To aid churches as they face the daunting tasks of rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey, GuideStone Financial Resources is offering tips for churches and ministries faced with property damage and claims.
Gaelen Cole, senior manager of risk and compliance for the Southern Baptist entity’s Property and Casualty area says churches should consider four main steps:
First, promptly report the claim, even though the extent of the damage may not be fully known. Those insured through GuideStone’s Property and Casualty partner Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company should call them at (800)-333-3371.
Second, Cole noted nearly every policy requires that reasonable steps be taken to protect covered property to avoid further loss. The costs may be covered under the policy, so prompt reporting of the claim can allow for discussions of that coverage with your insurance carrier.
Third, he said, it’s important to have a thorough review of the property, looking for damage that may not be as evident.
“Some churches, especially those dealing with so many pressing needs, delegate this task and don’t give it the attention it deserves,” Cole said. “It’s important that this be done thoroughly, by a professional whenever possible.”
Fourth, providing proof of loss is also an important step, Cole said.
Most insurance companies require that this be provided within 60 days of the insurer’s request for it. Churches have to consider everything from audio/visual equipment to chairs to nursery gear to office furniture in their losses. Pictures, videos and inventories are useful for determining loss.
It’s important for churches to speak with their property and casualty insurance agents, Cole said. He noted there may be coverage for ministry interruption that can help churches who miss offerings as well as to be able to continue to meet in temporary facilities. This coverage is offered to churches using Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company.
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SOURCE: Baptist Press – Roy Hayhurst