Handling a Church Liability Claim: Best Practices
Unfortunately, accidents happen. If an accident happens in your church, the church may receive a liability claim. "Liability" refers to fault in the legal sense. If someone trips and falls on the church stairs and breaks a leg, for example, the church may be liable.
However, it is important to follow best practices in the event of an accident. Liability claims may not be reasonable if, for example, it had begun to snow just a few minutes before and the custodial staff had not had time to make the steps clear.
Here are the steps to follow when HANDLING A CHURCH LIABILITY CLAIM.
- Report the incident. Report it first to your insurance adjuster and then to the proper authorities (police, fire, etc.)
- Gather all relevant material for an insurance claim. Get names and contact information of all parties and any witnesses. The church will need to report all of this to the insurance company.
- Do not disturb the scene or allow anyone else to touch or remove anything. Insurance personnel may need to take pictures or make other documentation.
- Make no admission of responsibility. Before the insurance company comes, you may not have a full picture of whose responsibility it was. In addition, no individual person should be held responsible for an accident, so no individual person should say anything indicating responsibility.
- Secure any equipment. If equipment such as ladders or tools were involved, they need to be placed in an area where adjusters can, again, document their condition and take pictures.
An accident can be disturbing, but churches have liability insurance to help them at these times.
Contact us for further information.