Why Most Churches Need Workers’ Workers’
Compensation Insurance Compensation
• In most states, Workers’ Compensation and
is compulsory for all employments.
• A priest is considered an employee and
is thus subject to Workers’ Compensation
law in most states.
• Some dioceses, independent of state
regulation, require that parishes provide
Workers’ Compensation protection for
• Your obligation to provide Workers’
Compensation protection may extend
to interim or retired clergy, as well.
A risk management and
insurance program to
improve safety, reduce
loss, and rehabilitate
and volunteers of
For more information about how you
can properly cover your employees,
please call toll-free: (800) 293-3525.
Church Insurance Agency has teamed up Q: What, in addition to direct salary, Q: If Workers’ Compensation covers
with Liberty Mutual, a leader in Workers’ should be included in the calculation the cost of workplace injuries, why
Compensation protection, to provide coverage of clergy payroll? do we also need Employer’s Liability
for your employees. Even in the rare instances Clergy payroll should include the imputed insurance?
in which coverage isn’t required by law, it value of clergy housing and utility allowances, Employer’s Liability insurance is furnished
may be advisable to cushion parish assets as well as the Social Security offset paid as a standard add-on to your Workers’
from the financial blow occasioned by a to clergy. Compensation protection. It protects
serious work-related injury to a priest or you against claims of employment-
other employee. Q: What benefits are provided? related bodily injury brought under
Partial income continuation during periods common law (rather than state labor
Questions and Answers of disability is one of the most important law). An example would be when a
indemnity benefits. The amount payable spouse or family member sues because
Q: Does coverage apply to part-time and is determined by state law, and is based of an employee’s workplace injuries.
contract workers? on the individual’s recent earning history In contrast to Workers’ Compensation
Yes. Part-time employees (for example, subject to caps on the weekly amount insurance, which operates on a ‘no-
choir members, organists and maintenance (such caps usually being based on the fault’ basis, payment under Employer’s
staffers), and dedicated contract workers statewide average weekly wage), and Liability coverage will only be made when
(those who work exclusively for your duration (number of weeks). In some the policyholder is deemed legally liable
organization), are subject to Workers’ jurisdictions, “scheduled injury” benefits for an accident.
Compensation even though you may may also be payable because of permanent
report their earnings via the IRS-1099 tax injury to a specific body part. Death benefits
form. Payroll for such individuals should be may also be payable to the survivors of an
included when determining the Workers’ employee who is fatally injured on the job.
Compensation insurance premium.
Q: What medical benefits are provided?
However, your Workers’ Compensation The scope of allowable medical benefits
program does not extend to employees varies by state, but commonly includes
of outside contractors that serve other emergency treatment, hospitalization,
customers—landscaping or construction ongoing treatment and therapy, and
companies, for example. Such employees rehabilitation. Generally, there is no
must secure their own insurance. pre-set maximum.
Q: How is my premium determined? Q: Our priest is our only employee. Do
Your premium is based on your payroll we still need Workers’ Compensation
grouped within specific occupational
classifications, rates corresponding
Most states treat clergy as employees
to those same classifications, loss
subject to Workers’ Compensation law,
experience, and other factors set forth
which means that you must provide
in state regulations.
Workers’ Compensation insurance.