UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018
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Church Mutual Summary
Church Mutual was founded in 1897 by two Lutheran pastors as a mutual company serving the needs of religious organizations. Originally founded as the Wisconsin Church Mutual Fire Insurance Association in Merrill, Wisconsin, the company grew over more than 100 years to write policies in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia.
Church Mutual writes coverage for places of worship, religious schools and colleges, camps, religious offices, senior living communities, and more. As a mutual company, Church Mutual’s policyholders are also the owners of the company, which is the largest provider of insurance to religious organizations and associations in the nation. Church Mutual insures over 80,000 houses of worship.
Although the company was founded by Lutheran pastors, Church Mutual is not, as a company, associated with any particular denomination today.
Policies are sold through agents and brokers across the nation, although quoting can be started on the website.
Awards & Recognition:
- 2016 Ward’s 50 Top Performing Property and Casualty Insurers
- BenchmarkPortal Top 10 National Customer Service Center
- 2016 Wisconsin 75 by Deloitte US
- Futuremakers Parter by wisconsin Technical College System
Church Mutual Products
Church Mutual writes commercial insurance policies to cover a wide range of religious organizations. They do not write any sort of personal insurance.
Policies include all of the basics of commercial coverage, as well as specialty coverage designed to meet the specific needs of houses of worship, religious associations, and other related businesses and associations including:
- Business Property
- General liability
- Sexual molestation/misconduct liability
- Professional liability
- Employment practices liability
- Employee benefits liability
- Workers’ compensation
- Auto and umbrella liability
Church Mutual is one of the few property and liability insurance companies that have embraced IoT (Internet of Things)-based solutions that require specialized technology skills and knowledge.
Church Mutual has sensors that remotely monitor building temperatures and the presence of water. It has drones that help safely view structures, create maps, and gather data to better help assess risk. It leverages big data to help the company better understand its customers and risks so that it can differentiate itself in the market.
Products are marketed by captive agents and invited agencies who are trained in providing the specialized coverages required by denominational organizations.
Commercial Package Policies
Places of worship are a major part of Church Mutual’s business, and they write comprehensive commercial insurance to cover their needs.
These policies are also available for:
- Schools and Colleges
- Denominational Offices
- Camps and Conference Centers
- Senior Living Facilities
Church Mutual’s Multi-Peril policy contains comprehensive coverage including:
- Property coverage
- General liability
- Professional liability
- Inland Marine
- Hired and Non-owned auto liability
Church Mutual writes commercial auto insurance policies to cover vehicles used in the course of business by any of their customers. These policies include all of the basic coverage in addition to specialized options specific to the industry.
Completing the requirements for any business, Church Mutual also provides Workers’ Compensation. This coverage provides medical and other benefits for work-related accidents and injuries.
Cyber Crime Protection
Church Mutual writes two levels of cyber-crime protection coverage.
The Core Cyber program provides:
- Data risk liability
- Data breach response
- Identity protection for full-time employees
- Risk management services
The SB Core Protector is an upgraded, more comprehensive plan that adds Business Identity Protection among other enhanced features.
Church Mutual writes international travel insurance that covers employees and volunteers traveling on ministry work for religious organizations.
- Accident and Sickness coverage
- Foreign Commercial General Liability
- 24/7 Travel Assistance
Since Church Mutual doesn’t write personal insurance, we unable to offer price comparisons on the common products we normally quote.
The company writes very specific commercial products, also making it difficult to compare to other companies, and prices are likely to differ from customer to customer. Thanks to Church Mutual’s very specific niche market, rates may not factor much into purchasing decisions; that said, they have obviously risen to be a leading provider in the market and likely offer competitive rates to have done so.
Church Mutual offers an initial online quoting form, but this will refer the potential customer to an agent who can complete the quote. This is common for commercial insurance since it involves more information and detail, as well as different underwriting needs, which require a more involved application process.
Church Mutual offers multiple options for filing a claim, and outlines them more clearly than most commercial insurance companies.
Claims can be filed the following ways:
- (800) 554-2642 – 7am – 5:45pm CST Monday – Friday
- (715) 539-4651 – 24/7 fax line
- Mail directly to: Church Mutual Insurance Company
P.O. Box 342
Merrill, WI 54452-0342
- Email directly to: email@example.com
Claim forms can be downloaded online for easy access, printed, and then returned to the company when completed.
Church Mutual states that they handle claims with a specific approach, promising to seek facts that favor the insured as carefully as facts that favor the company, and to give the insured the benefit of the doubt.
Adjusters investigate claims thoroughly and then determine benefits and a settlement. As there are many types of possible claims in commercial policies, the length of time required to complete this process can vary greatly from claim to claim.
Church Mutual is recently Better Business Bureau accredited, the website give the company an A+ rating with only four complaints recorded in the past three years, one of which was closed in the last 12 months.
The lack of complaints is certainly a good sign, but it’s also not unusual for a company that specializes in commercial insurance. Businesses who have a problem with an insurance agency tend to use other avenues to handle complaints rather than the BBB or other online review services.
That said, there are a few reviews of Church Mutual on other internet sites, some of them negative. Most negative reviews pertain to claims problems. There are several reviews from churches that felt that they had been treated unfairly in the claims process.
The reviews are not numerous but they do seem to repeat similar complaints about damages being undervalued and not paid out at an appropriate rate.
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Church Mutual writes very specific policy types to provide coverage for their niche market, which includes churches, offices of religious associations, and other related businesses. As the largest such provider in the nation, they are likely to be on the list for any business in that market.
Their policies are designed specifically for this market niche, they are financial stable, and they have been in business for over 100 years, all of which help in recommending the company. There are some questions in terms of claims handling based on the reviews of the company, but they do not appear in large numbers and the BBB rating is good. As a result, Church Mutual is well worth considering for anyone who fits this particular market.
For a list of companies that we recommend, visit our Best Insurance Companies page.