Insurance Claims for Tennessee Churches and Nonprofits

Helping charitable organizations across the Southeast and Midwest with insurance issues and disputes

After damage or a catastrophe, churches and nonprofits rely on their insurance company to assist them in recovery. These organizations need their insurance proceeds promptly, as the lives of many people depend on their successful operation. Delays in payment mean congregants may not be able to serve, gather and worship as needed. And, because many nonprofits exist to help others through charity or by providing social services for members of the community, they too need to be operational and restored as soon as possible. Nonprofits without offices or business interruption proceeds will not be able to help those they serve.

The Tennessee-based insurance dispute attorneys at McWherter Scott & Bobbitt fight to secure religious organizations and nonprofits the payments they need. Our attorneys coordinate the commercial needs of these organizations with the community needs of the people they serve. We have more than three decades of combined experience helping all types of businesses get the insurance proceeds for which they contracted and paid for. We represent religious organizations, charities, nonprofits, individuals, and commercial enterprises across the Southeast and Midwest.


Considerable Legal Skills
"I also want to share with you that because of the completeness of your preparation, your considerable legal skills and your force of character(s), I have no doubt that had we found it necessary to go to trial – we would have won the day."

Mary McNally

Considerable Legal Skills
"I also want to share with you that because of the completeness of your preparation, your considerable legal skills and your force of character(s), I have no doubt that had we found it necessary to go to trial – we would have won the day."

Mary McNally

Common insurance risks for houses of worship and nonprofits

There are many types of nonprofits, including educational, environmental, social action, animal rights, healthcare, and others that service a host of good causes. Though these nonprofits have to comply with certain laws and regulations to qualify for nonprofit status, they are in many ways similar to commercial businesses. Churches and other religious organizations, too, have many of the same insurance issues.

Both houses of worship and nonprofits need to protect themselves against the following types of risks.

Structural property damage

This includes property damage to the church, synagogue, or other religious building. For nonprofits, it includes all of the offices where the nonprofit does business.

Personal property damage

Churches and houses of worship need to protect contents such as furniture, books, religious artifacts, and clothing, as well as any office supplies and personal property of clergy and staff. Nonprofits have to insure against damage to equipment and material possessions that apply to their venture.

Business interruption loss and continuing expenses

Just as commercial ventures have to worry about business interruption loss, churches and nonprofits do as well. While repairs are ongoing, buildings are being rebuilt, or new offices are being located, there are still continuing and necessary expenses. These include expenses such as mortgages, loans for operating expenses, insurance premiums, and salary for staff.

Business interruption loss and lost profits

Churches and nonprofits, by IRS definition, are not in the business of making profits. So, insurance companies may argue that there should be no profit proceeds included in your claim. However, having tax-exempt status does not necessarily mean a church or nonprofit cannot generate revenue. Nonprofits often seek donations and grants to fund research and provide services. Some nonprofits even sell merchandise to fund their operations. At McWherter Scott & Bobbitt, we work with outside experts to make sure your organization gets the insurance proceeds it deserves.


Churches and nonprofits are modern organizations. Religious organizations have congregation databases, lists of donors who support them, vendors on the ready to help maintain the building, and other sensitive data on their computers and hard drives. Nonprofits can have mountains of data for record keeping, information related to the people they help, the services they provide, and their employees or volunteers. The loss of this information can bring these organizations to a halt. Our Tennessee attorneys work to get insurance proceeds for damaged hardware and software, plus compensation for any data that was destroyed and must now be rebuilt.

Relocation expenses

Churches and nonprofits that can’t run their services or operations while repairs are ongoing may need to rent new facilities or pay to share space with other organizations. Your insurance should cover the cost of the move to the new location, the associated rent and expenses, and the move back, and perhaps the cost to notify clients and congregants about the move. Hospitals, health providers, and other non-profits may also need to rent or buy new equipment and tools to continue serving their members and the community.

When hurricanes, fires, tornadoes, and other disasters strike, the local residents and community often turn to their religious base for spiritual support and/or nonprofits for healthcare and other types of aid. After a local disaster, it’s critical for people who have lost their homes and possessions that religious institutions and care providers be up and running as quickly as possible. Insurance coverage may be available to fulfill these needs.

Insurance disputes often revolve around the cost and time needed to repair or rebuild, and the value of the contents and possessions. Our attorneys negotiate with insurance companies about who will do the repairs, whether replacement damages should be paid, and whether any exclusions or limitations in the policy apply – advocating aggressively for your organization.

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Helping churches and nonprofits with insurance policy claims across the Southeast and Midwest

McWherter Scott & Bobbitt fights for any religious organization, house of worship or nonprofit with an insurance claim issue, be it claim presentation, claim denial or analyzing the accurate scope of the damage suffered. We help residents of Tennessee get prompt payment for their claims. When you pay your premiums, you deserve to have the insurance company pay the insurance proceeds that are due. To review your case with an experienced Tennessee church and nonprofit insurance lawyer, please call 731-664-1340 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. Our attorneys are licensed in Tennessee, Missouri, Mississippi, Arkansas and Kentucky.