Why Are Insurance Companies Dropping Coverage for Churches?

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

More than ever before, insurance companies are refusing to insure churches. Why is this so?

Church Insurance

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More than ever before, insurance companies are refusing to insure churches. Why is this so? Churches need insurance just as much as anyone else does. Without insurance, many houses of worship would have to close. Is that why they are refusing to cover churches? Just recently, we received notice from our church’s insurance company that they no longer will cover houses of worship, including ours! They gave no reasons at all…they just sent us a cancellation notice. There were no claims the church made recently and there were no mechanical issues with our church at the present. Our church is in great shape. It’s simply the fact that insurance companies will no longer cover churches to insure against damages. Why is this happening? Is it a form of persecution? Why do insurance companies now refuse to cover churches and yet cover almost all the other non-profits like Salvation Army, VFW, and so on? They could give us no real explanation. They only said we cannot cover your church anymore; period! These are not small “mom and pop” insurance companies, but huge insurance companies who make millions of dollars in profits that are dropping churches. There has not been a spike in claims turned in by churches, so why are insurance companies dropping them like hot potatoes?

Dropping Churches

Are churches now bad risks for insurers? The facts are there are many fewer claims made by churches than those of the general population and other businesses, so why are they excluding churches for insurance coverage? I know and can understand why some insurance companies refuse to cover businesses and homes in California. They claim it’s because of the bad risks due to drought, fire and violence, but are churches a bad risk to cover? Thousands of churches are facing non-renewal by their existing carriers, a frightening trend that has expanded beyond the norm of non-renewals due to excessive losses (like in the state of California). In other words, it has little to do with losses but more to do with perceived risks. More and more, carriers are opting not to renew churches insurance policies based on the risk profile of the ministry. Insurance companies state that risk factors include factors like geography, insured value, and construction type, but again, our church is in excellent shape and we’re in a great part of the country, so geography and construction type have nothing to do (or shouldn’t) with our church being a high risk.

Bad Risks?

Major insurance companies are dropping churches left and right. Huge companies like Travelers/Aetna Property Casualty Corporation, State Farm, Nationwide and other major name-brand insurers. Insurance costs for religious communities — and everyone else — are going to rise dramatically. Insurance expert Stephen Waldorf said, “It’s not just that the cost of insurance is getting more expensive, but they’re getting more selective.” Mr. Waldorf said, “I hate to bring you this kind of news, but I don’t see it getting better…we’re going to see increases in the frequency and severity of disasters in places we’ve never seen it before.” [1] State Farm Florida recently announced it will exit the church market, a move that leaves hundreds of churches throughout the state seeking coverage, some for the first time in years. Some agents estimated that up to 500 churches in north Florida alone have lost their coverage. And it’s going to get worse every year.  Nationwide is no longer on your side and unlike a good neighbor, State Farm is no longer there.

Insurance Abandonment

Early Church vs. Todays ChurchLarge or major insurance companies are now pulling out of covering churches in California, Florida, Oregon, Louisiana, and several other states (like ours in Kansas). We can understand why churches along the Gulf Coast may lose their insurance coverage, being so close to hurricane potential, but other states face fewer risks from weather catastrophes, and yet insurance companies are dropping them too…often with no explanation at all. One church had never once turned in a claim and yet they faced a 44% increase in its premium with no reason given. In one case, the church’s annual premium went from $6,800 to $21,392, something they couldn’t afford and this trend threatens the small churches who have fewer funds to pay such premiums. In many cases, churches simply have to close their doors because their insurance premiums are more than their income. Most insurers now will no longer cover churches unless their building is 30 years or newer, but this leaves out thousands and thousands of small churches who could shutter their doors due to the extreme expense of premiums.

Is It Persecution?

I’m not sure if this is purely based upon persecution but insurance companies are less likely to insure a church than just about any other non-profit agency that exists, so there is something to the idea that it’s persecution. Of course, insurers won’t say that but it is interesting that churches are being dropped more than any other single entity in the nation and it looks to be getting worse every year. So what is the solution? I believe it is through companies that are forming insurance groups, like the American Church Group in Nebraska and Kansas and another in Colorado. Churches which are forming cooperatives like this fare better in coverage and in premiums than those who go it alone. When multiple churches join forces they have more clout with which to control premium costs.


Speaking of insurance, are you insured from the coming wrath of God? I pray you have already put your trust in Jesus Christ, but if that hasn’t happened yet, you are in real danger of hell fire. Like all unsaved people, you are one breath, one heartbeat or one accident away from eternity in hell when it will be too late to repent. Today is the best day to believe (2 Cor 6:2) since tomorrow is no guarantee. If Jesus Christ came today, here is your fate (Matt 7:21-23). This is why I plead with you as you read this, repent today…and I mean right now. Put your trust in Jesus Christ. If you do not, you will face God’s judgment after death guaranteed (Heb 9:27) or at Jesus Christ’s appearance (Rev 20:12-15), which could happen at any moment.

1. “Religious congregations could face untenable rising insurance costs.” Dan Stockman. Oct 1, 2023. Global Sister Report. https://www.globalsistersreport.org/news/religious-congregations-could-face-untenable-rising-insurance-costs. (Accessed, Jan 31, 2024).

Here is some related reading for you: What is Christian Medi-Share? Is it Biblical?

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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