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Church insurance and why religion is becoming a risky business

13 October 2009

This article looks at how churches, mosques and other religous organisations can protect themselves as crime increases.

Crime in many parts of society is on the increase and it would seem this is not limited to homes and businesses. This article looks at how churches and other places of worship are also under attack and offers some advice on how they can combat this.

Every day churches are victims of vandalism, arson and theft and due to the very nature of religious items they are very often irreplaceable. Whilst insurance means that the value of the items can be reimbursed, it can be extremely difficult to put a monetary value on something with historical or sentimental value.

One particular crime that churches suffer from is the theft of metal with the prices of copper, zinc, aluminium and nickel at increasingly high levels. With these metals in demand and having high re sale values, the chances of metal theft from churches is on the increase. 

Although charity insurance and church insurance experts can help replace the stolen items, taking measures to prevent losses is certainly recommended. Some ways in which churches and other places of worship can improve their security and chances of crime include having someone on duty at the location at all times.

Many churches have adopted a church sitting rota system which means the church is watched over as much as possible. Likewise, parishioners, church wardens, cleaners and gardeners can also make sure they visit the location at different times so potential thieves cannot form an accurate pattern of when people will be in attendance.

More advanced methods of church security can include installing safes in which to keep valuable and portable items when the church is not occupied. And with simple tips like installing safes in areas that would cause as much inconvenience to would be thieves as possible, the chances of a loss occurring are reduced.

Another method that many churches are using to help cut crime and vandalism is the installation of modern CCTV systems. Whilst many churches may not feel a modern system will enhance the look of the church, having strategically placed cameras installed throughout the site could certainly help reduce crime.

When deciding on such systems you should make sure they have suitable monitoring and recording functionality and that signs are put up around the site to warn people that CCTV is operational. In many circumstances these signs alone can be enough to put off would be thieves or trouble makers.

Combined with security measures like those already mentioned, it may also be worth speaking to your local insurance broker or better still a church or charity insurance broker as they may be able to offer you some additional risk management help and advice.

The truth is crime in all walks of life is going to happen but if businesses and churches are vigilant and take the necessary steps, crime can and will be reduced. For many people in the world religion brings much joy and so it certainly does not have to be a risky business. NCi Charity are charity insurance and church insurance specialists.

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