Risks expected to be covered:
Buildings and contents – fire and theft – up to reasonable rebuilding cost
Employers, Public Liability, Property Owners Liability
Trustees Indemnity and Legal Expenses
Historic evidence of employers’ liability cover should be maintained.
Insurance in all areas is not essential. “Charity trustees have a duty to protect their charity’s assets and resources” (Charity Commission Guide 49). The Trustee Act 2000 confers a power to insure property but it does not impose a duty to do so. Where there is a requirement under the trust deed, failure to insure will be a breach of trust. Otherwise in the event of loss the trustees and the church will need to justify their failure to insure.
It is important to read insurance documentation provided by insurers and their agents. At each renewal you may have a “Statement of Facts” to confirm which may require confirmation that all statutory regulations, including those related to health and safety and environmental issues are complied with. Further confirmations may be required in relation to each section of insurance, such as for property cover that the property is kept in a good state of repair.
If you would like any further information please contact your insurance advisers.
A point to note is that insurance companies (Ansvar and Congregational, to our knowledge) do not provide cover, as standard, for damage caused by district power surges (“transient overvoltages” / “spikes”) to electrical systems. The distribution companies disclaim liability for their network failures. As recognised in the latest IET regulations, increasingly used sensitive modern electrical components such as heating controls are particularly vulnerable to spikes. But manufacturer’s guarantees (Dimplex, for example) exclude damage from such occurrences. Damage can consequently cost churches a lot of money. (One chapel is known to have had to replace its entire electric panel heating system). Churches will need to obtain the appropriate advice but we understand there are two measures that can be undertaken. Firstly, the latest surge protections devices (SPDs) can be installed at the mains entry. Secondly, quotes can be obtained from the insurance companies to provide the necessary excess cover. The Trust is always ready to consider financial assistance where churches have suffered loss from this cause.