With the current COVID-19 pandemic changing the way we experience church in the short term, it is important to consider how in the absence of regular activities at our church properties, certain risks are increased.
Some church buildings continue to be accessed by skeleton staff teams to bring weekly online services, or to co-ordinate community welfare programs, others however are unoccupied until such time that Government restrictions are eased.A building which is either temporarily closed, or permanently unoccupied are exposed to increased risk such as vandalism, burglary or arson.
Aside from your people, your church property is one of your most valuable assets that needs to be protected.
Allow us to highlight some key areas to consider in the security and protection of your property
Every single one of the following risks share one common risk management strategy – regular attendance at your property to check for loss or damage.
Burglary and Theft
It is common knowledge among criminal circles that churches are an excellent source of electrical, computer, sound, audio visual and musical equipment. All these items are easy to remove, and even easier to move on.
Whilst properties are being used less frequently during the week, or permanently unoccupied the following key areas should be addressed:
Electrical faults can also go unnoticed and may be the cause of a fire.
If you have your church building or contents protected through ACS Insurance Services, now is the perfect time to ensure that you have nominated an appropriate replacement value for all your assets. You should list your buildings and contents for an amount equal to what it would cost you to replace on a ‘new for old’ basis. Under declaring the value of your property can result in issues should a claim arise, and further impact your organisation financially.
If necessary, engage the services of a professional property valuer to establish a true replacement cost for your assets.
There are many online tools available which may also assist in providing a guide to the replacement value of a property. Please contact our office for further information in this regard.
Church Assets and Contents Inventory
In the beginning of this article we stressed the importance of regularly attending your property to check for loss or damage. Not only does this allow you to quickly identify and manage a loss, it also avoids claims being denied due to an Unoccupancy Exclusion which exists as part of most commercial property protections.
Your ACS Mutual Property Protection contains the following exclusion:
The Mutual shall not be liable for loss, destruction of or damage to any property protected hereunder caused or contributed to by any alteration after the commencement of this Protection:
c) whereby any premises containing any property protected hereunder shall be come unoccupied, and so remain for a period of more than thirty (30) days;
To avoid this exclusion being applied to your protection, we strongly advocate that churches engage a team to regularly attend their properties to check for loss or damage.
Unoccupied Weekly Building Inspection Log
ACS Financial have been serving Australian churches and ministries for over 25 years, and are passionate about serving your organisation and ensuring that you are equipped and appropriately protected to carry out your mission in your communities. If this article has raised any questions for you, please contact our Insurance Team on 1800 646 777 and they will be more than happy to assist you further.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website reflect some of the commercial aspects and potential risks/obligations for your Church, School or Organisation.
The information is given as a guide only and does not represent a definitive list or legal view in any way shape or form.
You are advised to seek your own professional advice on all your individual needs.
ACS Financial Pty Ltd. (ACN 062 448 122) (AFSL 247388)
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