Church Insurance Coverage: What Does It Cover?

There are an estimated 350,000 churches in the United States serving tens of millions of weekly attendees. While the primary role of a church is imparting and supporting faith, churches must still give some attention to secular concerns.

As organizations that are open to the public, churches must worry about things like insurance policies. For anyone taking over a church or planning on opening a new church, they might rightly ask:

“What does church insurance coverage actually cover?”

If you’re asking this question, then keep reading. We’ll offer a brief overview of what you can expect church insurance to cover.


There is no specific policy for churches, so you must depend on several types of church insurance. Right at the top of the list is property insurance.

A property insurance policy typically covers things like damage from natural disasters, barring any exclusions, as well as theft, vandalism, and even arson.

The policy typically protects things like physical structures, the grounds, and some personal property inside the building. For example, if the pastor keeps personal items in an office in the church, the policy would likely cover that in the event of a loss.

Church Liability Insurance

Liability insurance covers a lot of ground, so a church might need or want several types of liability coverage. At a bare minimum, the church should have general liability coverage. General liability covers damages to other people’s property.

For example, let’s say that a parishioner’s car gets damaged in the church parking lot. A general liability policy will typically cover those damages. The policy will also cover legal areas like libel or slander.

Some churches also get coverage for services like pastoral counseling. It’s also common for churches to seek coverage for volunteers and special events.

Another common area of liability coverage for churches these days is sexual misconduct liability coverage. This coverage helps not only in cases where misconduct happens but also in cases where allegations occur. Even if the allegations prove unfounded, defending against them can still prove very expensive.

Worker’s Compensation

Most churches keep at least a few employees on the payroll. For example, they might have a secretary or groundskeeper on staff.

Each state defines its own rules about Worker’s Compensation, but odds are good that you’ll need it for your employees. Some exemptions may exist, but most states treat churches as businesses in terms of requiring worker’s comp coverage.

Church Insurance Coverage and You

Finding the exact right church insurance coverage depends in part on your congregation. Tech-savvy churches might want cyber liability coverage, while a church with a minimal digital presence might opt out.

In general, a church needs a good property policy. You’ll want a general liability policy. You may also need specific liability coverage, such as pastoral counseling.

Many churches also look for sexual misconduct coverage to be on the safe side. Most state governments will require worker’s compensation coverage as well.

Looking for more insurance tips? Check out the posts over in our Business section.