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Risk Management Minute

Valuable Information to Help You Protect Your Ministry

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The Dividing Line

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The Dividing Line

Spring Cleaning. Two words I semi-dread every year. I like the process of organizing and purging clutter, but I’m not a fan of the actual cleaning portion. Most churches have a volunteer day where members come and deep clean the facility a couple times a year.

Ellen, a devout member for many years, participates in the volunteer cleaning day every spring.  They have people sign up, and provide a luncheon as a thank you. While cleaning out the kitchen cabinets, she happened to lose her balance on the step stool she was currently perched on and falls to the floor breaking her arm. Poor Ellen!

Now, it’s question time. Take the quiz below to determine if Ellen’s injury is covered under Med Pay or Workers Compensation coverage.

Now that we've determined what policy will cover Ellen's injuries I have another question for you. Is a Pastor required to be covered under a workers compensation policy if he has a 1099? 

Let's do our work comp formula. Did he do work? Was he compensated? If the answer is yes to both of those, he is required under state law to be covered under a work comp policy. Now, let's say he doesn't receive a salary. He's retired and instead of financial compensation the church lets him and his wife live in the parsonage. Is that considered compensation? Yes. In exchange for performing pastoral duties you received housing. That is compensation. The same is true for receiving a church vehicle to drive, or a housing allowance, or just giving a bonus at the end of the year. 

If you do not have a workers compensation policy and someone is injured on your premises while working, even if volunteering and they were compensated be it financially or other wise, you have a problem. Not only will your current insurance not cover the claim, but the state will be notified and you will be fined upwards of $7,000.  The average work comp policy premium with $100,000 or less of clerical payroll runs less than $700. As my Dad likes to say, you can't afford to save that much! 

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Welcome to our Risk Management Minute Blog! My name is Jessica and I joined the First Insurance Group team in 2008. I began working in the Church Division in 2009 and as part of my job began to learn about the specific needs Churches face in regards to Risk Management. We have made it our goal to not only supply you with relevant information, but to take the work out of risk management by creating forms for you to print and use. Have questions on a topic we have yet to cover? Let me know! I will gladly do the research and provide any information I can.


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Guest Tuesday, 20 November 2018
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