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Risk Management Minute

Valuable Information to Help You Protect Your Ministry

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I am all about technology. At any given time my desk has three computer screens, a tablet, my iphone and sometimes my mini iPad. Efficiency is a priority around here and three screens are more efficient than one!  One of the ways we are trying to bring efficiency to you is through new software we started incorporating this year called Hello Sign.

Hello Sign is digital signature software that allows us to send a document to you and collect a digital signature in just a few clicks. Every year our insurance carriers require us to obtain a new signed copy of your statement of values along with your renewal policy. So instead of us emailing the document, you printing, scanning and re-emailing we have streamlined the process for you.

Simply open up the email you have received. In it will be a note from us explaining what the document is, and asking you to sign it in the highlighted fields. You will follow the prompts of the program, sign and date. The program will then send us a copy and save a copy for your own records automatically. When I watched it work for the first time I did a little dance of joy around my desk!

Now you will no longer dread seeing emails from us asking for a signature! I know you did, it’s ok to admit it. If you have other thoughts of ways we could make your client experience more efficient we would love to hear from you!  

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In this economy churches, like everyone else, are looking for ways to save money. Ministries approach us looking for ways to trim down their coverage in order to help their struggling budgets.  While we have written your policy with the coverages in place we feel are important and will best protect your ministry, we also understand sometimes you need to make some adjustments for a period of time. So the following are some suggestions for cutting costs.

1. Eliminate the Pastor’s Salary
2. Host Candlelight services to save on electricity
3. Suggest your members tithe twice a week

Just kidding. Although humorous I doubt these ideas are realistic!

1. Removing your Umbrella Coverage. Your umbrella provides an additional $1,000,000 of coverage that sits on top of your auto, general liability, and work comp. The average premium is between $500-$700 annually. While we feel this coverage is important to have in place, if you needed to save money for a time being you can remove this policy.

2. Removing Endorsements. Some carriers charge a premium for various endorsements to your policy while other carriers include them free of charge. Sometimes these endorsements elevate your policy from basic to superior coverage. Removing them will obviously decrease coverage and we would prefer to discuss with you to educate you on what coverage you will be losing prior to removal. Again, some carriers include these free of charge so there would be no savings and no reason to remove.

3. Parking Church Vehicles. If your ministry does not use your church vehicles on a regular basis you may consider parking them and removing coverage for a time being. This would eliminate premium on something that has minimal use. Just remember that they should not be driven at all without coverage in place.

Sometimes people call wanting to decrease the value of their building in order to cut cost. We do not recommend this course of action. On average, $100,000 of building value equals $150 of premium annually. If you under insure a building and have a claim, you will be faced with a co-insurance penalty. This means that you co-insure the loss to the same percentage that you under insured the building. While you may have saved $300 on your property premium, it will now cost you $70,196 in order to restore you building. 

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Having proper insurance in place is vital to your ministry. If you're late on your electric bill and they cut the power you can always have it turned back on. But if you have insufficient coverage when you have a claim, your ministry may not survive. If your ministry needs help with decreasing coverage for the time being, give us a call so we can properly advise you to make sure your still have adequate protections in place. 

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I have been in my house for seven years now. With owning your home comes space and with space inevitably comes clutter. I am at the point where I want to toss 85% of the stuff in my garage, only I need someone to haul it away for me. My Honda civic is great on mileage but fairly deficient at hauling.

However, sometimes you have items that need to be saved and don’t have the space on site to store them. Thankfully storage units exist for just this purpose!

Set Scene: Your church has excess sound equipment and lighting that you only use a few times a year for big productions. With nowhere to conveniently store it you decide to rent a unit at secure looking facility.  You drop off your equipment and go about your day. Six months later you get a call that there was a series of break-ins and your unit was hit and all of your equipment is gone. What do you do?  Is this covered? Take this quiz below to find out.

 

 

Aside from theft there are many reasons to make sure your property is protected. My parents had a storage unit when I was in college. Our town had the worst flood in over 100 years and the unit was flooded almost to the rafters. I still remember using oxy clean to get the stains out of my American Girl Doll clothes! Like any property claim, your insurance deductible would apply to the storage unit contents as well.

If you have a storage unit and aren’t sure if you have coverage in place feel free to give us a call! We can either confirm coverage, or get that location added to your policy! 

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Happy July 4th! Time to celebrate our nation's freedom with family and friends. This year we thought it would be fun to give you a crash course in US History! 

                             

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I have always had an itch for travel. There is so much on this beautiful earth to explore, which is why I don’t like going to the same places twice! I know lots of people who enjoy going to Florida or Pigeon Forge every year for vacation but not me. I want the adventure! Dad and I have talked about taking a trip for years and we finally did it! He gave me a budget and I made all the arrangements. Basically I was his personal tour guide! So where did I decide to take my Dad? Eastern Europe of course!  We went to Prague, Vienna and Budapest.

There are a few things you should know before traveling abroad.

1. Pack light! We each had a small carry on suitcase for the duration of our trip. This makes traveling on planes, buses, subways, etc incredibly easy. You really don’t need as much as you think you do!

2. Passport
While sitting on the plane I was commenting that my driver’s license was going to renew in a few months but that I still had 2 years left on my passport. After hearing this Dad quickly scrambled to find his passport and discovered he had 6 months left before it expired! So make sure to check the date before boarding the plane!

3. Health Insurance
Did you know that your personal medical insurance does not extend outside of the United States? That means if you are injured overseas and return to the US for treatment, you coverage will be void. We purchased policies for our trip in less than five minutes through MedEx Assist. You simply put the dates of your travel, your destinations, and your age.  Two policies for our trip cost a total of $60. Here is a blog link to learn more. International Travel

 

4. Bring a Map
When I go out of the country I don't purchase an international data plan. I am there to explore and learn, not to be on my phone! That also means that I cannot use my phone's GPS to figure out where I am, which is just fine with me. I am a big fan of Streetwise maps. They are easy to fold, laminated and show the public transit lines so it's easy to navigate. 

We had an amazing trip and created so many wonderful memories. I'm fortunate enough that I get to work with my Dad every day, but getting to travel abroad was even better and something I will never forget! Below is a video with a few snippets from our trip! 

                       

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