Q: Can a member of a church be sued for an accident or injury that occurs on church property
Our church is trying to determine what kinds of incorporation and insurance we need
Yes. There are any number of situations where individuals and the church might have liability for an injury that occurs on church property. Cases of sexual assault are a classic example. Some churches were found labile for some sex assault cases where the churches knowingly placed predators in positions of power. Yet, other times cases were thrown out of court where sexual assaults occurred and the church had no knowledge of any bad behavior of the assailant, nor control of the assailant's activities. In both of those situations however the assailant would have been liable for injuries they caused.
The church should work with a commercial insurer that insures other religious organizations because they will know the best type of coverage for the church. I also recommend that anyone buying insurance get quotes from several companies because rates will vary greatly among different insurers.
Individuals usually have coverage for injuries they cause if the individuals carry auto insurance, homeowner's/renter's insurance, and umbrella coverage. Umbrella coverage is typically very inexpensive.
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