January 23, 2023
Written by Stephanie Abrell – Director of Client Experience
It’s great that so many ministries are looking for ways to connect with the community and open their doors to those in need. One popular way to do this is by letting other groups use their church facilities for meetings and events.
However, it’s important to be aware that there can be some risks involved in loaning or renting out church buildings to outside organizations. Even if you’re not the event sponsor, your church could still be held liable for accidents or injuries that occur on your property. This might sound daunting, but there are steps you can take to protect your ministry and still offer your space to those in the community who need it.
One of the most effective ways to limit your liability is to require all groups using your facility to sign a Facility Use Agreement. You can find a sample form provided by Brotherhood Mutual, which you can adapt to fit your specific needs. The agreement should include requirements for the group to obtain liability insurance and name your ministry as an additional insured on its policy. It should also state that the group will indemnify and defend your church against any liability claims arising from their activities on your property. To further limit your liability, consider conducting a thorough inspection of your facility, establishing clear guidelines for use, and assigning a point person to oversee organizations using your facilities.
It's natural to feel a bit uneasy about asking groups to sign an agreement and meet certain requirements, but most groups are happy to do so. In fact, many assume these measures are necessary from the outset. By explaining that you’re simply trying to define who would be responsible in case of an accident, you can make the process smoother and more understandable for everyone involved.
Once you’ve taken these steps and corrected any known issues around your building, you can extend a warm welcome to the groups you wish to host. By doing so, you can provide an invaluable service to your community while still protecting your assets and mission.
Be sure to reach out to our service team if you have any questions. We are here for you, and we have your back! You can reach them by phone at 877-794-2330 or by email at email@example.com.
Stephanie Abrell – Director of Client Experience
Stephanie Abrell serves as the Director of Client Experience for the American Church Group in the territories of Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, the Dakotas, and Wyoming. Together, their team serves and insures around 3,000 ministries across six states.
Copyright © 2022 American Church Group of Colorado, LLC. All rights reserved. The information in this article is intended to help your ministry better understand issues of vulnerability and mitigate risks. It does not constitute legal advice between an attorney and a client. If specific legal advice is required, your ministry is encouraged to consult with a local attorney. Neither Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company, American Church of Colorado, LLC, nor the author assumes liability for reliance upon the information provided in this article.
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