News & Insights


Case Study: Insuring a Historic Building

At Sovereign Insurance Group, one of the most important things we do is evaluate which insurance carriers are the best fit for the unique religious institutions that we serve. Small start-ups, large mega-churches, and houses of worship 100+ years old have very different coverage needs. It's alarming when other brokers loyally treat a single carrier as a one-size-fits-all solution, leaving many clients exposed in areas central to their identity as a religious organization. In this particular case, we were dealing with a historic, urban church in existence for 150 years. Our Coverage Review identified that they lacked adequate coverage for their cherished historic property. The challenge was not only to provide adequate coverage, but also to maintain a similar insurance budget for the church.

Problems Identified
  • Low Building Values: replacement cost for historical church building was below industry norms given the size and ornate construction.
  • Property Exclusions: client's policy contained a coverage exclusion for $3M Pipe Organ and $1M Stained Glass Windows.
  • Contents Coinsurance: contents were only insured to 1% of building values, well below industry norm of 10 - 20%. Coinsurance clause would have dramatically lowered payment of claim at time of loss.
  • Outdated Building Appraisal: historic building had not been appraised by professional for many years and church budget was not equipped to acquire a new one. 

Solutions Provided
  • Raised Property Values: increased Total Insured Value by $10M, including a 45% increase to value of historic church building. 
  • Removed Exclusions: ensured that Pipe Organ and Stained Glass Windows were included in Blanket Limit.
  • Agreed Value Endorsement: increased contents coverage 10x the values insured on prior policy. Removed potential for coinsurance penalty through Agreed Value Endorsement.
  • Historic Appraisal Service: placed client with a specialty carrier providing historic appraisals for every customer in their program.