Churches / Schools - How to Insure Fine Arts, Steeples, and Stained Glass - Rekerdres and Associates

Fine arts, steeples, and stained glass are property unique to church / school institutions

Unique property often needs special coverage solutions. Below outlines how to properly insure these three items:


  • Steeples – A steeple on a church sanctuary or Christian school is affixed to the structure, and is therefore covered under the commercial property policy. With a steeple, it’s important to determine its replacement cost. If destroyed by lightning or hail, how much would it cost to fully replace? Church leaders sometimes talk with industry experts, or do online research for a basic appraisal. That amount needs to be included in the building’s total insurable value.


  • Fine Arts – Churches and schools have valuable paintings, books, and Biblical artifacts that shouldn’t be lumped into ‘Business Personal Property’. BPP offers ‘replacement cost’ valuation. Insurers cannot simply ‘replace’ a one-of-kind painting. Insurance companies use an ‘agreed value’ valuation method, which names a dollar figure (ie – $10,000) to be paid-out in the event of a covered loss. Often times carriers designate these items on a ‘inland marine’ policy separate from the property policy.


  • Stained Glass – Stained glass, like a steeple, is part the building and covered under the building part of the property policy. Stained glass is unique in its valuation. Older churches may have highly valuable stained glass. In this case it is not correct to apply ‘replacement cost’ valuation, and the church would be better off with a ‘agreed value’ valuation (see above description of ‘agreed value’). That amount needs to be included in the building’s total insurable value.   

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