Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Florida Churches to be on the Lookout for Insurance Against Acts of God


State Farm Florida has recently chosen to discontinue covering churches, claiming a need to reduce exposure in the state. Articles that discuss the issue mention the need for "abuse and molestation" coverage as well. .. yet, I'm not sure what that has to do with property damage coverage? Why not just drop certain liability coverages, why the group as a whole?

And as an aside, how is it not a little disconcerting that insurance coverage can even be purchased covering abuse and molestation?! This seems ripe for a moral hazard jab.

One wonders if State Farm's decision is in regards to only churches or other buildings of religious affiliation. Yet, either way, such a decision seems odd because it should not matter what is done in the building that is insured (aside from hazardous practices) but, only the quality of the structure. The article mentions that many churches tend to be older structures and require special add on coverages for things like stained glass panels and organs. The article leads the reader to believe that churches will be able to pick up coverage elsewhere on the private market. Indeed, there are companies that specialize in coverage for places of worship.

In any case, it is an interesting line to drop considering Florida's mostly Protestant and generally conservative voters and widespread, popular disgruntlement with State Farm.

Also interesting is that the FLOIR, which offers a press release for nearly anytime an insurer sneezes, has not issued one for this story.

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