Knowing the Terms Can Help You Understand Your Auto Policy

Understanding your commercial auto insurance policy can sometimes seem as complicated as navigating rush-hour traffic in a crowded church bus. It doesn’t have to be intimating, if you know some of the common components and terms that every insurance policy includes.

All policies include the following components:

  • Policy declaration pages – state the name of your insurer, the name of your ministry (the insured), the vehicles that your policy covers, the coverage period, and your coverage limits.
  • Policy coverage forms – describe the actual terms of your basic insurance policy, as well as any additional or optional coverages that you have selected.
  • Definitions – explain key terms and features used throughout your policy.
  • Conditions – describe the ground rules, and yours and your insurer’s responsibilities, and/or obligations.
  • Limitations – establish coverage boundaries and help remove ambiguity regarding the scope of coverage.
  • Exclusions – describe the types of claims or property that a specific coverage form does not cover.

In addition to these components, auto policies also often include the following terms:

  • Liability – coverage that protects your ministry against vehicle-related claims related to bodily injury and/or property damage.
  • Collison – refers to the physical damage that another vehicle causes your vehicle in an accident.
  • Comprehensive – vehicle damage caused by an accident involving something other than another vehicle (e.g., deer, tree branch, theft).
  • Uninsured, underinsured motorist – refers to a driver who is at fault in an accident, but lacks or has inadequate auto insurance or limited coverage; or in some states, the at-fault driver is unknown (e.g., a hit-and-run accident).
  • Medical payment – refers to the sum paid for medical treatment for injured occupants of your ministry-owned vehicles when they are in an accident. This may be paid regardless of which vehicle is at fault.
  • Personal injury/no fault protection (PIP coverage) – applies in states with laws specifying that insurance companies must initially cover the cost of injuries for their own clients, regardless of fault.
  • Deductible – refers to the sum that an insured individual must pay, after an accident, before their insurance company pays.
  • Premium – the total price that a policyholder pays their insurance provider for a specific coverage.
  • Liability or coverage limit – the highest amount an insurance company will pay in the event of a covered claim.

Although auto insurance requirements vary by state, auto policy terms are generally standard, regardless of the insurer. Acquaint yourself with these terms. Doing so may help you make better decisions regarding your auto policy and use of your ministry’s vehicles.

June 9, 2022
Tips and best practices for a safe VBS and camp season
Tips and best practices for a safe VBS and camp season

This summer is shaping up to be a banner year for churches offering Vacation Bible School (VBS) or summer day camps. After a couple of years of cancellations, mask mandates, and social distancing, that is refreshing and encouraging news.  

As we prepare to welcome droves of children into our summer activities, we want to make sure that we do everything we can to make their experience enjoyable, memorable, and safe.  

Tags: ministry, cyber security, technology, data, protection
June 9, 2022
Protecting your mission trip travelers
Protecting your mission trip travelers

If you are planning your first volunteer or ministry trip abroad, it is important to know a few guidelines for traveling safely. There are some common pitfalls new travelers often struggle with that can be prevented with a little preparation. Here are 5 easy steps you can take to prepare yourself for traveling abroad safely.  

Tags: ministry, cyber security, technology, data, protection
June 9, 2022
Inflation's mark on the insurance industry is significant in 2022
Inflation's mark on the insurance industry is significant in 2022

As we enter the middle of 2022 amidst uncertainty in many areas, we continue to look at ways our ministries may be exposed. Inflation has reared its ugly head into the economy, and it has a massive effect on the construction industry, trickling into areas that matter to you and your ministry.     

  

Tags: ministry, cyber security, technology, data, protection
May 19, 2022
Five Common Tricks of Cyber Scammers
Five Common Tricks of Cyber Scammers

Cyber security is increasingly crucial in our technologically advanced world. Scammers use many schemes when attempting to steal your data, but you can outsmart them by understanding their methods.

Tags: ministry, cyber security, technology, data, protection
July 22, 2021
Thousands in Relief Funding Available to Ministries Through the Employee Retention Credit
Thousands in Relief Funding Available to Ministries Through the Employee Retention Credit

Most ministry leaders don’t realize there is funding available to non-profit employers including churches, schools, colleges, and camps. This post includes some highlights about the credit and guidance on where to start to see if your ministry is eligible.

Tags: ERC, tax credit, payroll
April 23, 2021
Predictions and Insights for VBS 2021
Predictions and Insights for VBS 2021

If your church is anything like mine, Vacation Bible School (VBS) is a big deal. Not just because it is central to our ministry’s outreach to young families, but because of the important role that VBS plays in the spiritual formation of children.

Tags: COVID-19, health, health safety, protect, coronavirus, Christmas, risk management
April 13, 2021
Take Time to Review Your Ministry's Child Protection Plan
Take Time to Review Your Ministry's Child Protection Plan

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Though child abuse may not be something you could ever imagine happening within your ministry, sexual abuse of a minor is one of the top five reasons churches end up in court, according to Church Law & Tax. Studies also show that a child is much more likely to be sexually abused by a trusted adult than a stranger.

Tags: safety, protect, child protection, youth, child abuse
March 16, 2021
Prepare for Severe Spring Storms Now
Prepare for Severe Spring Storms Now

When severe storms strike, they can produce high winds and tornadoes. Damaging winds can wreak havoc on your ministry’s property and to buildings. A high wind event can crash debris through your windows, strip your siding, down trees on your parking lot, peel shingles off your roof, and fling back the flashing.

Tags: weather emergency, lightning, storms, safety, protect
February 25, 2021
Catalytic Converter Theft on the Rise: Protect Ministry Vehicles
Catalytic Converter Theft on the Rise: Protect Ministry Vehicles

Thieves are taking advantage of soaring precious metal prices. Take steps to protect your ministry’s vehicles and property.

Tags: protect, theft, vehicles
February 15, 2021
Grant Funds Available for Safeguarding Ministries
Grant Funds Available for Safeguarding Ministries

As the Director of Ministry Safety for our agency, I am dedicated to finding ways to help safeguard ministries like yours.

Tags: COVID-19, health, health safety, protect, coronavirus, Christmas, risk management
February 5, 2021
Avoid Frozen Pipes as Temperatures Plummet
Avoid Frozen Pipes as Temperatures Plummet

As temperatures plummet, the risk of freezing pipes jumps. Frozen pipes can cause costly messes that could also put your ministry on hold while you clean up.

Tags: frozen, building, pipes, prevent damage
January 12, 2021
Potential Vulnerabilities in School's Safety Plan
Are there hidden vulnerabilities in your school's safety plan?

On behalf of our agency, I recently participated in one such training which focused on strategies and tactics for responding as a single officer to an active safety threat in a school building.

Tags: COVID-19, health, health safety, protect, coronavirus, Christmas, risk management
January 5, 2021
Church Safety Trends for 2021
Church Safety Trends for 2021

If you’re anything like me (and maybe the rest of the world for that matter), you’re grateful to put the craziness of the past year behind us.

Tags: COVID-19, health, health safety, protect, coronavirus, Christmas, risk management
November 23, 2020
COVID-19 and the Christmas Season
COVID-19 and the Christmas Season

Preparing for this Christmas season may require additional creativity, due to the uncertainty of what COVID-19 may bring in our local community.

Tags: COVID-19, health, health safety, protect, coronavirus, Christmas, risk management
October 28, 2020
Guidance for Ministries About Boy Scouts' Bankruptcy
Guidance for Ministries About Boy Scouts' Bankruptcy

A mid-November deadline in the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) bankruptcy proceedings may have you wondering what the organization’s bankruptcy filing means for your ministry if you ever hosted or chartered Boy Scout Troops.

Tags: coverage, protect, liability, damages, youth
October 27, 2020
Self-Defense or Second-Degree Murder?
Self-Defense or Second-Degree Murder?

On October 10, 2020, in Denver, Colorado, a 30-year-old private security guard who was hired to protect a Denver news crew while covering protests was involved in a deadly shooting that claimed the life of a 49-year-old man. 

October 1, 2020
Applying for PPP Loan Forgiveness
Applying for PPP Loan Forgiveness

Organizations that obtained Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding through the CARES Act can have their loans forgiven, turning them into grants. To qualify, each borrower must file a forgiveness application with its PPP lender, proving that it followed the rules. If your church, school, college, or camp meets all the criteria, 100% of its loan can be forgiven.

August 27, 2020
Emergency Dispatch: Cameron Peak
Emergency Dispatch: Cameron Peak

Lessons learned from the front line of a wildland fire.

Tags: liability, damages, protect, directors and officers, coverage
August 20, 2020
Colorado Wildfires: Prepare Your Ministry Now
Colorado Wildfires: Prepare Your Ministry Now

Four major wildfires are burning across Colorado, fueled by dry vegetation, drought and wind.

Tags: liability, damages, protect, directors and officers, coverage
April 13, 2020
Beware of COVID-19 Cyber Scams
Beware of COVID-19 Cyber Scams

Ministries are creatively scrambling to continue their operations and safely engage their congregations with an array of online technologies during the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, hackers are ready to take advantage of the confusion with scams designed to steal valuable data or siphon funds from your ministry. Learn how to keep your ministry safe from scams. 

Tags: liability, damages, protect, directors and officers, coverage