Choosing Your Coverage

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Liability insurance can help protect your ministry if someone is injured or suffers a loss connected to ministry activities — on or off your property. It can also help defend you if you or the people working in your ministry are sued, whether the suit arises from injury to people or damage to property.

Coverage typically includes the cost of defending you in court — and any court awards or settlements — up to the limits of your policy.

As you look for liability coverage that will help defend your ministry against suits for emotional injury based on a belief-based decision, keep the following things in mind:

1. Add specific religious freedom protective coverage in your current policy.

Not all religious freedom protection coverage is the same. Make sure you understand when and if coverage would be available. Through our strategic alliance with Brotherhood Mutual®, GuideStone® offers Religious Freedom ProtectionSM Coverage as a standard on all policies. This coverage pays for:

  • Legal costs incurred defending against attacks on your ministry’s belief-based decisions and practices.
  • Damages you are legally obligated to pay as the result of the ministry’s religious communications, religious activities or discriminatory acts.
  • Defense cost reimbursements for legal challenges to your ministry's tax-exempt status.

2. Know the difference between occurrence forms and claims-made forms on your liability policy.

Most often, we see this related to Directors and Officers Liability and your Employment Practices Liability. There are two kinds of insurance forms to have on your liability policy, occurrence and claims-made. With an occurrence form, your ministry is protected for years after the occurrence, even if the claim is made by an employee years after his employment. However, with a claims-made form, your ministry is only covered if the claim was made while still insured with the insurance provider you had when the incident occurred (or within a purchased reporting timeline). If your ministry is on a claims-made form, consider adding retroactive insurance to make up the difference and keep your ministry safe from legal action. All liability policies under Brotherhood Mutual are written as occurrence forms to help keep your ministry protected.

3. Identify any coverage gaps with your current insurance provider.

Not all insurance is the same, but sometimes, it’s sold that way. Make sure to ask specific questions about how Religious freedom-based lawsuits would be handled — whether it’s employment-related or lawsuits against your directors and officers or your ministry.

Use this booklet from GuideStone to help you talk with your insurance broker or provider to find out if you have any coverage gaps.

We understand that, as a ministry, you have unique needs and freedoms that need protection for your ministry to keep serving the Lord. That’s why we designed these resources to empower your ministry and people to stay protected. If you have any further questions about how to protect your ministry, feel free to reach out to a GuideStone team member today at (214) 720-2868, and they'll be glad to help. With GuideStone on your side, your ministry can manage risks while focusing on spreading the good news.

Continue Learning About Religious Freedom and Your Ministry

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