When the leadership at Kent Island United Methodist Church in Chester, Maryland, acquired a trailer stocked with supplies to aid disaster relief, they saw another opportunity to minister to the masses.
What they didn't see was another liability to add to the church's insurance policy.
"We picked up a trailer for mission work—with tools and supplies to help with emergencies like tornadoes or floods—but it was about a year before I figured out that I hadn't told the insurance company about the vehicle," says church administrator Ken Brown. "Things can slip through the cracks."
Forgotten vehicles, new employees, or even a new storage shed—these are all issues that demand vigilant evaluation, lest a mishap occur and a church realize it's solely responsible for the expenses of replacement, liability, injuries, or worse.
"There is going to be a time when someone sues. It may not be someone out to shaft the church, but there may be a time when the church is really liable because someone falls in a pothole or a railing comes loose," Brown adds.