Frequently Asked Questions
Property Insurance - Building and Contents
Q: I’m not sure if the damage to our property is covered.
A: Our insurance policies are comprehensive and most instances of loss or damage to your organisation will be covered, as long as the value of the loss is greater than the excess.
Please note that insurance policies do not cover:
- wear, tear and gradual deterioration;
- erosion, subsidence or earth movement;
- damage to any property insured caused by faulty workmanship or materials;
- the action of moths, termites or other insects, vermin;
- rust or oxidation, mildew, mould, wet or dry rot, corrosion, dampness of atmosphere or other variations in temperature, evaporation, latent defect or loss of weight.
When making a claim it is important to have the date of loss or perhaps the date the damage was first discovered. We will also require the cause of the loss. If its water damage we will need to understand how the damage occured. (e g. burst water pipe or perhaps a storm). Additionally, photos of the damaged item or area woud be helpful together with a quote for the repair of the damage.
If you are uncertain, contact us to discuss your particular case.
Q: How do we make a claim?
A: It is important to lodge a claim within 30 days of the occurance and take steps to minimise any further loss. Report any theft or malicious damage to the police and take photos of any damage if possible. For claims over $10,000, report the incident to LCA Insurance immediately. In most cases the insurer will appoint an assessor to handle claims over $10,000.
Claim forms can be downloaded from our website or you can contact LCA Insurance on 08 8360 7223 to receive a form by post. For more details and to discuss your case contact LCA Insurance direct.
Q: Do we need to advise you if any premises are unoccupied?
A: Yes. It is important that you notify LCA Insurance if any premises (e.g. manse) are vacant for more than 60 consecutive days. It is also important that the unoccupied property be well maintained, such as lawns mowed and mail collected. In the event of a long-term vacancy, it would be advantageous to find a short-term tenant to live in the premises.
Q: What if we discover we are underinsured?
A: There are many reasons for underinsurance. The most common is adopting market value and say, deducting the land value. Another common method is to add a percentage to last year’s sums insured. In the case of the acquisition of second hand goods many insure for the purchase price rather than the replacement with new value and so the assets are automatically underinsured.
Where there is significant underinsurance, the Insurer will reduce the amount it pays in the event of a claim, in proportion to the amount underinsured, which will apply to either a total or partial loss.
Should a major loss situation occur, either partial or total loss, your Insurer will appoint an assessor whose task it is to manage the claim on behalf of the Insurer. One of the first questions to be asked will be; can you substantiate the present declared value? Without a professional valuation to validate your current sum insured, you cannot be sure that your property is appropriately insured.
Q: We have an educational and/or aged care facility. Do we need to get a valuation?
A: LCA Insurance recommends a professional valuation every three to five years for education and aged care clients.
Q: What is included in a valuation?
A: The basis of a valuation is to arrive at a sum insured that includes the replacement of the buildings and site improvements with similar property, in a condition equal to but not better, or more extensive, than their condition when new (current replacement value). A professional valuation will allow for the following:
- Architects, surveyors, engineers and other professional fees
- Demolition, removal of debris and cost of securing the site after a loss
- Escalating building prices during the reconstruction
- The contract price for the work to be done.
Public Liability Insurance
Q: Is cover restricted to activities on church property only?
A: No. Public Liability provides cover for personal injury and property damage suffered by another party in the course of church activities, including church-authorised external activities such as youth camps, fetes, excursions etc.
This is not a general accident policy, whereby anyone who injures him or herself on your property can make a claim. Negligence on behalf of the Insured, its employees or volunteers would need to be proven by the claimant.
The policy provides cover anywhere in the World except the USA and Canada where cover is limited to products exported to these countries and/or travelling directors or employees who are non-resident in these countries, as detailed in the Policy.
Q: Does the cover extend to staff and volunteers?
A: Yes, as long as the activities they undertake are authorised by your organisation. Injury to staff is covered by separate Workers’ Compensation insurance. Injury to volunteers is covered by a separate Personal Accident policy.
Q: What do I do if my organisation needs to provide proof of cover to a third party?
A: Some situations may require you to provide evidence of insurance (e.g. use of local Council property for an event). LCA Insurance can provide a Certificate of Currency on request.
Q. What do we do if external parties wish to hire our facilities? (Church hall, Sunday school rooms, sporting facilities, hall etc.)
A: When a non-Lutheran group is using your facilities e.g. Girl Guides group, dancing group or sporting club, these groups must provide evidence of a current Public Liability policy of no less than $10,000,000. A notation must also be included in documentation sent to users to cover this contingency. Users should be encouraged to endorse their liability policies to include your interests.
Hirers liability is provided by the public liability policy to individuals using your facilities for one off events like a wedding or birthday party. Please note the user does not have to be a member or associate of the insured.
Q: Are there any issues if we provide supportive or psychological counselling?
A: If elders, youth leaders or other leaders are asked to provide counselling, it is vital that they do not offer advice if they are not specifically trained for this role. Instead, refer the person in need to someone who has the right qualifications to handle the situation.
Q: What are our responsibilities if we are involved in ecumenical events?
A: No single denomination can be expected to accept the total risk and provide Public Liability insurance for combined church events. LCA Insurance can provide a certificate of insurance on the understanding that all participating denominations will provide a similar, current certificate.
The certificate, along with a letter stating that the congregation is taking part in a joint ecumenical event, should be given to the local council or property owner.
Q: What preparations are required before holding a public event like a fete or fair?
A: If your organisation runs these activities, protection is provided by the Public Liability policy of LCA Insurance. However, cover is only provided when damage has occurred to a third party where negligence can be proven on behalf of the organisation, its staff or volunteers. Our policies will not cover the liability of providers of pony rides, bouncy castles, mini train rides and the like. Operators of entertainment rides and amusement activities must provide a certificate of currency showing evidence of a current liability policy.
If the organisation is providing food, make sure you check with the local council regarding food-handling laws. The organisation’s insurance should contain an extension for food handling or Product Liability cover.
It is preferable to use the night safe facilities of your bank to store cash obtained from the fete. If not possible, store any cash securely.
If you intend to have items for sale, check legal requirements surrounding the sale of products at an event, such as:
- Non working items should be discarded or clearly labeled to that effect
- Securely attach a label to all electrical appliances stating, “This appliance has not been tested. Do not use unless checked by a qualified electrician.”
- Great care must be taken in the sale of baby cots and similar items as some have been known to cause serious injury/death to babies.
Q: What insurance is required for outside music tutors?
A: Generally, tutors are not employed by the school and therefore considered to be an independent contractor. As with any contractor that enters your property, evidence of a current Public Liability policy is required.
As music tutors (or other similar persons) are dealing with children, their Public Liability policy must also include ‘Molestation’ cover. Evidence of their insurance should be sighted. If they are not able to provide evidence of such insurance within four weeks, in accordance with LCA Insurance requirements, the school needs to cease the relationship.
Q: What insurance do contractors require?
A: Contractors may be engaged as builders, cleaners, electricians, plumbers etc. Whatever work is performed by contractors, a certificate of currency must be provided as evidence of a current Public Liability policy of at least $10,000,000. This is vital. There are numerous instances whereby contractors have inadvertently caused substantial losses through damage to property or exposing their clients to liability claims through their own negligent behavior, such as cleaners damaging carpets.
The organisation should have a sign directing contractors and any visitors to a reception area, where they should sign in and be given a visitor’s badge.
Q: Are there insurance implications when signing contractual agreements?
A: You should be wary of signing documents in the course of your business, as you could innocently be assuming responsibility for the negligence of other parties or sign away your right, or your insurer’s right, of recovery from another party who may be at fault. This could expose you to an uninsured loss. This scenario is commonly seen in hire or lease agreements, excursion contracts, excursion waivers, and the like, some clauses can contain onerous Insurance and/or Indemnity clauses. Please deal with these documents with care, and if you are unsure about your insurance position, please refer to LCA Insurance for assistance. If the document contains onerous clauses it is recommended that you do not sign them unless they can be amended. It may also be prudent to seek legal advice in order to protect your position for matters unrelated to insurance.
Insurance for volunteers
Q: Who is covered?
A: Voluntary workers aged 12-85, including retired pastors and parish nurses.
Q: What does this cover include?
A: Accidental death and bodily injury are covered, when volunteers are engaged in church-authorised activities and the accident is related to a bona-fide activity. Lump Sum benefits are payable depending on the injury as well as non-Medicare medical expenses. Income Earners are covered for loss of income due to their injury. For more details, see Voluntary Workers.
Q: Are we covered for the gap between a doctor’s fee and the Medicare benefit?
A: No, The Fund is not permitted by the Federal Government to cover the gap between the Medicare refund and a doctor’s fee.
Q: Am I eligible for travel cover through LCA Insurance?
A: Our Travel policy covers the lives and property of all employees (including Expatriated Personnel), volunteers, students of Lutheran schools on excursions, members of committees, councils and boards and their accompanying spouse and dependent children whilst travelling on authorised LCA business anywhere in the world.
The incidental “private travel” component of a business trip is also covered. In order to qualify for coverage, an insured person must travel a minimum of 100 km from their home or usual place of work. Maximum duration of any one trip is 180 days including incidental private travel. For more details see the Travel Policy.