Manage risk says Insurance Fund
Insurance premium levels for the year to April 2005 stayed the same as the previous year. This is two years without any premium increase, and the Insurance Fund reports premiums for the year to April 2006 will stay at this level.
Methodist Trust Association executive officer Greg Wright says in addition to insurance cover, the Insurance Fund provides the Church help in wider realms of risk management.
“Coverage arranged by the Insurance Fund reimburses the Church for the monetary value of items lost or destroyed but it can’t take away the grief caused by damage to time honoured church buildings or the treasured memories they contain. No amount of repainting or cleaning can remove feelings of violation caused by vandalism of Church property.
“Risk management can be as simple as ensuring that blown bulbs in security lights are replaced, leaves are cleared from spouting, or smoke alarms and perimeter security are installed.”
To promote risk management, the Board of Administration has placed the Insurance Fund under the Methodist Connexional Property Committee. Issues regarding Church property and insurance are inextricably linked and should benefit from common oversight.
Greg says the NZ economy has undergone significant growth in recent years. Building costs have increased as a result. Therefore, any building that hasn’t reviewed its replacement values since 2003 is probably significantly underinsured.
“Replacement value of contents continues to increase also. The Insurance Fund recommends all parishes regularly update their inventory of contents and lodge a copy with the Insurance Fund. Do this annually or more frequently if you purchase of sell significant plant.”
The Fund can store digital photos with each property insurance record. We welcome photos of buildings, plant etc. but ask that you identify each image by the risk number on the insurance notice.
Claims under material damage policies should be notified promptly. It is imperative that the Connexional Office be advised as soon as the parish or other Church group becomes aware of any matter that could lead to a potential claim. Early notification ensures the Church’s cover is not jeopardised and the Connexional Office can provide resources and assistance to see matters resolved at an early stage.
There is no penalty for notification of matters that don’t develop into claims. The Church can be penalised if a matter isn’t notified and it later escalates into a full scale claim. Insurers may deny liability if they weren’t involved at the time prescribed in the cover.
To protect the Methodist Church and those acting bona fide on its behalf the Insurance Fund provides a full suite of liability covers. The MTA can provide information about this cover.