Property Insurance Information

Property Insurance Policy - what is covered?

The Uniting Church SA Insurance Services manages the insurance policies for all properties with an insurance broker. 

Property damage/loss

Generally the insurance broker will handle the claim on the Uniting Church's behalf. Insurance Services will arrange for a loss assessor to assist as required.

Generally an excess applies to all claims, however they can vary depending on the type of loss. Please contact Insurance Services for assistance.

Not covered by Property Policy

Normal wear and tear and gradual deterioration of property are two primary exclusions. Claims that result from lack of maintenance can also be rejected, so it is important to maintain the property. For full details of exclusions please contact Insurance Services.

 Policy Coverage by Age of a Property

There are no restrictions on age. Even the oldest buildings are covered.

Coverage for an Injury on Church Property>

Do not admit liability and do not promise to make any payments, as it must be established who is liable/neglient. Contact Insurance Services immediately.

 Coverage for Unoccupied Properties

A higher excess ($10,000) is applicable to any losses that occur in properties that are unoccupied for periods longer than prescribed below. In the event of a long-term vacancy, reassessment of the insurance needs should be undertaken in consultation with Insurance Services.  See the information below>

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The risk of bushfire effects many areas of South Australia and those in fire prone areas will be well aware of the dangers. Those in semi urban regions and the Adelaide foothills are probably less conscious of the danger despite the very high potential risks.

There is now an expectation that bushfire safety and survival has a place in businesses and in organisations in relation to the safety of people and risk management. Bushfire safety and awareness is also a prerequisite for Synod employees/volunteers who are ‘on the road’.

Church Councils and Synod staff with property-related responsibilities should ensure the following measures are undertaken in bushfire prone areas, semi urban regions and Adelaide foothills:

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Building and Contents (Industrial Special Risks - ISR)

This policy covers the Congregations’ assets for any physical loss, destruction or damage not otherwise excluded happening at the situation and, for property in transit and money, extends away from the premises;

1.  Building & Contents

Buildings and contents means all real and personal property belonging to the insured or held in trust for which the insured has assumed responsibility during the period of insurance anywhere in Australia.

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Lease/Hire of Property

Whenever a third party is permitted to use church premises, the risk of injury increases.  Similarly the risks increase when the Uniting Church uses third party property.  In both cases the users are less likely to know the property and its idiosyncrasies. On the positive side, having church property frequently used as opposed to being left vacant, reduces the chance of a break and enter due to the presence of people at the site deterring potential thieves and vandals.

There are some important insurance requirements and risk management strategies to consider, whenever looking to lease/hire church facilities to third parties or use non church facilities.

**Property Department must be consulted prior to entering into any lease/hire agreement with another party to hire their premises or services.  Any documentation received must be forwarded to Property Services – Property Administrator for analysis before progressing any further.**

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Unoccupied Properties

A property that is vacant is not only more attractive to burglars, but also to youths looking for a place to “hang out” and/or vandalise. With this, comes a greater risk of personal accident and liability. The longer the vacancy, the greater the risk becomes.
It is necessary to notify Synod’s Insurance Services office when church property is unoccupied as follows:
• manse – vacant for more than 60 days
• other buildings (church/hall) – has not been used for a period in excess of 90 days.

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Security & Protection of Property

Church Councils/Management Committees have a responsibility to protect the Church, its members and church property. All reasonable precautions should be taken to prevent initial loss, damage or liability. Failure to take all reasonable care to protect any property, may result in the loss being excluded altogether or an increase in the excess payable (eg. keys left on the premises rather than in a locked safe = $1,000 excess would be applied).

The media continually reports on accidents resulting in property damage and/or personal injury due to negligence. Because of the pain and suffering to people and the substantial court awards being made, it is essential that risks be suitably managed and accidents minimised. Risk assessments and regular property inspections should be carried out. Refer to “Hazard Management”.

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