Churchwardens are responsible for:
- the care of the land, buildings, furnishings and effects that belong to the church
- keeping them adequately insured against loss by fire
- maintaining insurance against any other insurable hazard to the church, its property, the incumbents and the churchwardens (Canon 15, Section 4 )
Parishes and congregations need to purchase minimum insurance from Aon Reed Stenhouse Inc., the broker designated by the Diocese.
Not sure who to call or where to find information? Check the Insurance cheat sheet.
Facility rentals and one-time events
Rentals must have minimum insurance amounts for the Risk and Governance Committee to recommend approval of your License Agreement to Synod Council.
Licensees must have Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance of:
- $2,000,000 per occurrence for low-risk licensees
- $5,000,000 per occurrence for high-risk licensees
The CGL insurance needs to include:
- Tenant’s Legal Liability: coverage of not less than $250,000
- Additional Insureds: “The Incumbent and Churchwardens of [parish legal name]” and “The Incorporated Synod of the Diocese of Toronto” must both be listed on the certificate of insurance as additional insureds
For License Agreements, you can use the standard diocesan Certificate of Insurance template to help you interpret the insurance document you get from a licensee. If you use this form, it must be fully completed and signed/stamped by an authorized representative of the licensee’s insurance company.
It’s also recommended that high-risk user groups carry insurance coverage for sexual abuse with limits as high as is possible to obtain, but this insurance doesn’t form part of the requirements of the License Agreement.
High-risk vs low-risk
Low-risk licensees: includes activities like adult craft groups, adult social groups, AA or NA groups.
High-risk licensees: includes activities involving alcohol, children, youth (under the age of 18) or vulnerable adults, such as church groups, day cares or nurseries, dog training, and physical activities like sports camps or gymnastics groups
To help determine what’s considered “high-risk,” you can:
Aon Online User Group insurance program
A group that wants to rent your facility can get insurance directly from Aon. Upon payment, they’ll get an email with their certificate and receipt. (The system won’t send certificates to the church directly because they need to come from the applicant.)
Online program information and application: Aon User Group Application
For more information on the Anglican Church of Canada User Group insurance program, contact Aon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A tenant’s package insurance must show the following minimum coverage:
- $2,000,000 of general liability coverage
- Tenant’s personal contents coverage
Insurance renewal policies and applications
Aon will send parishes their renewal policies and the renewal applications at the end of November every year. You need to return them to Aon by January. If you’ve made changes to your policy during the current year, contact Aon for your adjusted renewal premium.
Contact AON if you need a copy of your renewal package. They’ll update your address and send you an electronic or hard copy.
We pay our insurance premium directly to Ecclesiastical Insurance. Do we still need to pay the invoice from Aon?
Yes. If you are on direct bill with Ecclesiastical, your payments would not include the premium for your Umbrella, which is insured with Markel Insurance, nor the Aon service fee. Aon has included a self-addressed stamped envelope in your renewal package for you to use to send your payment to Aon.
Why did I get a blank payment assistance plan form from Ecclesiastical when we already pay them directly for their premium?
This is included every year so you can change banking information when you renew or during the term.
The payment hasn’t come out of our bank account – are we covered?
There’s a lag in processing the renewal monthly payments every year. Don’t worry – coverage is in place for all parishes.
Buildings that are vacant or unoccupied need to be inspected on a regular basis to ensure their ongoing security and integrity and to maintain insurance coverage. Reporting requirements vary depending on the specific circumstances and season.
Parishes must immediately report all vacant or unoccupied properties to Aon. Then Aon will tell you about the inspection requirements and give you any reporting documentation you’ll need.
Property inspections should be documented in writing. You can use this inspection log. Keep your inspection records on file for reference.
Claims reporting & assistance
If your parish needs to report a claim, contact Ecclesiastical Insurance directly:
General Liability & Directors & Officers (“D&O”):
Report abuse claims directly to Rob Saffrey, Executive Director of the Diocese, at email@example.com or 416-363-6021, ext. 251 (1-800-668-8932).
We’ve leased new equipment and need a certificate of insurance. Is this equipment covered?
Review the limits declared for your church any time values change to make sure there’s an adequate amount. Each parish is responsible for determining its own values. Aon will provide certificates of insurance as requested by you for these contracts
I need a certificate of insurance for my church. Who do I contact?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for all certificate requests. Note “Anglican Diocese of Toronto Certificate Request – name of parish and address” in the subject line. Include all detail needed by the certificate holder and the coverage they need evidenced.
As a churchwarden, am I covered if I’m personally named in a claim involving the church?
In the event that you as churchwarden are personally named in a claim, such as a slip and fall incident, a wrongful dismissal or an allegation of your negligence resulting in abuse, you are covered by the church’s insurance policy subject to its limits, terms and conditions.
Our church has a $2 million limit for directors and officers liability insurance – is this limit per churchwarden and minister(s) or per claim?
The limit on your policy is the total limit available per occurrence and for all claims made in the policy term. The cost of defense by the insurer is outside of the limit for all covered losses that are not for wrongful dismissal/employment practices liability (for the latter types of claims, defense costs are within the policy limit).
The policy responds to legal liability of the church arising from a wrongful event or allegation of wrongdoing. This is often a statement of claim in the courts, or claims made via a quasi-judicial body likethe Ontario Human Rights Tribunal. Churches can choose to buy up to a $5 million limit for this coverage. If you want to talk about directors and officers liability coverage in more detail, get in touch with Aon.
- Ecclesiastical – Risk Control Guidelines
- Ecclesiastical – Checklist: How safe is church?
- AON Risk Control Bulletin – Arson Prevention
- AON Risk Control Bulletin – Fire Protection System Impairment
- AON Risk Control Bulletin – Slips and Falls
- AON Risk Control Bulletin – Winter Hazards
- AON Risk Control Bulletin – Frozen Pipes