Tim Williams, Manager 

Insurance Renewal
On average, premiums for NSW & ACT churches and ministries increased by 15%. This was mainly due to insurers across the industry sustaining significant losses due to the major damage caused from bushfires, hailstorms, and storms; increases in the number of Cyber-attacks and data breaches; increases in the number of claims relating to unfair dismissal, bullying and harassment; and COVID-19. Combined with this, due to the loss of business due to COVID-19, a number of insurance companies refused to write certain classes of insurance. This created a major challenge to ensure the Baptist family has a comprehensive level of insurance cover and competitive market premiums. 

The current climate is tough for us all, not to mention financially and many churches and organisations have been affected. We believe the premium for the standard BIS package of covers, although increased, is still competitive as insurance premiums have significantly increased throughout the industry. This particularly stands true when compared against the scope of cover provided by the BIS policies. 

Insurance Claims
There was a significant increase in claims during the early part of 2020 due to bushfires, hailstorms, and the major storms in February. Things settled somewhat to a more normal level after the impact of COVID-19, however this brought us all many other challenges.  

Molestation Declaration
Changes in legislation resulting from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, have increased the potential for liability relating to child sexual abuse/molestation and in response, insurance requirements have tightened considerably. In order to provide a continuation of Molestation cover for churches and ministries, the insurer requires all churches and ministries to agree to address any gaps in six different policies and procedures. Once these policies and procedures are in place, a molestation declaration was to be completed, signed and returned to BIS by 30 September 2020. 

Many churches completed and returned the molestation declaration however there is quite a number who haven’t completed this task yet. Please note that your church & ministry is now at risk. It is important to note that should a molestation claim be directed to your church, there will be no cover. All claim and defence costs will be borne by the church. Saying that, it is not too late to act. As soon as a completed and signed molestation declaration is returned to BIS, molestation cover will be immediately reactivated from the date of the declaration. 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the NSW & ACT Insurance Manager, Tim Williams. 

Work Health & Safety Free Online Training
The BIS Work Health & Safety (WHS) online training continues to be available as a free resource available to anyone within your church. It can be completed at any time at your own convenience and is available at In addition, BIS has a free ‘Identifying Hazards’ training module available