Mission Minute

Loss prevention

I usually avoid the use of clichés, but this one is just too obvious to ignore: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Ben Franklin was certainly right, though I doubt he imagined he would ever be quoted in Rescue Magazine 250 years later! However, when it comes to preventing losses before they happen, he was extremely sage. The amount of money that is lost on insured claims may be huge. Additionally, they are typically a time waster, exacerbated by the work and energy that must be expended to even file a claim. Such possible expenses to the ministry include

Does Your Organization have Enough Liability Insurance

Most leaders have no idea whether or not their business or organization carries enough liability insurance. Many tell me, “I have an umbrella, so that should be fine,” and then end the discussion there. Even those who give the size of their umbrella some thought may not fully appreciate the size of injury payouts. If you fit into this category of “umbrella purchaser,” you probably have

Abuse and Molestation

Due to the personal violation inherent in claims of this nature, the legal principle of “innocent until proven guilty” does not often seem to apply here. Should a mission have a serious fire, you might expect to see an increase in donations coming from the community so as to help restore the affected building. However, when the press reports an allegation of A&M at your mission, the news may be met by mission benefactors with surprising little charity, especially if the accused is

Driving Large Vehicles Safely

“Power lines, roof eaves, and small cars.” One executive director lost no time in describing what donation pick-up drivers need to watch out for. “How do you think I knew that?” he asked, “because they’ve all happened to me!” My observations confirm the executive director’s experience. One of the most frequent claims to come across my desk is a box truck or 15 passenger van hitting another vehicle or building. While the damage is often minor, the costs paid by the insurance company are generally

Identity Theft

I reviewed my credit card statement recently and was surprised to find that I had paid a utility bill in California and purchased a widescreen TV in Colorado. Since I live in New York, I was pretty certain it was not a matter of my poor memory. More recently, bus ticket purchases from Mexico were denied by my credit card company. I don’t know how these thieves were able to get my credit card number, but I do know this is part of the risk of living in an increasingly electronic-dependent society. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, in 2010, 7% of households

Early Driver Warning System

a free new program to monitor mission drivers
 Great American Insurance Company, the endorsed insurance carrier for the AGRM, has teamed up with SafetyFirst™ Systems to provide select policyholders with a program designed to help identify those drivers who may be “at-risk” of becoming involved in a collision if their habits are left unchecked. The program gives organizations timely, credible information about drivers

When Rising Water Is Called a Flood

There are floods in the news again… seems incessant. Hurricane Sandy just devastated the New York metropolitan area. Duluth is still working to recover from recent flood damage of trout streams and hiking trails. Though we’ll likely have a reprieve for a few months, flood season will come roaring back shortly after we’re lulled to sleep. Most everyone experiences a surprise “flood” in one situation or another, whether a formally declared flood such as caused by hurricane Sandy, or a swamped basement because a sump pump couldn’t keep up following a spring thunderstorm. There are multiple definitions of what constitutes a “flood.” Some floods are addressed easily by insurance, some are clearly excluded.

Brief Overview of E&O Policies

“E&O” stands for Errors & Omissions liability insurance. This is an essential form of insurance for any mission that provides pastoral counseling, lay counseling or medical services. Because general liability policies always exclude counseling and medical services, it is necessary to purchase this separately, or endorse it onto the liability policy. In addition to providing a settlement for a lost lawsuit, this coverage also will provide the insurance company’s best attorneys to defend the mission against allegations of professional malfeasance. A common lawsuit may involve

Brief Overview of D&O Policies

“D&O” stands for Directors & Officers liability insurance. This is an essential form of insurance that provides both defense and settlement for the mission’s Board of Directors and the mission’s Officers (CEO, CFO, Executive Director, etc.) The trigger for coverage to respond is that the Board and/or the mission’s Officers must have been accused of a “wrongful act.” There need not have been any actual bodily injury or property damage arising out of the alleged act, but there must be an allegation of something that was done “wrong.”

Who is Covered

A thorny question for missions—and one that requires an understanding of a “hidden loophole” in almost every insurance policy—is whether or not the mission’s insurance policy provides coverage for guests. While most insurance policies provide liability protection (coverage against injuries and property damage of “others” that may be the result of the mission’s negligence), the question becomes who is insured versus who are “others”?