Church Pension Group | Ready for Life’s Storms

CPG Connect

Ready for Life’s Storms: Church Insurance Leads the Way

Spring 2022

The best time to understand your property insurance policy is before you’re grappling with the fallout from a disaster. That’s why The Church Insurance Companies (CIC) makes a point of educating clients on important aspects of commercial property insurance, offering an online library of factsheets and checklists and a Safety and Insurance Handbook for Churches.

CIC worked closely with the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana, for example, on the coverage needs of its congregations before Hurricane Ida made landfall on Sunday, August 29, 2021—16 years to the day after the diocese was battered by Hurricane Katrina. With winds topping 130 miles per hour, Ida was Louisiana’s second fiercest storm on record. It ripped off roofs and drove rain past window and door jambs.

The morning after Ida had wreaked its destruction, the Rev. Canon Shannon Duckworth, Canon to the Ordinary, received a call from CIC’s John Scheffler, Vice President, Client Services. Had any congregations in the diocese sent her damage reports? (While each Episcopal institution has its own insurance policy, Canon Duckworth serves as a high-level liaison with CIC.)

It was the second time in as many days that Canon Duckworth heard from John. He had called to alert her that the tropical storm was turning inland. Giving clients a heads-up when they are in the path of a natural disaster is one way that CIC stands apart from our competitors. Another is the opportunity for CIC, operating under the umbrella of the Church Pension Group (CPG), to make a personal connection with clients at CPG events.

“It’s great that our contacts at CIC come to EBAC [CPG’s annual Episcopal Business Administration Conference],” Canon Duckworth said. “I can meet them at the small-group breakouts and form relationships. It makes a difference.”

The Calm That Followed

As Louisiana got back on its feet in Ida’s wake, Canon Duckworth learned that St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and its school facilities had sustained heavy damage. Water intruded in virtually every building on the New Orleans property.

“They don’t teach us insurance in seminary, but it’s always a component,” the Rev. Robert Courtney, rector of St. Paul’s, explained. “It’s a big load to have thrust on you, but Canon Duckworth always tells us, ‘If you think you have any damage, the first thing you should do is call CIC.’”

CIC already had our claims department staged and preferred vendors standing by when we received Father Courtney’s call. Remediation specialists were at work drying out St. Paul’s facilities “within moments,” as Father Courtney put it, and the rector credits CIC with having students quickly back on campus.

“Thanks be to God for an insurance company that has a sense of values and understands its mission,” he said.

The companies comprised by CIC were formed, and continue to operate, to serve The Episcopal Church. CIC representatives collect insurance premiums only from Episcopal institutions, and we invest and use those premiums solely to protect the interests of those institutions. Unlike the clients of the typical property and casualty insurer, congregations aren’t deep-pocketed businesses. That’s why CIC may even allow a policyholder to take a phased approach to premium increases. We always keep in mind the importance of balancing CIC’s financial sustainability, to protect the interests of all insureds.

We at CIC also know that many Episcopal institutions are staffed by volunteers who don’t have a background in commercial insurance but who want the best coverage. That’s why CIC representatives take the time to educate clients on things such as hurricane deductibles—before the storms hit.

“I always felt we could—and we did—sit down with the CIC experts,” Father Courtney said.

He added, “Accessibility is a wonderful feature.”

Contact the CIC Field Representative for your region to learn more.

The Value of CIC

Learn how CIC serves as an ally when it comes to protecting the people, property, and finances of the Church. Be sure to view our One-on-One with The Church Insurance Companies webinar, where senior leaders discuss CIC’s business and operations.


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