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Church Insurance: Investigation Cooperation Requirements

Be aware of what your insurance policy requires.


Key point. Most liability insurance policies contain a provision requiring the insured to cooperate with the insurer's investigation of claims. Such a provision is not necessarily violated by a church's refusal to turn over personal information having little, if any, relevance to the insurer's investigation.

A federal court in Indiana ruled that a church did not necessarily breach a requirement in its liability insurance policy that it cooperate with the insurance company in its investigation of claims by refusing to respond to the insurance company's demand to inspect personal records including the pastor's tax returns. A church's pastor and his wife arrived at church on a weekday morning and immediately discovered that there had been a fire on the premises. The local fire department responded to the pastor's 911 call. Later that morning the pastor contacted the church's insurance agent ...

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Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

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  • March 1, 2012

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