6 Tips to Mitigate Cold Weather Problems

6 Tips to Mitigate Cold Weather Problems

Legacy Series

The Weather Channel says this winter could be colder than normal…and with frigid temperatures as they are, I find that easy to believe.

Freezing Pipes is both one of the most intrusive negative consequences of cold weather AND one of the most preventable. “Intrusive” not only because the average financial cost exceeds $6,000, but it can also prevent important church activities.  Not just regular services, but what about ministries that have a food pantry or offer other critical ministries?

At a minimum, have you prepared for the upcoming cold weather by doing the following (Tips below from a 2014 Brotherhood Mutual report…costs may have increased since then)?

  1. Insulated pipes (approximately $1/ft.)
  2. During hard freeze’s run water the thickness of a pencil lead (using hot and cold water) (water cost = less than $.20 per faucet per day)
  3. Prop open interior doors and cabinets (Free)
  4. Install Water Alarms (Alarm calls your phone when a leak is detected – about $100)
  5. Insulate Attic (R-30 fiberglass insulation = about $1.50/ sq. ft.)
  6. Clear Snow From the Roof (Roof rake = about $40)

Contact us today if you have questions or you are looking for additional insurance coverage.  We specialize in insurance for churches, camps, schools and ministries!

Three Church Fraud Truths

Three Church Fraud Truths

Legacy Series

legacy-seth

1. Truth #1: Church Fraud is Prevalent.

One third of all congregations will fall victim to fraud – If a third of all churches are victims of fraud, what is the chance that this is happening right now at your church? Because…most frauds go on for 18 months before getting caught.

2. Truth #2: Church Fraud is also Costly

According to statistics by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, religious and charitable organizations experienced a median loss of $80,000.
But what about other potential issues fraud (or embezzlement) can induce?
– IRS Issues
– Damaged Reputation
– Confrontation

3. Truth #3: Church Fraud is often committed by whom you least suspect

According to statistics by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, 95 percent of all fraud cases reviewed, the perpetrator was a first-time offender with no prior criminal conviction.
And, sadly, in most cases the offender is one of the most trusted people in the church who’s pilfering from the collection plate, or diverting funds from the church budget or investment accounts.

There is Good News:

1. Fraud CAN be prevented.

The number one deterrent of fraud is the fear of getting caught – Create policies, procedures and controls so any would be thief will think twice about stealing God supplied church resources. Talk about the church’s commitment to safeguard resources and put potential thieves on notice that your church is watching.

2. I can help provide appropriate policies and procedures.

3. Most insurance policies do provide coverage but with stipulations and limitations you need to know. Please contact me so that we can discuss this.

Spock, the Church and Earthquakes

Spock, the Church and Earthquakes

Legacy Series

Would Spock buy insurance?

My manager, Paul Glidewell, has recently been theorizing as to whether or not Spock (yes, that Spock) would purchase earthquake insurance.

Paul was focusing on homeowners.  However, where would the money come from to repair your church building if your Church suffered Earthquake damage?  Or a flooding?  Awhile back I addressed this in the following video:

I suspect Spock would want to contact me directly, and you can too!  Please contact us for information on Earthquake or Flooding insurance for your ministry.

And if you would like to receive the conclusion and answer as to whether or not Spock would purchase Earthquake insurance please sign up here.

Seth Lodine

slodine@giig.com
Tel:  (406) 284-7070
www.myministryinsurance.com

Speaking of Taxes and Ministries…

Speaking of Taxes and Ministries…

Legacy Series

snoopy-irs-cartoon

I share this Peanuts joke because I have some valuable information that I’m concerned will come across as dreary…and if anyone can bring levity to taxes…it’s Snoopy.

Just a reminder to the ministries with whom we work:
1.       Some ministries, unwittingly, are out of compliance with IRS payroll tax code (at the bottom of this e-mail are some helpful links).

2.       Brotherhood Mutual offers a payroll service that is designed exclusively for ministries.  As always, if you have questions or concerns please contact me at (406) 258-0029 or my associate Christopher Van Note at (406) 284-7077

Thanks, and as promised above, here are some helpful links:
* A 2014 Forbes article (forbes.com/sites/robertwood/2014/08/14/shocking-report-says-nonprofits-owe-875-million-in-taxes-to-irs/#48269ab83806  that reminds ministries of the importance of ensuring your ministry is in compliance (infractions could even apply to Officers and Directors of the ministry).
* Information on “Ministry Works”, the Payroll Service through Brotherhood Mutual – myministryinsurance.com/church-insurance-resources/ministryworks-payroll-services/

BTW –  Your ministry does not have to be insured by Brotherhood Mutual to utilize this Payroll Service.

Should you increase your deductible?

Should you increase your deductible?

Uncategorized

The answer is YES. But…is it worth the savings?

Read the 3 reasons why you should…AND the ‘Secret Formula’ for deductible decisions.

Reason #1:

It will reduce your premium. The amount you will save varies, but often the savings will exceed 10% of the property premium.

Reason #2:

It may stabilize your premium. Often it becomes necessary for an insurance company to take a premium increase due to claims. If a ministry maintains a cash reserve for small claims, rather than submit them to the insurance company, that additional profitability to the insurance carrier may be reflected in premium down the road.

Reason #3:

It reinforces the primary purpose of insurance…which is, to provide for insured’s in the event of catastrophic events. The more people utilize insurance, the more costly it becomes for everyone. By selecting higher deductibles and only submitting claims that are otherwise financially affordable…everyone wins.

‘Secret Formula’ for deductible decisions.

There is a simple deductible rule of thumb for evaluating whether to increase deductible (for any type of insurance):

1 – Calculate the savings

2 – How many years do you estimate you’ll go without a loss?

3 – Multiply the savings times the number of years. Does that amount exceed the difference between the deductibles? If yes…then the decision is simple. If ‘no’, that doesn’t necessarily mean do not increase it because there are other reasons (like #2 and #3 above)…but it is worthy of consideration.

Our recommendation

At GIIG we believe that wise budgeting consists of a ministry establishing an emergency fund and increasing the deductible as high as they can so that they are paying themselves to ‘self-insure’ rather than those dollars go to an insurance carrier. This is one of the foundational tenets taught by budgeting guru Dave Ramsey.

Are you qualified to explain “medical payments” to the other leaders in your ministry?

Uncategorized

Question #1:

Situation: You, as a paid leader of your ministry, are working late at the church and need to go downstairs; unfortunately, you trip on the bottom step and break your ankle. One emergency room visit later you are the proud owner of a walking cast and a bill for $3,995. Unfortunately, you have no health insurance, but you recall that your ministry insurance policy provides coverage titled, “Medical Payments.” You therefore submit the bill for $3,995.

Question: Will this be covered and reimbursed by the company?

Multiple Choice

A.Yes, only after the deductible is subtracted out of the total.

B. Yes, the entire $3,995 will be paid.

C. No, there is zero coverage…but it might be covered as a worker’s compensation claim

Answer

If you answered ‘A’ or ‘B’…you are not alone, that is a popular answer. Unfortunately, the correct answer is ‘C’. As you are a paid leader, and not a guest, there is no coverage.

Question #2

True or False: As a youth group activity one night, the kids played indoor soccer. Unfortunately, one of the kids stepped on the ball and broke their ankle. Total bill? You guessed it, $3,995 True or False…this will be covered under “Medical Payments”.

Answer:

True https://trustp..nnance/!
IF “Athletic Medical Payments” is included on your policy.

Question #3

True or False: “Medical Payments”, Health Insurance and Worker’s Compensation are essentially the same.

Answer:

FALSE!

But you are not alone if you find the difference between the three confusing.

Local Pastor Makes Good!

Uncategorized

Congratulations to Pastor Bob Johnson of Great Falls Christian Center who achieved a long held goal and dream!

Read the article from the Missoulian.com

Can you be innocent of Sexual Misconduct…but still GUILTY???

Earlier this year, a jury convicted a church official in Philadelphia on charges of child endangerment – this case is historic because it marks the first time a church leader not personally involved in abuse has been criminally charged for endangering the welfare of a child by not putting a stop to it.

While acquitted on two other charges, the church official faces up to seven years in prison for failing to do enough to stop a predatory priest from having access to children. It is critically important your ministry is pro-actively doing all it can to prevent abuse & false allegations!.

And remember,

You have three resources readily available to you for information on what is expected of your ministry to keep everyone safe.

1.  E-mail our customer service department

2.  Online forms, policy changes, online payment, online quote and report a claim

3.  www.brotherhoodmutual.com

4.  www.guideone.com

Have you seen this sign?

2012-09-legacy-signOne of our agents observed his parking lot ‘Warning Sign’ for icy sidewalks, which prompted this question:

SHOULD organizations hang warning signs? (like skateboarding, etc.)

We have three answers to that question:

1. Have you asked your attorney??? The best advice we may ever give to the ministries we work with is to invest in a relationship with a qualified attorney. Situations vary and court interpretations can be inconsistent. EVERY ministry should meet with their attorney on a regular basis to review situations like, “should we put up a sign?”

2. Ironically, there can be ‘dangers’ in placing signs or even utilizing waivers. This quote from wisegeek.com is an interesting one:

“Some courts don’t view waiver of liability provisions favorably because these clauses have the potential to allow a negligent party to avoid responsibility for negligent or reckless behavior. In other words, a waiver attempts to make the waiving party solely responsible for his or her injuries — even if those injuries were caused by the non-waiving party. Given this issue, some courts do not enforce waivers at all while other courts enforce with great caution.” – wiseGEEK.com

3. There are certain exposures that a business or church adopts that are inherently risky and should be managed in a way to mitigate negligence. Regardless of trying to shift the risk to another party, however, the property owner still must fulfill a reasonable expectation of care and responsibility. In other words, they cannot shift all risk to a third party regardless of their involvement.

Planning for Christmas

Uncategorized

In this Issue…

  • 3 Simple Ways to Have More Money in Your 2013 Budget
  • Church Holiday Decoration Hazard; Avoid Paying for an Easily Avoidable Accident
  • Dave Ramsey’s Christmas Budget – a MUST for Every Budget Conscious Leader.

Reminder: If any board member or other ministry leader has not signed up for the Legacy Series, sign up in the left column of this page.

Have More Money for the holidays by using your insurance renewal as an opportunity to reduce ministry costs.

It is our goal to provide ministries with the tools to recognize the opportunities to save money when their insurance renews. But for most organizations, the insurance renewal is an agenda item that no one really wants to discuss… yet recognizes the importance. We have simplified the process for you. You will be able to oversee the renewal process with confidence.

We are providing a document containing tips that will help your board meeting run smoother as you discuss ways to save money at renewal insurance time.

Three Tips regarding your Ministry’s renewal

Church Holiday Decoration Hazards.

Most, if not all ministries ensure that their building reflects the celebratory season of the birth of Jesus Christ…and in our opinion – they should! However, if proper precautions are not made, Christmas memories may not be the ones intended to be made!

Learn more about the Hazards of Holiday decorations.

Dave Ramsey’s Christmas Budget

Provide gifts for your family without expanding your budget waistline. Our two resident Dave Ramsey Endorsed Local Providers (see links for their web-sites below) provided this Christmas budget gift that will help the financial stress too commonly associated with Christmas.

Print out a Dave Ramsey Christmas Budget.

Surviving the Unthinkable:  A Pastor’s Story of Strength

Uncategorized

Russ Smith, Lead Pastor of Midtown Church in Missoula, MT., has lived every pastor’s nightmare.

On the evening of Fourth of July, 2009, the small congregation did as they had done for previous patriotic celebrations; they climbed to the flat roof of the church to better view the city fireworks display. The venue was safe. It is not very high off the ground, and has a half wall around the perimeter. Waiting for the show to begin, everyone was finding a comfortable place to sit. The children did what children do:  running and chasing.

And then the unthinkable happened. An eight year old girl placed her two hands in the precise spots, at the precise time, with dozens of other factors falling into place, and in a million-to-one chance of an accident….electricity surged through the child. The investigations are conclusive:  the accident could not have been avoided. But the grieving continues.

What happens when a shepherd can’t protect his sheep?

In an exclusive interview, Pastor Smith talked with us about the valley through which he has walked. He spoke of the guilt, the emotional devastation, the cloud of inadequacy. His is a story of survival.

Does a “Seth” attend your church?

From Sidney to Spokane – from Cody to Cut Bank – from Pocatello to Fort Peck:  Seth Lodine visits hundreds of churches, camps and Christian Schools.

For more than five years Seth has dedicated his profession to assisting ministries with their insurance/budgeting needs. His goal is for ministries to have as many dollars as possible to put back into their ministry without having uncovered exposures that could financially bankrupt them.

And that is what the Legacy Series is about. Taking what we have learned and giving that information to the hundreds of ministries we insure so that they can best.  Protect, Strengthen and Build their ministry.

Allow us to be your liaison, both between you and the insurance company and with other ministries across the Northwest. Through this connection, you can learn from one another and achieve the one goal we all share: spreading the Word of God.

Curb Appeal?

Does an insurance company look for the same strengths as a Sunday guest might?

As an insurance agent, when Seth visits a church for the first time, he looks at curb appeal. Does it look well maintained?

When the maintenance committee is determining what can be done to “spruce up the church” you not only might be helping your insurance rates, you may also be attracting a new guest.

For Board Members

It rocked the sports world. His rise to the top was legend levitra cost. He held the record for the most victories by an NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) football coach with 409 and was the only FBS coach to reach 400 victories. He coached five undefeated teams that won major bowl games and, in 2007, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach.

But in the span of 12 weeks, Joe Paterno, Penn State head coach, transformed from beloved Penn State icon to Rorschach test on child abuse to ailing victim.

Don’t let this happen to you.

Sexual misconduct can occur anywhere. But in recent year, churches and related ministries have become targets of lawsuits alleging some type of sexual impropriety by a counselor.

Ordering background checks is the most vital action a church can do to reduce the likelihood of negligence. Additionally, it often reduces insurance rates.

While background checks are not mandated by every church insurance company, they are typically required for increased limits or discounts. Who should get a background check? Check our website for a list and instructions on ordering them.