A NEW insurer has entered the market for churches, promising
customers an annual share in profits.
ParishCare from Trinitas Insurance Services was launched last
Friday. It is being underwritten by Aviva, the largest general
insurer in the UK.
Its website promises "more flexibility, more peace of mind, and
an opportunity to get a little something back from your insurance".
Customers are offered an annual share in profits: any excess
profits are shared with them, to boost parish funds.
A spokesman explained: "We have a predefined profit calculation
which stipulates that insurer profits are shared for the direct
benefit of parish policyholders. The amount, of course, will depend
on the level of profit achieved, but will ensure that excessive
profits are not retained by the insurer in their entirety."
The website also says that the policy has been developed "in
association with the Church of England".
On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Archbishops' Council said:
"We were approached a year ago by an independent firm of brokers
wishing to enter the church insurance market. They had a series of
conversations with us and with some dioceses to increase their
understanding of the Church of England with a view to developing a
product that they could provide to meet the needs of parishes.
"Neither the Church of England nor the NCIs [National Church
Institutions] are sponsors of their initiative; neither are we
allowed, in what is a tightly regulated market, to promote one
insurance product over another. Parishes will need to make their
own minds up as to their choice of insurance provider."
Other benefits advertised by Trinitas include the freedom to
cancel the policy at any time, without penalties. One policy can be
bought to cover both the churches and all other parish buildings.
There is no limit for theft of metal, and cover for both
inadvertent failure to insure and Trustee Legal lndemnity insurance
is included as standard.
The insurance market for churches is currently dominated by
Ecclesiastical, which covers 97 per cent of Anglican churches in
the UK. Last week, the group chief executive of Ecclesiastical
Insurance, Mark Hews, said: "The market for church insurance has
always been open, and Ecclesiastical welcomes this. During its
127-year history, Ecclesiastical has seen many insurance companies
come and go. We are proud to be . . . supporting the Anglican
Church throughout this period, always being there for our church
customers at their time of need. It is our charitable ownership . .
. our Christian ethos, and our strong reputation for claims
management that sets us apart."