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Church Mutual Insurance Company Review

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Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best...

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UPDATED: Nov 30, 2018

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Church Mutual Insurance Company
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Financial Strength



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As the name implies, Church Mutual provides insurance policies specifically designed for places of worship and related religious organizations. Focused on Christian organizations, their products meet the needs of a niche market, from camps to schools.

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

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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:

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
  • Crime
  • Inland Marine
  • Hired and Non-owned auto liability

Commercial Auto

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.

Additional Products

Workers’ Compensation

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.

International Travel

Church Mutual writes international travel insurance that covers employees and volunteers traveling on ministry work for religious organizations.

Coverage includes:

  • Accident and Sickness coverage
  • Foreign Commercial General Liability
  • 24/7 Travel Assistance

Church Mutual Rates

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.

Claims

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
  • Online
  • Email directly to: claims@churchmutual.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.

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Consumer Research and Complaints

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.

Financial Strength

Rating Company Grade Financial Outlook
AM Best A Positive
Fitch N/A N/A
S&P N/A N/A

Bottom Line

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.

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Review Information

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Church Mutual
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About Eric Stauffer

Author: Eric StaufferI am a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. My priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

31 Comments

  1. Our agent has always been helpful and kind.

    Church Mutual provided the best coverage for the best price of several companies we considered.

    My only negative is that when we had a burglary at our church, I did a lot of work sending an estimate of the losses, only to find out we did not meet the deductible.

    It would have been better had the agent reminded me of the deductible BEFORE I went to the trouble of gathering all the information.

    Reply
  2. We have been extremely satisfied, a few months ago we had hail and wind damage.

    The service we got was fast, fair and everyone was easy to work with.

    We won’t be looking anywhere else for a long time.

    Reply
  3. Although we have not had any claims filed, we are pleased with Church Mutual Insurance.

    Reply
  4. We are satisfied with the policy.

    Reply
    • We pay our premiums timely and see a representative about once a year, so I guess everybody is happy.

      Reply
  5. Our Church had a flooding situation in January this year, 2019, we called Church Mutual and got immediate help.

    A crew was at the church within a couple of hours and started working.

    With pictures and emails, we were able to communicate.

    Insurance response was quick and we had floors replaced or restored quickly.

    We were in touch with Church Mutual and representatives, very pleased

    Reply
  6. I assume we have a representative for our church, Clarksburg Church of the Nazarene.

    The one we had for years, I think his name was Ed (something) kept in touch real often and stopped by our place – I guess that’s a thing of the past.

    I have pastored here for almost 20 years.

    Reply
  7. To whom it may concern:

    We had a visit from one of your agents.

    She was very professional and had a lot of great information to share with us on the topic of security in the house of worship.

    We greatly appreciate her taking the time to speak to our congregation and to local pastors.

    We highly recommend their services.

    I’ve had to call customer service in the past and they are very helpful.

    Reply
  8. To whom it may concern:

    Our experience with the staff at Church Mutual regarding our recent claim was very positive and reassuring.

    The claim officer was professional and friendly.

    Our claim was handled fairly and in a timely manner.

    I give Church Mutual an A+ for performance.

    David Schultz, Spiritual Leader
    Center for Spiritual Life
    Hamilton, MT

    Reply
  9. I emailed asking for copies of our policies but told yesterday that she is on vacation and cannot send it until next week.

    I need it now!

    Reply
    • Hi Mona, I’m happy to help with this.

      I’ve shared your immediate need with the appropriate team and they will be in contact with you.

      I’m sorry for the inconvenience.

      Reply
  10. Church Mutual Insurance does not follow up on claims, my property was damaged due to an accident and they hired this insurance company by the GNS Insurance and the adjuster [Redacted] never gave me a call until 3 months later because he forgot about my claim. OMG what kind of people do they have working for insurance companies now a days. As I was talking with [Redacted] regarding my property that was damaged I got the impression that he didn’t want to discuss my loss so I started to ask him about it he started to yell at me over the phone and he even called me names. I didn’t deserve to be treated that way nobody does. So I called his company to complain and I didn’t even get a callback. So I was never given anything for my loss. I also called Church Mutual and all I got from them was I’m sorry there’s nothing we can do.

    Reply
  11. I am a provider of services and its been very difficult to get claims paid. I keep getting the same denial and when I call the group that does their reviews, they don’t even understand so I have to go through getting it reviewed and then it approves and then issue with checks.
    So ultimately we give the best care for policyholders but have to wait long for reimbursement.

    Reply
  12. Church Mutual covers my churches insurance and they are the worst insurance company I have ever worked with. Twice they lied to me about my coverage telling me they would cover my loss but to date they have not honored their Word. My latest claim is a personal workman’s comp claim that I have two emails acknowledging that they are obligated to pay for my initial Injury claim. Yet After seeing three doctors and getting a MRI bill they have yet to honor their Word and Pay my past work injury medical claim, now the medical bills have late fees and now it affecting my once perfect credit report. Church Mutual blames Kaiser and Kaiser blames Church Mutual. Truth is Church Mutual failed to file the proper paperwork and now they have ignored my last calls and two emails. Even my agent now ignores my emails so I’m leaving them after 26 years. I have already started shopping. Do NOT use church Mutual they have lousy claims Follow though if you have a loss, you will regret having them as your insurance company.

    Reply
    • Update they finally paid the MRI bill but not my Physical Therapy sessions.

      I had to copay with my own medical insurance company because they lost my medical Records on A CD that my medical insurance sent them.

      So I paid for my therapy myself and they haven’t reimbursed them. I continue to get the runaround.

      Reply
      • Hi Richard, we kindly respect your comments regarding your claim.

        We will contact you immediately to discuss further.

        Reply
  13. Church Mutual is the worst I have never seen an insurance company Miss run people that have been in the insurance business 20-25 years instead of ensuring their policyholders they’re nitpicking and having estimators do their bidding in the say what they want unbelievable need a great attorney

    Reply
    • Thank you for sharing. If you would like, contact us at CMDigital@churchmutual.com to work directly with us about your concerns.

      Reply
    • You know it’s bad when their own legal counsel doesn’t agree with what they are offering as a settlement. Why do they bother retaining legal counsel when they obviously feel that one of their [redacted] employees is more qualified than an attorney to offer a settlement! How often does a person hear that the attorney for the insurance company feels that the claimant deserves more?!!!

      Reply
      • Michelle, we take your comments and feedback very seriously. Respectfully we will decline to comment publicly on any matters concerning litigation. You are welcome to contact us privately at (800) 554-2642.

        Reply
        • It’s really a shame that all of these people posting their stories all have negative things to say. We all can’t be wrong. We are all just a case number to you. But in fact, we are real people who trusted your company to helps us in a time of need. Employees who are injured at their workplace, through no fault of their own, deserve more than a few PT treatments and then denied further care. Everyone’s body is different. We don’t all heal in the same amount of time. We are real people who have real pain and have suffered far too long without your insurance company offering any further help. We are not numbers and ratings on a general chart. Litigation would not be required as much if insurance companies didn’t always try to save a buck. Happy customers would promote more business. I understand that there are individuals who try to take advantage of the system. It’s sad. They ruin it for all of the honest people in need. Please try and remember that we are real people with real injuries and real pain. We worship in real buildings with damages that need to be fixed. Again, litigation is very serious and I feel it is a last resort. Claimants need to be acknowledged as real people, not a general evaluation. Why would an insurance company retain legal counsel to represent them and then not bother to do what is recommended by their own attorney? Obviously, the attorney is qualified professionally to make such judgments or your company would not hire them. It makes no sense. Please try and remember that behind a claim is a real person in need.

          Reply
    • I have a very negative experience with Church insurance. It seems like they are not taking their responsibilities by making lots of excuses.

      Reply
  14. we went through the same problem, we have been paying our premium almost 20 years and the denied our claim. but they fail to relized that i’m not stopping there. we got insurance for the (IF) and the (WHEN). we are filing against them and I will publicize to all the churches that;s insursured with them. what they do they undermind the small churches. we need to stick together and complain as much as we can.

    Reply
  15. this is very interesting after speaking with a associate at church mutual I was treated like a complete idiot and moron didn’t want anything to do with filing a claim and immediately assumed that our water damage would not be covered even though they send out an adjuster to check the damage as a responsible church we have paid our premiums on time every month and never missed a payment until now now apparently because we have to be paid for something they don’t want anything to do with us

    Reply
  16. We have been paying premiums of $1800.00 a year, with no claims in over 13 years with the exception of a fall. It is renewal time and they send an associate out to inspect, our property, they find the roof is in need of repair instead of allowing us to replace the roof, we received a certified letter for non renewal. Thank you God, for making my crookied path straight!!!

    Reply
    • Diane,

      If you were insured by them at the time the damage to the roof took place they should still be liable. I have a claim I am working on for a Church customer currently. The damage was 4 years ago right now (May 2nd, 2017) The date of loss from the Hail storm that created the damage was 2013. If you need advice, you can email me. [redacted]

      Good luck!

      Cody

      Reply
    • Hi Patrick,

      Thank you for the correction. The information has been updated.

      Best,
      Eric Stauffer

      Reply
      • I am a contractor working with two churches insured by Church Mutual Insurance Company. Both churches experience water damages. One church in particular experienced an extensive mold problem. These claims have been pending since April of this year, and the churches have not been able to conduct their normal church functions since the water damages. Church Mutual called in a Hygenist for testing that was performed and very much in line with my report of the danages. But, Church Mutual has not paid on either claim and continues to request more information. I wrote a letter to the Church Mutual representative explaining the hazardous environment and compromised situation they have left both churches in. It’s now November and still no resolution and the churches remain in a hazardous environment and unable to have normal church services and programs. Church Mutual has totally disrespected and disregarded the churches to the fullest extent. These churches are small community churches with predominately senior citizen membership who pay their church tithes from monthly social security and disability income that has kept them insured with Church Mutual for years with no missed payments. These churches try to plan little fund raisers to help raise money to pay utility bills and serve food on occasion. I’m writing to you because as a contractor and an individual I cannot believe how Church Mutual has treated these poor churches. I have never ever seen anything like this. The Pastors have called Church Mutual, I have called and I have been working with an adjuster for Church Mutal who has simply tied everything up. Because of this very appalling behavior by Church Mutual I felt compelled to speak out on the wrong they have done to their customers. This is truly unacceptable and should be reviewed by a responsible executives at Church Mutual. Thank you for providing a venue to voice my concerns.

        Regards,

        Edna

        Reply
        • My church is experiencing the same thing but I will let everyone know of the poor service they have provided. We are still waiting on that call back also. But word of mouth and Facebook will help spread the word.

          Reply
          • Thanks for the warnings; we were seriously considering dropping our current insurance and acquiring insurance coverage through Church Mutual.

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