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Safeguarding the Sanctuary: Crucial Steps to Prevent Church Sexual Abuse Claims


From an insurance standpoint, the number one risk to churches this year may also be the elephant in the room. We’re talking about church sexual abuse claims. Let’s discuss why and how your church can be better prepared now and in the future.

One area of insurance we focus specifically on is insuring Churches. From small community congregations to large multi-location churches, we’ve built insurance programs for each level of your church.

Reviver Statutes Impact on Church Insurance

The number one underwriting trend on an insurance company’s radar in 2023 when it comes to insuring churches revolves around sexual abuse claims. The reason for this is many states, including Kentucky, where we are located, have enacted reviver statutes allowing adult survivors of childhood abuse to bring forward civil claims even after the statute of limitations has passed.

This opens up a more significant category of sexual abuse claims. Underwriters and companies will be very intentional in how they word the policies they offer to you, adjusting certain limitations appropriately. You need to keep a close eye on whether your church is seeking quotes this year or when going over your renewal policy.

Not At My Church!

Why did I say earlier this may be the elephant in the room? It’s because most either think if they don’t bring it up, then it’ll never happen or share the thought, “Oh, that would never happen in our church! Not with our people!” Don’t fall into that trap. Unfortunately, no house of worship is immune to potential church sexual abuse claims.

Be Proactive When It Comes to Preventing Church Sexual Abuse

Now that we know what it is let’s go over ways your church can be proactive in managing this risk.

  • What controls and processes does your church currently have to prevent issues like this from happening? Do you know them? Does your staff understand them? How about your volunteers?
  • Is this something your risk or security, or leadership team oversees?
    • Are there windows on doors in the nursery and other areas where youth may be present?
    • Do you require all adults who may work with youth to complete proper training and background checks?
    • Do you check references and have an official application?
      • Maybe you do this for church employees, but are you completing this for volunteers?
  • Do you allow members who are new to your church to be involved in nursery or youth work immediately, or do you have an unofficial probationary period? Essentially a 3, 6, or even 12-month period before allowing members/volunteers to work with the youth to enable your church to associate with them better.
  • Do you require more than one adult to be present in rooms, on trips, etc.?
    • What about overnight stays when you go to conferences, events, mission trips, etc.?
  • Are there cameras inside and outside your buildings so you know who is coming and going?

There are a lot of questions your church needs to make sure they’re handling correctly here. The cost to implement proper safety controls is very, very low, and every church should prioritize this.

Next Steps

If you have more questions about your church insurance program, call us at 606-679-6311 or email me at Check out our other for your church insurance program.

We look forward to working with you.