Homeowners Insurance Not Covering House Church Meetings
This was a thread on the House Church Discussion List http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hcdl in February of 2002
1. posted by D. Moore: We have a home church in our home on a farm in northern ky. Recently our farmowners policy cancelled us due to fear arising from the 911 new york terroist attack. They will now not insure me if I continue to allow the home church to meet in our home. We have a room 20' x 45' room for meeting and have a average attendance of about 20 people twice a week and have had no liability problems. I have not been able to find a insurer that will cover me if we still have meetings. According to the ky dept of insurance it seems that cell groups are probably not covered in homes unless specifically stated in their insurance policy. So what I am saying is cell groups are not automatically covered by home owners insurance thus if a accident happens your insurance may not cover it. Does anyone know of a insurer that will cover cell groups. Help!!!!
2. Posted by Dan Mayhew Howdy, saints! Well, I have to say that this insurance thing gets down to some nuts and bolts! Not that insurance issues would stop many of us from meeting in our homes, still there are some things worth thinking about. Let me tell you of our experience along these lines. Twelve years ago when we started on this adventure we went ahead and incorporated as a "church" (we were and are a network of home churches. Our reasons for doing so were mostly out of our own uncertainty about doing this stuff. At the time I was receiving support from the fellowships and being incorporated made it possible to do that more cheaply, ie I didn't have to pay into social security. Anyhow, we stopped doing that about six years ago---and I'm very glad, by the way. Another reason, was that we thought we should have insurance for meetings, outings and such. One thing I found out was that most insurance companies don't have a clue what to do with a policy that insures a church without a building. Lots of confusion on their end. In spite of my lengthy explanations, the insurance company (State Farm, I think) insured us as a church. While we were insured, one of our sisters, a single mom with minimal income, slipped on the frosty stairs in our yard one cold morning after a gathering and broke her arm. Fortunately for her, the church policy covered her. (We also had a home owner policy but we didn't make a claim on that one. I don't know what would have happened if the claim went against the homeowners policy.) The thing worth considering is that accidents do happen and if an injured person is poor they may have to rely on the church family, be that offerings or insurance to make it. Later, the church insurance company came out to look at our premises and...."well, what the hay? This ain't no church building!" We got a notice that we were going to have to install concrete stairs, handrails, and all such stuff that you might find around a public church building or lose our coverage. We cancelled the policy. Now, on the basis of recent HCDL chat, I may want to call my homeowner insurance and see wussup. This is just a brief summary of our experience with this stuff in case it may be helpful to any of you. I'm not concerned in any kind of organizational way, but if one of our church family is injured or something we'd want to be able to care for them. Shalom, Y'all! Dan