Find yourself wondering what insurance is needed for maternity housing? What kind of insurance coverages are needed and what kind of company sells those policies? We dive a little deeper into the topic for you below.
Some types of insurance are regulated, others are industry-standard, and others are optional. Getting the appropriate amount of insurance is a balance of risk assessment. Recognize that insurance companies are motivated to sell insurance policies that often represent worst-case scenarios. Likewise, organizations should protect and prepare themselves for challenging circumstances that may arise. Involving Board members with insurance experience in the conversation may help an organization find its “comfort zone.” Insurance companies are a great resource for advice on how an organization can reduce risk. Larger insurance companies may even have a “risk assessment professional” that can do a site visit to offer feedback and suggestions.
General Liability insurance is related to accidents that may result in bodily or personal injury or property damage. The cost is determined by the insurer’s assessment of risk based on the number of people involved, the size of the facility, the activities of the organization, etc. In some cases, the organization may ask or be asked to be listed as an “additional insured” for specific reasons (i.e. an event held on a rented property). This is common and easily done by calling one’s insurance agent.
Property insurance covers the expense of damage to or destruction of the building and its contents. Various factors affect how a property insurance policy is crafted (e.g. replacement cost vs actual cost). Renter’s insurance, used when a property is being leased, covers solely the contents (not the structure). Organizations must weigh the cost-benefit analysis of valuing the contents at replacement cost, even if donated.
Directors and officers insurance (commonly referred to as D&O Insurance) is insurance for lawsuits due to wrongful acts or mismanagement of the organization most commonly related to employment practices. Requiring the organization to have D&O Insurance is frequently an expectation of experienced Board members.
Any vehicles owned by the organization will need to be insured. If the organization does not own vehicles, it may choose to have a “hired and non-owned” policy that augments the private insurance of volunteers and staff members who may be driving on behalf of the organization. Some drivers and/or vehicles are considered higher risk (i.e. young drivers, 15-passenger vans) and will have higher premiums. Homes are advised to avoid any language related to offering medical care as auto policies have been known to group maternity homes into the costly category of ambulatory medicine.
Professional liability insurance addresses the liability related to the professional services of counselors, social workers, and other professionals. If the organization is hiring someone with a professional designation as an employee (rather than an independent contractor), it will need to assume professional liability insurance. The issues related to the scope of practice, covered elsewhere, are critical for this reason.
Organizations may choose to take out a life insurance policy on a key employee(s) and name the organization as the beneficiary. This is done if the death of the employee would have a very substantial and immediate impact on the organization.
Worker’s compensation provides coverage for job-related injuries and illnesses and may be required by law depending on jurisdiction and the number of employees.
Heartbeat has a list of preferred insurance companies that have worked well for pregnancy help organizations for years. Click here to learn more.
by Paula Burns, CIC, CRM, Insurance One Agency, LLC
Knowing what kind of insurance your Pregnancy Help Organization may need can be difficult. Beyond the general questions of what should be covered, each state has specific mandates or benefits about certain types of insurance. We sat down with Paula Burns from Insurance One Agency to find out what they would recommend.
Pregnancy Help Organizations (PHOs) are on the front line in the battle to save human lives and souls. They are the ultimate picture of the “Great Commission” coming to fruition and want every ministry dollar to go into the purpose and mission of the ministry, not into liability litigation. As a result, there are many questions frequently proposed regarding insurance for the centers and the wide scope of risk associated with them. This article includes a brief overview of insurance coverage a PHO should carry in their insurance coverage portfolio and addresses some of the most frequently asked questions.
A: Pregnancy Help Organizations should in general have the following in their insurance coverage portfolio:
*Note: The insurance carriers are seeing a large number of claims resulting from Employment Practices. It is key to be sure your PHO is carrying this coverage.
*Note the employee or volunteer’s vehicle insurance is ALWAYS primary if they are driving their own vehicle on PHO business.
A: As discussed in the section above, state law is going to mandate whether a PHO is required to carry Worker’s Compensation. If the state is not mandating that the PHO carry this coverage there are multiple considerations:
Be sure to check your state laws regarding Worker’s Compensation!
A: No, the physician’s insurance may not extend on a volunteer basis. Professional liability policies are not standardized and therefore, literally every insurance carrier’s forms are different. Please ask this question up front and find out if the physician’s coverage will extend. Even if their coverage extends it normally is only going to cover them individually, it does not normally extend to cover the PHO and release them from claims of vicarious liability. The PHO needs to do some due diligence to reduce their risk regarding this exposure and some recommendations are as follows:
In conclusion, the PHOs are operating in one of the most litigious environments to date and need to understand how to take a proactive stance towards risk. One component of a good risk management plan is insurance, however, insurance should never be substituted for risk management. It is important that every PHC have a good comprehensive training program in place for their staff and volunteers. This is the first line of defense against liability claims and is for their protection as well as the PHO.
Matthew 28:19-20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Paula Burns specializes in insuring larger churches and non-profit organizations and has been in the insurance industry for 29 years. She has earned the designations of Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) and Certified Risk Manager (CRM). Her career began in property and casualty claims laying a foundation for Paula to be an advocate for clients when they need her the most, during a claim or crisis.
Paula is a faculty member of The National Alliance and teaches classes to other insurance professionals, risk managers, and non-profit organizations regarding risk management. When she is not teaching, or at the agency, you can find her on her horse farm close to Whitney, TX with her husband of 23 years. She and her husband Gary have two children, Brandon and Lindsey. She joined Insurance One Agency in 2010 because they have a heart to serve those who serve.
Insurance One has a national program that includes state of the art coverage designed specifically for Pregnancy Help Centers and many Heartbeat International and Care Net affiliates use this coverage. They understand the risks associated with insuring PHC's and partner with centers from all over the nation to protect their ministries. You can reach Insurance One Agency by clicking here.
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