4 Questions to Ask When Shopping Your Church’s Commercial Insurance Program
How to efficiently navigate the quote process to maximize savings and get the coverage you need…
As a Church Business Administrator, Treasurer, or Trustee, I’m sure shopping your church’s insurance program can often be a time-consuming and cumbersome process. Since we both know your time is extremely valuable and limited, the last thing you need is to waste time going through the quote process with a non-specialist that doesn’t understand the ever-evolving complexities of the coverage your Church or House of Worship requires.
Here are 4 questions to consider at the beginning or during the process:
What other churches do you insure that are similar to mine in size and/or scope of operations, and could you provide me a reference list?
This is not a question to wait and ask at the end of the process once you’ve received the proposal. You need an agent with an understanding of the market and one with a good reputation for meeting the insurance needs of ministries. The agent is your connection between the church and the insurance company. Having a church-focused agent could be the difference in a claim being paid or declined at the end of the day.
What companies do you represent, or are you a direct writer?
Typically, you’re either going to be dealing with an independent agency or a direct-writer (agent who is employed by and represents one insurance company). One benefit of working on the agency side is options. An agent will typically represent several companies and can solicit quotes from multiple companies, while the direct-writer only has one option. Not all agencies represent the same companies, so it is important to ensure they are quoting companies with specialized programs for Churches or Houses of Worship. There are many companies that will quote a church, but will not have coverages specific to the church’s needs because they treat the church policy as a business owner’s policy (BOP). Important coverage topics to discuss are religious freedom, church security teams, discrimination, and ensuring the board (council, vestry, etc.) is adequately covered.
What separates you from any other agent or agency?
You should discover if the agent is a true specialist that can offer your ministry unique value, or if they are a generalist agency that does a little bit of everything. A generalist may say that they offer incredible customer service or company resources. A specialist like National Church Group would take this opportunity to mention items like our Ministry Security Conferences, hands-on risk assessments, free property evaluations, on-site staff training, and more that we as an agency provide in-house.
What can I expect when I need to report a claim?
Insurance is something you hope you never have to use, but you’re glad you have it when you need it. How the claims process works can easily be overlooked, but shouldn’t be. You should have a dedicated customer service agent handling the day-to-day management of your account and being your point of contact between the insurance companies. At the time of a claim, you shouldn’t have to worry about locating the right claims department. Therefore, we structured our service department so our clients have one main contact that manages the service of their account. This shrinks the communication funnel and helps ensure our clients the service they deserve. With a 97% retention rate and average retention of 15 years, this model has proven beneficial to our over 3,000 church clients.
Before joining NCG in 2013, Corey spent time working in camp organizations, interning with multiple churches, working in two nonprofit retirement communities and earning his Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology: Human Development and Counseling. After joining our team, Corey spent three years under the wing of our most senior agent, with over 30 years of insurance experience. It is experience from his role in that period that enabled Corey to be named Rookie of the Year by one of our most notable insurance companies in 2015. In 2016, Corey managed to break our agency top sales record by providing Churches, Camps, Schools and Nonprofits honest, specialized risk management programs.
Corey spent the first half of his life in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia and now resides only a few miles from that border in Winchester, VA. After graduating from Liberty University and moving back to Winchester, Corey met his wife Ashley, and they welcomed their first child Carson into the world in the Spring of 2017. On most Wednesday nights you can find the three of them at Winchester Church of God serving in the Youth Ministry department as small group leaders. If Corey isn’t there he enjoys fly fishing, tying his own lures, reading, and just relaxing with family.