CCW in church an insurance question.

CCW in church an insurance question.

This is a discussion on CCW in church an insurance question. within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; We've developed a Safety and Security committee at my church and we've already established a few things of that needed updating before I joined. Carrying ...

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    Member Array ShenandoahValley's Avatar
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    CCW in church an insurance question.

    We've developed a Safety and Security committee at my church and we've already established a few things of that needed updating before I joined. Carrying is something a few of us do but we do it on the down low as we try and figure out how to get this through as we know there will be blowback from some. We've consulted with the church's insurance co and this is something that has yet to be tested within the company policies (shooting someone at church) and they've recommended we seek out a purchase of Personal Coverage for this who carry from those who carry. Anyone familiar with these companies as far as how well the coverage is for a reasonable cost? I've heard of all of them but have no inside knowledge on them. I've belonged to the NRA for years but know nothing about this policy of Personal Coverage.


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    Member Array Cypher's Avatar
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    Brotherhood Mutual specializes in insuring churches. They also have a lot of resources for church security teams

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShenandoahValley View Post
    We've developed a Safety and Security committee at my church and we've already established a few things of that needed updating before I joined. Carrying is something a few of us do but we do it on the down low as we try and figure out how to get this through as we know there will be blowback from some. We've consulted with the church's insurance co and this is something that has yet to be tested within the company policies (shooting someone at church) and they've recommended we seek out a purchase of Personal Coverage for this who carry from those who carry. Anyone familiar with these companies as far as how well the coverage is for a reasonable cost? I've heard of all of them but have no inside knowledge on them. I've belonged to the NRA for years but know nothing about this policy of Personal Coverage.


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    Unless otherwise required by Virginia law, I would go with keeping it down low.
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    VIP Member Array Gabill's Avatar
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    I feel unless authorized by the church to carry in official capacity itís all on you. I carry at church, with only a couple knowing. I canít tell you who carryís because as far as I know it has not been brought up. Iím in an older church where we still have ushers and greeters. People are walking around the church during service and Sunday school.
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    Member Array Cypher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    Unless otherwise required by Virginia law, I would go with keeping it down low.
    There are so many gray areas involved in security and specifically church security. If you put your hands on a vagrant who's causing A disruption in your church you can almost count on somebody's going to sue you.

    If one of the security team is injured in the course of his security duties for the church who takes care of his medical bills? What happens if the church's insurance won't cover it because they don't have a specific rider for church security?

    After the new life church shooting every single time Jeanne Assam talked to the cops or the news media the senior pastor of the church and the church's lawyer was standing right behind her and I'm almost positive that every statement she gave was pre-written and vetted by that lawyer

    That's why I'm so strongly suggesting that you get an insurance provider who's experienced with this specific field.

    At the church I attend the security team all wear uniforms. They all have a photo ID displayed on their uniform that says Security Ministry and the uniform says Security Ministry on it. So there's no question that the person that speaking to you is actually acting as an agent of the church.

    All of our security team members has to go to the same background check that you have to go through to get a concealed handgun permit. Although my understanding is if that's Colorado law not church policy. Either way (God forbid) if something goes sideways to church has documentation to prove that that person was background checked.

    All the security team members are required to attend biannual NRA certified firearm safety training and they're required to qualify with the weapon that they carry biannually.The church keeps all the training records. Again, they can prove that this person met the minimum training requirements and consistently qualified to standard with their handgun. The Only exception is the guys that are armed security guards and the guys are cops and we all had to provide a copy of our training records from work.

    We live in a very litigious society and the more ways you can cover yourself the better off you are.
    Last edited by Cypher; September 12th, 2019 at 10:50 AM.

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    At my church, most security members are armed, and many are current and former LEO. They must go through specific and periodic training to CCW in that capacity. All volunteers in the various ministries, (i.e. parking , child care), are discouraged from CCW while performing their volunteer duties. When not volunteering, they may CCW if desired, after attending a mandatory emergency response class. The Security Ministry will prohibit any church member or volunteer from CCW if there is no confidence in that church member or volunteer. No one is allowed to OC at any time.
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    VIP Member Array jmf552's Avatar
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    Here are some resources:
    • Grant Cunningham and Joshua Gideon's book "Praying Safe." There is a whole section on insurance. A couple of things to consider: First, the plans you mentioned do not cover the church for sure, only the individuals possibly. Some of those plans may not cover an individual involved in an official security capacity, even if a volunteer. The book recommends consulting an attorney and an insurance professional.
    • The VCDL has a church security interest group. They haven't been that active lately, but you can get on their mailing list and I know there are a few members who know all there is to know about the topic in VA. Also, you can access a comparison of the plans you listed on the VCDL's website. A caveat is that this comparison is about two years old and some of the facts have changed. But I think it is a good starting point. I would look at the comparison, find a couple of plans you are interested in and then go to those plans' websites or call them to double check everything is still the same.
    • Everyone wants different coverages, at different prices, so there is no one best plan. And each plan has exclusions. I would get a solid answer for any plan you are considering that it would cover you in a church security situation. A wrinkle I think is important is would you be covered if you had to shoot and you accidentally hit an innocent member of the congregation? My research, for my own preferences led me to CCW Safe. As far as I know, they are the only one that has taken an SD case where the defender was charged with murder and taken it all the way through to acquittal. That is the worst worst case and they came through. That is not to say others wouldn't, but they have been tested. Also, I like their business setup for underwriting.
    • I would stay away from NRA Carry Safe. That plan is being litigated in NY and their underwriter, Lockton Affinity, has bailed on them. I think that plan is on shaky ground. You could have a claim and the coverage could have evaporated.
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    I have some comments that I think might be helpful, but in no way am I professing to have the legal knowledge to suggest let alone advise.

    I have CCW Safe for SD insurance. I joined the group after extensively reviewing al the currently available offers. It was to one policy that did not have numerous loopholes in ts terms and conditions that would allow them to deny or delay coverage. The main thing to examine is how the policy treats any SD act that is charged as a crime whether convicted or not. Some policies allow them to postpone coverage so they only reimburse your expenses, and that is only if you are found not guilty. Some, if they do pay, require that you repay their costs if you are found guilty. CCW Safe covers everything (unless you intentionally committed a crime) from start to finish and no repayments or delayed payments. It is important to read the policies not just the marketing info. The marketing stuff makes it sound like you can just never be concerned about the extent of coverage. The policies dispel that feeling of security. You must be able to understand insurance speak.

    Other things to be very concerned about are 1) your state laws about the use of deadly force, 2) the law regulating armed security providers, 3) whether the insurance you purchase will cover you if you are considered an armed security provider under the law. My concern for you is that once you adopt and implement a security plan or agreement you might fall into the armed security category and then would possibly be treated differently by the state and/or an insurer.

    You also might risk being sued solely or with the church by anyone injured or the heirs of anyone killed in an incident where you provided security. I won't attempt to elaborate on how that might come down. Just remember that a creative negligence attorney can fins a way to sue anyone connected .to injury r death of a person.

    Now here is my best legal advice that I feel qualified to give. Hire a damn good lawyer who works in areas of criminality and negligence related to firearms and be sure to ask him whether the church could hold you alibi in any way in the event you injure or kill a person while providing security.

    Please do not assume that you and others are just working out a casual arrangement for you to carry in church. Once you formulate and implement such activity it might change the factors of liability. You may not see what you are doing as providing security, but what you think does not matter to a prosecutor, judge, or jury.

    Be careful out there. Sometimes unarmed people are dangerous to your well being.
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    Be aware that, according to some state laws, an organized "armed security team" may cross the line from individual carry licensing to armed security licensing, an entirely different requirement than a simple carry permit for personal carrying for your own protection.

    And of course the church's insurance recommends personal coverage. It does not want to bear the brunt of any liability when you can invest in cost-sharing of the risks on a personal level.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypher View Post
    There are so many gray areas involved in security and specifically church security. If you put your hands on a vagrant who's causing A disruption in your church you can almost count on somebody's going to sue you.

    If one of the security team is injured in the course of his security duties for the church who takes care of his medical bills? What happens if the church's insurance won't cover it because they don't have a specific rider for church security?

    After the new life church shooting every single time Jeanne Assam talked to the cops or the news media the senior pastor of the church and the church's lawyer was standing right behind her and I'm almost positive that every statement she gave was pre-written and vetted by that lawyer

    That's why I'm so strongly suggesting that you get an insurance provider who's experienced with this specific field.

    At the church I attend the security team all wear uniforms. They all have a photo ID displayed on their uniform that says Security Ministry and the uniform says Security Ministry on it. So there's no question that the person that speaking to you is actually acting as an agent of the church.

    All of our security team members has to go to the same background check that you have to go through to get a concealed handgun permit. Although my understanding is if that's Colorado law not church policy. Either way (God forbid) if something goes sideways to church has documentation to prove that that person was background checked.

    All the security team members are required to attend biannual NRA certified firearm safety training and they're required to qualify with the weapon that they carry biannually.The church keeps all the training records. Again, they can prove that this person met the minimum training requirements and consistently qualified to standard with their handgun. The Only exception is the guys that are armed security guards and the guys are cops and we all had to provide a copy of our training records from work.

    We live in a very litigious society and the more ways you can cover yourself the better off you are.
    "Keeping it low", IMO, doesn't include being a part of any team, committee, whatever. That's just me, tho.

    I am the only licensed carrier in our congregation who is authorized to carry there as required by Ohio law. Our understanding is that I in no way represent or act as an agent of the organization. I am simply a law-abiding member of the congregation who may or may not be armed at any given time. I have no duties, responsibilities or other roles as they may apply to the security of the building or attendees.
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    VIP Member Array OldChap's Avatar
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    Just one slightly prickly point from my chair.

    If you're more worried about what happens in court AFTER a church mass shooting than you are about what happens BEFORE and DURING a church mass shooting, then, IMHO, you are missing something very important.

    That something is simple. Which is more important? The lives of your congregants, or the wealth in your pockets?

    If you spend all your time (and money) worrying about how to preserve your wealth, it says a great deal about where your priorities lie. We should ask ourselves what sacrifice must be made to protect innocent lives. If it is anything less than you being willing to take whatever risk is associated with that, even your own death, you probably should not be doing it. Just my opinions on mindset.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldChap View Post
    Just one slightly prickly point from my chair.

    If you're more worried about what happens in court AFTER a church mass shooting than you are about what happens BEFORE and DURING a church mass shooting, then, IMHO, you are missing something very important.

    That something is simple. Which is more important? The lives of your congregants, or the wealth in your pockets?

    If you spend all your time (and money) worrying about how to preserve your wealth, it says a great deal about where your priorities lie. We should ask ourselves what sacrifice must be made to protect innocent lives. If it is anything less than you being willing to take whatever risk is associated with that, even your own death, you probably should not be doing it. Just my opinions on mindset.

    That sounds really noble, until you spend your kid's entire college fund and lose your home paying off medical or legal bills or until your wife has to apply for welfare because you're dead and your life insurance provider decides engaging in a gun fight voids your policy and refuses to pay.

    If the church is asking me to act as their agent and incur that liability, it's not wrong for me to expect them to carry insurance that covers me. There are liability issues you never even think of, until they happen. If you ever have to remove a female from your sanctuary she will claim that someone touched her inappropriately. That's why members of our security team never approach anyone alone.

    That's one of the reasons I suggest consulting an insurance company that specializes in this area. It's like the Farmer's commercial, they know a thing or two because they've seen a thing or two. When our church decided to set up a security ministry the insurance company they use sat down with the church board and explained some of the issues they'd seen in other churches and how to avoid them.
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    Senior Member Array CreedDryrot's Avatar
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    Does the church have a lawyer? I'd suggest contacting them on this before going further with insurance. Most states have certification requirements for armed security, whether volunteer or not. You've met about it as a group, and maybe you can keep it "low" from the rest of the congregation... but meeting about it as a group is organizing a volunteer armed security force for the church. Failure to meet state certs for it could mean large financial and criminal penalties for the church and participants. Talk to a lawyer.


    And yes, if you ask an insurance company what you need to do something, the answer is always going to be, "More insurance".
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    I would never volunteer to be part of a formal or informal security detail anywhere. NEVER!

    Now, if local laws permit it I would attend service armed per my 2ndA right, and I would act to defend myself thus also defending other congregants. Would I do anything that could be construed to be acting in some official capacity? Nope. Ideally no one would know I was armed. This society is too litigious to put my family's financial future at risk.
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    Realize that the companies that OP listed are NOT insurance companies, they are prepaid legal services. Regular general liability (and umbrella) insurance will not cover a shooting because those policies cover only unintentional acts and a shooting is an intentional act.

    I have CCW Safe and I'm glad I haven't needed their services.

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