10 Insurance Buying Tips

Now that 2018 is approaching, it may be time to consider reviewing your church insurance program. Most people don’t take time to review exposures, options, or their current economic condition before making their insurance purchase. We want to help you, so we prepared these ten insurance buying tips for 2018.

  1. Use an independent agent – Independent agents can access many different insurance companies and select the one that offers the best combination of coverage, services and pricing.
  2. Don’t buy insurance through the internet – Call  us and let us provide outstanding service along with competitive pricing.
  3. Review your auto limits – If you have limits of less than $100,000, that won’t even cover the medical bills in a serious accident. The minimum liability coverage that anyone with any assets or income to protect should be carrying is $500,000 to $1 million or more.
  4. Maintain a an inventory of equipment– Having an accurate account of your property can provide for greater recovery in the event of a loss.
  5. Bundle your insurance – Combine your auto, home and umbrella policies with one insurer to receive greater discounts.
  6. Set the right deductible – A higher deductible reduces your premium, but you have to pay more out of pocket in the event of an accident. If you have a good driving record and haven’t had an accident, you may want to gamble and opt for a higher premium. The reward for this risk could be up to a 40% savings.
  7. Consider D & O Insurance – Directors & Officers claimns is one of the fastest growing areas in the U.S.
  8. Buy from a financially strong company – Your insurance is only as good as the company who stands behind the policy. The insurance company should have an “A+” rating or higher.
  9. Be prepared to make adjustments as your lifestyle and needs change.

Call us today and let us help protect what is important to you. Christian Ministries Insurance was created specifically to serve Christian churches, schools and other related ministries. Our mission is simple; provide comprehensive insurance products at competitive prices while building a solid relationship with our clients. We do this through our day to day service, scheduled meetings, quality risk management advice, training and prayer for you and your staff. We are a faith based business, dedicated to help your ministry fulfill God’s vision. All CMI staff are actively involved in their local church. We have more than 50 years experience in providing services to churches and related ministries. Our team has helped clients overcome complex insurance and risk management challenges that include: casualty, property, executive liability, human capital, crisis management and claims consulting.

Posted in Uncategorized by Scott Stuart. Comments Off on 10 Insurance Buying Tips

Why Check Backgrounds?

gangster-539993_1920Over the last several years, I have worked with churches who are still resisting background checks on staff members and all volunteers. Here are Good Reasons to background check from my insurance provider; Brotherhood Mutual-Comprehensive background checks should be part of your ministry’s programs. Choosing the right provider and services can be tricky, because when it comes to background screening, the saying “you get what you pay for” is often true. Less expensive, database-only searches may fit nicely into a ministry’s budget, but they don’t provide the same depth of information that a more comprehensive check will uncover.

Carefully screening people before allowing them to be involved in your programs is an essential investment in your ministry’s future. Comprehensive background screening programs:• Protect your church or ministry from incidents of child sexual abuse.

  • Prevent you from appointing staff or volunteers who may skim money from church accounts.
  • Enable you to select drivers for church vehicles who have safe driving records.
  • Allow you to select appropriate leaders for your ministry.
  • Help you attract new members and recruit volunteers who want to be involved in a safe ministry.
  • Reduce your ministry’s liability in court if something goes wrong, because it demonstrates that your ministry takes reasonable care to safeguard its members.

Christian Ministries Insurance was created specifically to serve Christian churches, schools and other related ministries. Our mission is simple; provide comprehensive insurance products at competitive prices while building a solid relationship with our clients. We do this through our day to day service, scheduled meetings, quality risk management advice, training and prayer for you and your staff. We are a faith based business, dedicated to help your ministry fulfill God’s vision. All CMI staff are actively involved in their local church. We have more than 50 years experience in providing services to churches and related ministries. Our team has helped clients overcome complex insurance and risk management challenges that include: casualty, property, executive liability, human capital, crisis management and claims consulting.

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Posted in Church Risk Church Safety by Scott Stuart. Comments Off on Why Check Backgrounds?

A Few Simple Ways to Prepare Now For a Disaster

We have witnessed the wrath of hurricane Harvey and are looking at Irma hitting the East Coast Soon. Wild fires are hitting the West very hard. We thought it might be good to offer a little disaster preparedness.

Do not let the change in weather fool you; we are still at risk for acts of Mother Nature. In the coming months, we may be at risk of wind damage, wild fires, floods, and more. Remember, your homeowner’s insurance may not cover every disaster, so please call our office for a free insurance review.
How to prepare for an emergency

• Create a home inventory. This will help you to recover your personal property.
• Is your policy’s replacement cost limit correct? It is a good idea to have us, or your insurance company, help you determine the current replacement cost of your home.
• Create an emergency food supply; enough to last a week or so.
• Have a three to five-day supply of water, 1-2 gallons of water per person, per day.
• Keep extra cash on hand in case banks are closed.
• Have a few high-powered flashlights ready.
• Keep extra batteries on hand.
• Have a communications plan. Consider that your family may not be together if a disaster strikes.
• Designate a contact person, outside the area, as a check in person for family members.
• Stock a first aid kit, a supply of essential medicines for at least a week, and other crucial medical supplies like inhalers.
• Make sure you have copies of your family’s identification, birth certificates, passports, insurance policies, proof of address or lease, medication list and medical information, copies of credit cards, checks, etc.

Posted in Uncategorized by Scott Stuart. Comments Off on A Few Simple Ways to Prepare Now For a Disaster

Did You Know Your Company Can Control Work Comp Costs?

Your Experience Mod Is Your Work Comp Identity

It is a fact that many employers actually overpay for their workers’ compensation premiums.  Workers’ Compensation Coverage provides medical, disability or death benefits to any cast or crew member who becomes injured in the course of their employment. Coverage usually applies on a 24 hour per day basis whenever employees are on location away from their homes. Individuals who call themselves “Independent Contractors” will usually be held to be employees as far as Workers’ Compensation is concerned, and failure to carry this insurance can result in having to pay any benefits required under the law plus penalty awards.

The experience mod is a factor unique to each employer. In simple terms, this formula is designed to compare a specific employer’s historical claim and payroll data, to other employers with similar business operations. An individual employer’s experience mod is calculated using claims data compared to premiums from the three most recently completed years, excluding the expiring term.

Key points to consider

  • If your losses are increasing, your mod most likely will go up even if your payroll goes down.
  • The frequency of losses hurt you more than the severity of losses.
  • It is important to check the calculations on the experience modification worksheet each year.
  • The most common errors are incorrect or incomplete payroll data.
  • Your workers’ compensation mod is the single most important factor insurers use to identify your risk.
  • Your mod can be reduced through effective safety and loss control programs.

How to reduce your mod?

  • Develop a safety program.
  • Reward safety in the workplace.
  • Start a return to work program.
  • Complete regular safety inspections.
  • Never use uninsured contractors.
  • Consider joining a group program.
  • Review your job classification to make sure all employees are properly classified.
  • Investigate every accident and make corrective actions if needed.
  • If you suspect fraud, immediately inform the insurance company.
  • A disciplinary program also should be incorporated into the safety program; it should hold employees accountable for breaking the rules.
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Posted in church board Church Insurance Church Risk Workers compensation by Scott Stuart. Comments Off on Did You Know Your Company Can Control Work Comp Costs?

A Few Simple Ways to Prepare Now For a Disaster

A insurance update

We have witnessed the wrath of hurricane Harvey and are looking at Irma hitting the East Coast Soon. Wild fires are hitting the West very hard. We thought it might be good to offer a little disaster preparedness.

Do not let the change in weather fool you; we are still at risk for acts of Mother Nature.  In the coming months, we may be at risk of wind damage, wild fires, floods, and more.  Remember, your homeowner’s insurance may not cover every disaster, so please call our office for a free insurance review.

How to prepare for an emergency

  • Create a home inventory. This will help you to recover your personal property.
  • Is your policy’s replacement cost limit correct? It is a good idea to have us, or your insurance company, help you determine the current replacement cost of your home.
  • Create an emergency food supply; enough to last a week or so.
  • Have a three to five-day supply of water, 1-2 gallons of water per person, per day.
  • Keep extra cash on hand in case banks are closed.
  • Have a few high-powered flashlights ready.
  • Keep extra batteries on hand.
  • Have a communications plan.Consider that your family may not be together if a disaster strikes.
  • Designate a contact person, outside the area, as a check in person for family members.
  • Stock a first aid kit, a supply of essential medicines for at least a week, and other crucial medical supplies like inhalers.
  • Make sure you have copies of your family’s identification, birth certificates, passports, insurance policies, proof of address or lease, medication list and medical information, copies of credit cards, checks, etc.
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Posted in Church Insurance Church Risk by Scott Stuart. Comments Off on A Few Simple Ways to Prepare Now For a Disaster

Hurricane Harvey Reminds Us Why Flood Insurance Is Important

A Flood Insurance Update

Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Texas and the city of Houston. The flood damage loss will likely reach over $50 billion.  It may take years of recovery efforts to get life back to normal. This event is a good reminder how important flood insurance can be.

A homeowner’s insurance policy will cover a number of specific perils, but a standard policy will not provide coverage for flood damage.  It may provide some coverage for rain or wind, but flooding from overflowing rivers and streets will not be covered.  Once a flood occurs, coverage cannot be secured as there is usually a 30 days waiting period from the date of application.

FEMA tells us that only about 20% of the homes and businesses damaged because of Harvey will have flood coverage.  According to FEMA, the average flood claim for the years 2008 to 2012 was $42,000.  In 2012, the average flood insurance policy cost only $650 per year.  In 2014, average claims paid ranged from a low of $10,476 to a high of $42,275. PC360.com

What Flood Insurance Does Not Cover

As with all insurance, there are certain things flood insurance does not cover. These include broken pipes, water damaged from sewer back-up, broken toilets, and landscaping run off.

How to obtain Flood Insurance

Call our office and we can provide you with a free quote.  Remember, your homeowner’s policy does not cover flood.

When disaster strikes, flood insurance policyholder claims are paid even if a disaster is not federally declared. Flood insurance means you will be reimbursed for all your covered losses, and unlike Federal aid, it never has to be repaid.

In general, a policy does not take effect until 30 days after you purchase flood insurance.  Therefore, if the weather forecast announces a flood alert for your area and you go to purchase coverage, it is already too late.  You will not be insured if you buy a policy a few days before a flood.

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Posted in Church Insurance Church Safety by Scott Stuart. Comments Off on Hurricane Harvey Reminds Us Why Flood Insurance Is Important

Is Your Church Renting A Watercraft Over 26 Feet?

Additional Insurance Is Required For Watercraft Over 26 Feet

Many churches may be thinking about renting a houseboat or other watercraft this summer. If this is the case, it would be a good idea to call your agent for an insurance review. The standard General Liability in every church policy states that there is no coverage for any watercraft over 26 feet in length. Be careful about the insurance offered by the boat rental company, as it may only cover damage to the boat, not third party liability.

While your Brotherhood church policy covers watercraft less than 26 feet, here are few things to remember when engaging in any watercraft activity.

  • Liability – Provides coverage to other boaters and boat owners in the event you are at fault for an accident on the water.
  • Hull Damage – Pays for the cost to repair or replace your watercraft, its motor, any permanently attached equipment, and your trailer, if these are stolen or damaged, up to the agreed value of your watercraft.
  • Personal Effects – If you are renting a boat, personal effects are not covered.
  • Fuel Spill and Wreckage Removal – Coverage for costs related to cleaning up fuel spills and removal of accident wreckage can be included.

An endorsement can be added to give secondary protection for watercraft like jet skis, wave runners and water ski boats under 26 feet in length, but these are not automatically covered.

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Posted in Church Insurance Church Risk Church Safety by Scott Stuart. Comments Off on Is Your Church Renting A Watercraft Over 26 Feet?

The Government Is Watching Churches

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires payment of the minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime at 1 ½ times an employee’s (church) regular rate for all hours worked over 40 in a week. FLSA has included exemptions from both the minimum wage and overtime requirements for: – Executives; – Administrative employees; Professionals, Outside sales employees, Computer employees.

What is Ministerial Exemption?

Not explicitly included in FLSA, but clergy and religious workers were described as exempt from overtime in 2004 DOL report (not law). Persons such as priests, lay brothers, ministers, deacons and other members of religious orders who serve pursuant to their religious obligations in schools, or other institutions operated by their church shall not be considered to be “employees.”

The Government is proposing the following changes. THIS COULD HAVE A HUGH IMPACT ON CHURCHES AND RELATED MINISTRIES

Set the minimum salary required for exemption for executive, administrative, and professional employees at the 40th percentile of weekly earnings for full-time “non-hourly paid” church employees.

  • Currently, $921/week or $47,892/year
  • Expected to increase to $970/week or $50,400/year by the time a Final Rule is issued in 2016
  • Requiring employees to spend a minimum amount of time performing work that is their primary duty.
  • Adopting the “California rule” requiring that 50% of an employee’s time be spent exclusively on work that is the employee’s primary duty.

Act Now

  • Act now to determine the potential impact of a $50,440 minimum salary level.
  • Review job duties of exempt positions.
  • Update job descriptions to support exempt classification

Christian Ministries Insurance is committed to providing sound advice and insurance products to churches, universities, Bible colleges, private schools, camps, mission organizations and other 501c3 and related ministries.

What Christian Ministries Insurance can do for You

Christian Ministries Insurance will provide sound advice, training and insurance programs designed specifically for your ministry. We provide much of our unique risk management consulting services at no additional cost.

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Posted in Church Insurance Church Risk Church Safety by Scott Stuart. Comments Off on The Government Is Watching Churches

Auto Accident Scams…. Get Educated

Most of us are hardworking honest people, who are building strong families and are productive members of our community. Unfortunately, there are a few people who try to take advantage of us and we need to be educated on what to watch for. Fraud, including insurance scams, is the second-most burdensome financial crime in the United States. Tax evasion is number one.

Your personal insurance company and agent can be a great resource to you before, during and after an accident.

Here are a few of the most common scams:

  1. Forced Rear-ending – Typically, the scammer will slow down or come to a stop in busy traffic, or swoop in front of the victim at an intersection or an on-ramp, causing the driver to crash into them from behind. In most states, the person who rear-ended the other driver is the liable party, thus the scam begins. At this point, the scammer will claim high medical bills and unusual property damage, (loss of IPhone, damage to other personal property, etc).
  2. Counterfeit Air Bags – Each year, about 1.6 million air bags inflate during crashes, saving thousands of lives. But, during the repair process, at least a small percentage of those deployed air bags will be replaced with counterfeits, which can be life-threatening. Make sure you use a reputable repair shop and ask to have factory airbags installed.
  3. Windshield Replacement Rip-Offs – Don’t fall for the person in a van who stops you to say he can offer to fix your windshield. The scammer takes your insurance information and files a false claim. Only use well known repair shops.
  4. Phantom Victims – Often after an accident, you are not fully aware of everyone and everything around you. The scam is the injured party will say there was another passenger in the vehicle and make a false claim. When gathering information after an accident, such as the other driver’s license number and contact information, also count the number of passengers in the other car (if any) and take photos of the other car, its passengers, and the general scene.

Christian Ministries Insurance is committed to providing sound advice and insurance products to churches, universities, Bible colleges, private schools, camps, mission organizations and other 501c3 and related ministries.

What Christian Ministries Insurance can do for You

Christian Ministries Insurance will provide sound advice, training and insurance programs designed specifically for your ministry. We provide much of our unique risk management consulting services at no additional cost.

 

 

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Posted in Church Risk Church Safety by Scott Stuart. Comments Off on Auto Accident Scams…. Get Educated

Cyber Risk Update

Over the last several years, cyber liability coverage has evolved from just insurance for information      technology companies to coverage that nearly every class of business should have if they don’t already. From retailers, banks, contractors, distributors, restaurants and medical offices, many businesses are unaware of the great security technology exposure they face. Recent state laws require companies that have experienced a security breach to notify all customers that could be affected by the breach that their information has been compromised, even if the information hasn’t been used. In most cases, the    notification also requires an option of one-year credit monitoring services and a new card or account      number for customer. Costs can be as much as $250 per individual breach.

In Oregon a private company experienced on line bank fraud and lost $75,000 in one day. This new cybercrime is directed to small and medium businesses. The scam is called pushing and involves unsuspecting companies being lured into installing malicious software. This download looks likes it is coming from a bank or other financial institution. The malicious software hides itself and records everything the person does on their personal/business computer. It records user names and passwords for every kind of transaction, including wire transfers The software will then forward the stolen data along with digital   certificate information to the thief who will promptly use the information to transfer funds out of the organizations bank account. As of October 2015, U.S. small businesses have had over $100,000,000 in losses.

Most business insurance policies do not cover computer fraud by a third party or the liability arising out of a cyber-attack. The good news is solutions are available. Make sure your crime policy has electronic crime and fraud coverage with appropriate limits.

Cyber Insurance

We can provide your firm with the right combination of pricing and coverage. Cyber insurance is available at very reasonable premiums. Many of our companies offer coverage to help protect your business from loss.

Christian Ministries Insurance was created specifically to serve Christian churches, schools and other related ministries. Our mission is simple; provide comprehensive insurance products at competitive prices while building a solid relationship with our clients. We do this through our day to day service, scheduled meetings, quality risk management advice, training and prayer for you and your staff. We are a faith based business, dedicated to help your ministry fulfill God’s vision.

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Posted in Church Insurance Church Risk Church Safety by Scott Stuart. Comments Off on Cyber Risk Update