Community of Christ

Building and Property Claims

Risk - Building and Property Claims

Immediately

Notify:

  • Congregation Financial Officer
  • Mission Center Financial Officer
  • Risk Management Services (see Connect for contact information)

Minimize damage by taking the following steps:

  • Protect the building by boarding up or covering up, as much as possible, the damaged part and/or removing water, wet carpet and insulation. Mold can begin to form very quickly and its removal is not covered by insurance. Try to isolate the undamaged part of the structure to minimize loss. If needed, hire an outside contractor to accomplish this task. Call a reputable emergency mitigation company such as Service Master, Servpro, or Belfor.
  • Turn off utilities if they could cause additional loss.
  • If the loss occurs in winter and the building is open to the elements, turn off water to prevent pipes from freezing, and drain boilers, commodes, water coolers, and other fixtures.
  • Take all appropriate measures to ensure that the facility and surrounding areas are safe for anyone who might be on the property. For example: Post signs warning of dangerous buildings. Erect barricades so nobody will enter an unsafe area. If a chimney or part of a structure is left standing after a loss, pull down these structures to ensure that the structures will not fall, injuring someone or other person’s property.
  • Remove movable property from location that might be damaged by elements, loss of heat/electricity, or possible theft. Examples: food in freezer (if appropriate), organ, computers, copiers, or sound system. A storage facility may be rented for this property.
  • If property contents not owned by the church are located in or on church property, notify the owners that there has been a loss, and ask them to take appropriate steps to protect their property. Risk Management Services will work directly with the owners concerning replacing or repairing their property.
  • Take pictures and provide supporting documentation.
  • If applicable, obtain a police report and forward to Risk Management Services.
  • Make note of preventive steps to be considered later.
  • Take an inventory of contents that have been damaged or destroyed.

Seek out city, county, state, and national authorities concerning the property and how it is to be protected or disposed of. Begin the dialogue with these agencies immediately to ensure a good working relationship throughout the possible rebuilding or demolition of the building/property.

Pre-Contract

  • Convene the building committee to address or oversee the rebuilding or demolition of the structure. It may be advisable to appoint new committee members with building or construction backgrounds.
  • Assist Risk Management Services in assessing damage. Work with the adjuster if one is assigned.
  • Usually an adjuster will be called in for claims that are rather complex and/or over $10,000.
  • The congregational financial officer is responsible for the collection of invoices and charges associated with the repair/demolition. These invoices should include but not be limited to rent for storage facilities, rent for a temporary meeting facility, all repair costs, all demolition costs, disposal costs, license charges, or engineering/architectural charges. Payment for charges will only be made with a submitted invoice. (Payment/reimbursement will be less the $750.00 deductible.)
  • Evaluate the program goals and objectives of the congregation to ascertain that the plan is in harmony with the action for the demolition or rebuilding of the property.
  • Keep the mission center president and financial officer, and Risk Management Services apprised of actions and desires of the committee and congregation. Provide updates concerning status.

Bids and Contract Preparation

  • Before retaining an engineer, architect, or contractor, discuss options with Risk Management Services. (Crawford Contractor Connections may be the best approach.)
  • Engineers, architects, and contractors should research any pertinent change in building codes, life safety codes, and kitchen/health codes. The church will abide by all city, county, state, and national codes.
  • The church cannot serve as its own general contractor.
  • Bid specifications should be submitted to potential construction companies. These companies should be of sound financial strength, be insured, and provide references. The selected company will be asked to sign a contract prepared by the Legal Services for the work that is to be performed.
  • Each bidding company will provide the church with all the information needed to complete the contract, including but not limited to the following: A valid certificate of insurance evidencing the insurance coverage of the contractor. The church will be named an additional insured on the certificate of insurance. The construction company will provide the church with two bonds: 1) a performance bond, and 2) a labor and material bond in the amount of the contract (if in excess of $100,000).
  • The insurance coverage will only pay to repair or replace with like kind and quality of building and contents, unless an upgrade is required by code, statute, or law. Requested upgrades to the building or contents, beyond what was damaged, will be paid by the jurisdiction.
  • Legal Services will insure that the construction company has provided the following: contractor’s bid, W-9, signed contract, bond (if required), and certificate of insurance. Send copies to Risk Management or fax (816) 521-3035.
  • Advanced funds may be made available to address immediate repairs and charges. A schedule for submitting invoices will be spelled out in the contract.

During Construction

  • After signing the contract for reconstruction, the building committee representative should follow the progress of the work by being on site as much as possible.
  • The building committee representative will keep the mission center president and financial officer and Risk Management Services apprised of the progress of the work and notify them when the work is completed.
  • A Partial Lien Waiver must be completed and submitted prior to making any partial payments.

Post-Construction

  • Final approval should not be given until all work has been completed to the satisfaction of the jurisdictional leadership as specified by the contract.
  • A Final Lien Waiver must be completed and submitted prior to payment.
  • A deductible payment of $750.00 is due to Risk Management Services before the claim is settled.
  • Invoices for payment will be submitted to Risk Management Services for approval and payment. Payments may be made locally and then reimbursed.

Preventive Steps

  • Perform an annual property inventory listing of the building and contents or make an annual videotape of the building and contents. This listing or videotape should be stored at the congregational financial officer’s residence away from the church or facility.
  • Install alarm systems for burglary, fire, and smoke.
  • Provide more exterior lighting.
  • Provide adequate water drainage away from building.
  • Keep a slow drip of water in winter to prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Keep water pipes warm during winter. If the building is open to the elements, turn off water to prevent pipes from freezing and drain boilers, commodes, water coolers, and other fixtures.
  • Install check valves in all floor drains to prevent sewer backup.
  • Deposit offerings and other funds in the bank as soon as possible—they should NOT be kept at the church.
  • Use mulch instead of rock for the building landscaping.
  • Place air conditioning units on the roof or in cages.
  • Repair cracks in sidewalks.


Do not hesitate to call Risk Management Services (see Connect for contact information)