This policy will help protect the church and the people who drive church vehicles. If a driver of a church vehicle is found to have been in violation of the terms of this policy, the insurance policy may be cancelled. Severe violations may result in disciplinary action against the driver.
How does the vehicle get insured?
All vehicles owned by the church MUST be covered by a comprehensive insurance policy. In the USA and Canada this is handled by the church. In all other countries it is the responsibility of the staff member assigned a vehicle to provide International Services with appropriate information regarding coverage bought for the vehicle. If a vehicle is to be used in multiple countries the staff member has to make sure that the insurance policy provides coverage in each country.
Staff in the Multi-Nation fields needs to provide a copy of the vehicle insurance and registration to International Services – attention Dawn Pagat - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration, taxes and maintenance
The staff member assigned a church vehicle is to make sure that the registration of the vehicle is kept current; required inspections take place; any annual taxes are paid on time and the vehicle is well maintained.
Drivers of Church Owned and Leased Vehicles
- The person assigned a church vehicle will determine who may drive the church owned and/or leased vehicle based on factors established by the church in this policy.
- Anyone who will be driving a church vehicle must possess a valid driver’s license and be at least 18 years old.
In countries where a driver’s license can be obtained at age 16, an exception can be made, for 16 or 17 year old drivers who are children of World Church ministers but ONLY when there is no other vehicle to drive except for the church owned vehicle. Monitoring this usage is the responsibility of the church employed assigned driver.
Authorized drivers in the Multi-Nation fields need to provide a copy of a valid driver’s license for each person authorized to drive the vehicle to International Services – attention Dawn Pagat – email@example.com
Authorized drivers in the USA and Canada need to provide their driver’s license number and birthday by e-mail Risk Management.
- In the USA all regular (family and other) drivers will complete and submit the Motor Vehicle Record Check Release Form to Human Resources. This can be obtained from Human Resources. Human Resource Ministries will then obtain an annual Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) for each regular driver. Drivers of school buses and other vehicles that are designed to transport more than 15 persons may need to have specialized licenses to drive the vehicle. It is the responsibility of the driver to verify what license is needed.
- The church is NOT acquiring (via purchasing, renting, or donation) 15-passenger vans. Jurisdictions that still own a 15-passenger van should immediately take steps to replace them with a different vehicle.
- A driver must be 21 years or older to transport youth to and/or from activities. Any person transporting youth will follow the church’s Registered Youth Worker guidelines in countries where we have a policy for this registration. Please verify whether your state or country has additional requirements.
- In the USA and Canada staff is prohibited from using motorcycles, mopeds and similar two wheeled self-propelled vehicles as a means of transportation at any time on church business.
- Drivers convicted of certain vehicle operating violations within the previous five years are not authorized to drive church owned vehicles. This list of violations may be amended retroactively:
- any alcohol or drug-related driving offense
- refusing a chemical test
- fleeing or eluding police
- driving while license was suspended, revoked or expired
- careless or imprudent driving resulting in a fatality
- leaving the scene of an accident
- Other violations which may disqualify drivers from operating church vehicles include:
- More than two moving violations (such as speeding) in the last three years with one at-fault accident
- More than three moving violations in the last three years with no at-fault accidents
- More than two at fault accidents in the last three years with no moving violations
Seat Belts, Mobile, Cell Phone, Electronic Devices, Etc.
Drivers of church owned and/or leased vehicles are required to follow all applicable laws concerning operation of motor vehicles in the country or state/province in which the vehicle is being operated. Local laws may be more restrictive than church policy.
All drivers and passengers must wear seat belts. Buses without seat belts are the only exception to this coverage.
The policy of the church is that if a cell phone must be used while driving, the driver should either exit the road and park the vehicle or utilize a “hands free” type of unit. Extreme caution should be used when utilizing a hands free phone to ensure that the driver does not become distracted.
You cannot use a cell phone, even in “hands-free” mode, if you have a Driver’s license for a vehicle that transports more than 15 persons. (In the USA a CDL)
Before text messaging, emailing, or using an electronic communication device, the driver must exit the road and park the car. (If drivers of church owned vehicles are involved in an accident while using any of these devices, the church’s insurance company may cancel coverage for ALL insured vehicles.)
Other emerging laws categorically referred to as distracted driving laws cover not only cell phones but also PDA use, eating, applying make-up, etc.
Personal Vehicle Use
There are situations where church members and staff may use their personal vehicles or they may allow other church members to use their personal vehicles for church related business. In these situations, the vehicle owner’s insurance will be responsible for both liability and property damage. Also:
- If a vehicle is borrowed for church purposes; the vehicle owners insurance will be responsible and all claims should be submitted to the owner’s carrier, regardless of who is driving. Auto insurance coverage follows the vehicle.
- The church will not be responsible for deductibles incurred under the vehicle owner’s insurance policy.
Rental Vehicles & Trailers
On the occasion when a vehicle or trailer needs to be rented, the following must be understood:
IN USA AND CANADA
- List Community of Christ as the “renter” of the vehicle. The church’s insurance policy will NOT cover rental vehicles for either liability or physical damage unless it is rented in the name of the church. If the rental agency will not allow this, Community of Christ MUST be listed as the company name on the rental form.
- Do not volunteer to purchase the insurance coverage offered by rental agencies in the United States or Canada. The church has liability coverage for hired autos and will accept responsibility for physical damage. Please e-mail or call (816) 833-1000 ext. 3057 to request a certificate of insurance and a letter of responsibility.
IN OTHER COUNTRIES
- You MUST purchase comprehensive insurance from the rental company. (do not rely on the coverage your credit card provides)
- If possible contact the rental agency in advance to arrange this insurance and make sure you understand what is being covered by the insurance that is being purchased.
- Confirm that the policy you are buying will protect you if you enter a different country from the country you are renting in. Also note that you may need an international driver’s license when traveling in another country.
IN ALL COUNTRIES
- WHENEVER RENTING A VEHICLE you must check the vehicle for damage before leaving the lot and after you return to the rental agency. If there is damage to the vehicle before leaving the lot, make sure the agent notes the damage on the rental agreement. Do not sign the agreement if you have not checked for damages and made the notation on the agreement.
- If a vehicle is damaged during the rental period, the renter should immediately take photos of the damage.
In the USA send those photos along with the notification of the accident to Risk Management Services, and then notify the Rental Company.
Buses should be used for local use at relatively low speeds on residential streets. Routine use on high-speed highways should be avoided.
Use of a USA licensed car in Mexico
- Drivers of church owned vehicles must purchase a Mexican auto liability policy if they are driving their U.S. licensed vehicle in Mexico.
- Mexican auto liability insurance may be purchased to cover short or long-term trips into Mexico.
- Ministers in need of such coverage should consult with Field Leaders familiar with the terms, costs and availability of such policies. As an alternative, church ministers who need to travel only occasionally into Mexico may avoid the expense of Mexican auto liability insurance by making arrangements to be picked up by a driver with Mexican liability insurance before crossing the border.
- U.S. drivers in Mexico are subject to the Mexican auto laws.
- If a Mexican automobile liability policy is NOT purchased and a vehicle accident occurs in Mexico, a U.S. citizen driver might find himself/herself in a Mexican jail until a considerable amount of bail money is paid.
Use of a USA licensed car in Canada or Canada license car in the USA
- Canada requires a valid U.S. driver’s license for a U.S. citizen to drive in Canada. The church’s insurance is valid in Canada for U.S. licensed drivers and vehicles.
- In Canada, the church provides Canadian liability insurance for church-owned vehicles licensed in Canada. Church vehicles licensed in Canada may travel in the United States under the Canadian liability insurance. A Canadian driver’s license is required for Canadian citizens driving in the United States.
- In the USA trailers are covered under our auto liability policy. All trailers must be securely tongue locked when not in use. A 9-12 passenger van can be utilized to tow a trailer if the van is equipped with the proper tow package to fit the size and weight to be towed.
- In all other countries staff must make sure their policy covers trailers.
Keep in mind that traffic laws often change across state or national borders. All drivers are responsible for understanding and following all applicable driving laws when they are driving a church-owned vehicle or when driving a privately-owned vehicle for church purposes.