021
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 current Book of Discipline does not provide for any standards to be made available to assist local church trustees in their annual review of insurance coverages. The paragraph now states:
“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. Click here to access the current minimum insurance requirements from GCFA. These dedicated (non-shared) limits provide a starting point for churches as they are entrusted to be good stewards in protecting God’s assets.