What activities are covered by insurance?

Posted in Insurance services

The cost of insurance is generally a reflection of the likelihood of an insurance claim – the higher the risk, the higher the cost.

Recently some congregations have requested cover for “community outreach” programs that insurance companies may suggest are outside the normal activities of the Church.

Despite calling an activity an “outreach” or a “ministry”, in the eyes of an insurance company a claim will be assessed by looking at the circumstances giving rise to the incident. If the insurer feels that the activity falls “outside” the normal operations of a religious organisation they may deny the claim.

If a claim was denied, the Church would still have to deal with the person making a claim. This would involve action to pursue a claim with the insurers. This process can be very expensive, time consuming and stressful for all parties. At the end of the negotiations, the congregation involved may still be held legally responsible for the claim.

The business description of activities currently lodged with our insurers is:

Worshipping in churches, children attending church camps, conferences and recreation facilities, social welfare, personal counselling, emergency relief help, provision of food to school children and disadvantaged, bookkeeping services for congregations, volunteer screen checks social enterprise, income producing activities such as fetes, car boot sales, hirers of Church owned buildings/facilities, charitable benevolent activities, students in authorised work experience programs, commercial rentals, property rental and management, landlords, property owners, licensors of property, op shops, investment and fundraising activities, social events, Christmas and Easter and Christian festivals, joint ventures, Uniting Church loan funding

Insurance premiums are calculated based on the core activities listed above. It’s important that congregations avoid high risk activities that may cause insurance premiums to rise for the whole Church.

Allowing third parties to hire or utilise church premises for activities such as fitness or karate classes is acceptable as long as they have appropriate insurance of their own. Evidence of this insurance should be provided before using church facilities. The Church is not classed as a ‘fitness business’ or ‘martial arts teachers’.

Insurance is not a substitute for risk management. The more that can be done to minimise the exposure to risk through rigorous processes and procedures the better off everyone will be.

If you have any insurance questions or concerns please call 1300 766 956 or email insurance@sa.uca.org.au. 



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