The eparchy and all parishes must have insurance coverage to protect the parish, parishioners, councils, and committees from unexpected and catastrophic loss. All parishes should be enrolled with the Eparchial Insurance Program, which is specifically tailored for not-for-profit, faith-based organizations. Twenty episcopal corporations across western Canada are part of this same program. As a church, we have various insurance needs that are more complex than regular commercial or personal plans. This document outlines the overall coverages, valuations, and claims procedures that every pastoral council should understand and review annually. For specific insurance information refer to your insurance documents.
Our insurance broker is CapriCMW. They are responsible for evaluating our insurance coverages, recommending updates or changes to our policies, and compare our insurance rates to that of other industry providers. All claims for loss or incidents are also reported to CapriCMW. Our insurance provider is APEX Insurance and Ecclesiastical Insurance Group are the underwriters of our insurance coverages. APEX covers claims up to $100,000 and Ecclesiastical provides coverage for losses over $100,000.
The following coverages are provided through the Eparchial insurance Program and explained below:
1. Property Insurance and Property Valuation
Most buildings and assets of parish properties are covered by insurance. The insurance premium is based on property insurance coverage and property valuation.
1.1 Property Insurance Coverage
The following types of property are insured:
- Buildings (church, halls, and rectories);
- Contents (including fixtures, fittings, and musical instruments);
- Glass (including stained glass)
- Precious metals (including chalices, etc.) Limit $150,000
- Property temporarily removed.
- Property in transit
- New property being constructed, renovated, and repaired.
- Newly acquired property subject to a $2,000,000 limit with 60-day reporting
- Ecclesiastical artworks, statues, plaschanytsia, tabernacles, icons, etc. (these assets are covered separately under the Fine Arts valuation).
Insured property of every description is protected against all risks of direct physical loss or damage, including but not limited to:
- Water Escape
- Vandalism & Malicious Acts
- Smoke Damage
- Sewer Backup
Under the APEX plan the deductible is $5,000. To support our parishes, the Eparchy further provides a self-funded portion where a parish pays for the first $1,000 and the Eparchy fund pays the remaining $4,000.
Losses Not Covered:
Among the risks excluded by the policy are losses or damage caused by:
- Wear and tear including gradual deterioration.
- Explosion or rupture of owned pressure vessels
- Electrical arcing of electrical panel (covered under Equipment Breakdown Policy)
- Losses due to terrorism
- Losses due to computer viruses (additional insurance could be purchased)
- Losses due to mould (unless caused by an insurable loss)
- Loss or damage of cemetery property including headstones (headstones are considered the property of the owners and therefore are covered under the owner’s personal liability insurance.
NOTE: When a loss is reported by the parish to CapriCMW (refer to Making a Claim), an adjuster is sent to site to evaluate the loss and causes. They require that all properties be maintained and in good repair, otherwise damage, resulting from the lack of maintenance or useful life, may not be covered. Also, this insurance does not cover poor workmanship (i.e. if a contractor completes a project and something goes wrong, the parish cannot access insurance rather, must rely on warranties provided by the contractor). Contractors must have their own insurance, warranty and WCB coverage and that the parish should have a copy of each type of coverage.
1.2 Property Valuation Options
Property valuations are the basis of insurance premiums for each parish. All properties are insured on a replacement cost basis unless otherwise stated (see below for the definition). The policy coverage provides for alternative coverage methods however, any change from replacement cost to another type of coverage (property valuation option) must be approved by the bishop.
To ensure that building and structure valuations are current to market pricing, our insurers hire Suncorp Valuations to visually inspect the properties (usually those valued over $500,000) every 3 to 5 years. If your parish is to have a valuation, the insurer will notify the Eparchy and the Eparchy will contact the parish.
There are four valuation coverages available:
Replacement Cost (RC)
Covers the cost to repair, replace or reconstruct using materials of like kind and quality and for like occupancy without deduction for depreciation. Replacement cost is not payable until the damage has been repaired or replaced. Replacement Cost does not apply to paintings, etchings, pictures, tapestries, statuary, marbles, bronzes, antique furniture, rare books or other articles of art, rarity or antiquity. These are addressed with the Fine Arts coverage.
All properties are insured on a replacement cost basis unless stated otherwise.
Partial Replacement Cost (PRC)
In the event of a partial loss, settlement will be based on replacement cost with no depreciation, up to the amount of insurance specified for that location. In the event of a total loss, settlement would be the declared amount.
When would a parish consider PRC? If the existing church or structure would not be rebuilt to the current size, quality, materials etc. a parish may consider PRC. The premium rate of insurance would be relatively the same, but the calculation would be based on a lesser cost.
Actual Cash Value (ACV)
Considers the cost to replace, less any depreciation or obsolescence. The condition immediately prior to the loss, the resale value and the normal life expectancy will be taken into consideration when determining depreciation.
Debris Removal (DR)
Covers only the cost to clear debris from the site after an insured loss.
2. Equipment Breakdown Insurance
Equipment Breakdown Insurance covers parishes for property damage resulting from the sudden and accidental breakdown of insured equipment that is not automatically covered by a standard commercial property policy. This coverage insures against property damage, business interruption and spoiled inventory or contents that result when specified kinds of mechanical, electrical and pressure equipment are damaged, including power surges.
3. General Liability Insurance
The policy covers our liability imposed by law for bodily injury, property damage or personal injury to a third party arising from our premises, products, and our operations (refer to pages 12-14 of the insurance manual lists the types of losses that are covered and not covered).
Under our General Liability Insurance coverage is provided for the Eparchy, churches, employees, volunteers, and during the use of the premises, equipment, and kitchens. The coverage does not extend to protect third parties when they rent the facilities. They need to obtain their own insurance and to include the parish or Eparchy as an additional Insured. Refer to 3rd Party Rentals.
The General Liability Insurance specifically mentions the following coverages (refer to your insurance documents for detailed information about coverage and exclusions for specific types of losses within each category:
- Physical & Sexual Abuse Coverage is also included as part of the General Liability coverage. The coverage is retroactive to March 1, 1997 and there is no deductible. Losses covered include:
- Allegations of sexual and physical abuse
- “Sexual abuse” means: any conduct that constitutes a sexual offence under the criminal code of Canada.
- “Physical abuse” means causing or permitting unjustifiable pain or suffering and putting a person in a position where their life and limb or health are endangered.
- Civil Defense Costs
- Criminal Defense Costs
- Medical, Rehabilitation and Counseling Costs
- Excess Liability Insurance – depending on the situation, coverage over and above the usual limits may be accessed for Commercial General Liability and Underlying Automobile liability coverage.
- Comprehensive Crime Coverage includes protection related to employee dishonest (theft), forgery, computer fraud/transfers, theft from donation boxes etc.
- Directors & Officers Liability insures directors of the eparchy and parishes (council and committee members) from lawsuits in the event that they’re personally sued for actual or alleged wrongdoing when working for the eparchy or parish. The insurance helps cover defense costs and damages (awards and settlements) arising out of wrongful action allegations and lawsuits.
It is important to understand the insurance policy coverage for your parish. An annual review is recommended and, in this review, if your council would like to discuss the coverage please phone the Pastoral Centre (Eparchial offices) at 780.424.5496 and speak with Boris Radyo.
If your parish has a claim, please call the office and speak with Boris; or if you have an emergency claim, after hours, please call CapriCMW Insurance at 1.888.668.4441 or 1.800.670.1877.