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COVID 19 Live Streaming Most Recommended Cameras Insurance Risk Management for Churches Non Profit Religious Organizations John Keller Southwest Florida Naples Fort MyersDuring the COVID-19 pandemic, your church leadership team has been left to figure out how to lead your congregation, how to continue the fellowship of believers, and how to continue ministering to your community as a virtual church in a safe and effective way. Many have utilized live streaming video to maximize your impact and keep your congregation as physically safe as possible.

As you continue to navigate the realities of virtual church and trying to make a visual impact, we have compiled a list of the most popular cameras available on the market, ranging in price from an entry level, minimal budget all the way to the top tier, professional gear. Thankfully, while you can spend thousands on camera, lighting, and audio equipment to produce high-quality content, this doesn’t need to be the case. As with most aspects of photography and videography, the financial barrier to entry is low, with your creativity being the most important key to success.

 

Best Cameras for Video:

Logitech C920 $
Microsoft Lifecam Studio for Business $
Logitech BRIO Webcam $
Canon Vixia HF R800 $$
Panasonic H-V770 $$
Canon 80D $$$
Panasonic Lumix GH4 $$$
Sony a6300 $$$
Sony A7 II $$$
Canon Vixia HF G21 $$$
Canon XA11 $$$
Epiphan LUMiO 12x PTZ Camera $$$
Panasonic Lumix GH5 $$$$
Canon EOS C100 II $$$$
Panasonic AG UX180 $$$$
Canon XF400 $$$$

 

While it may seem overwhelming to figure out how to get your service online quickly, start with a road map of where you are now and where you want to be. Take note if you already have video equipment available and what type of new equipment you would like to invest in. Consider where you want to stream your sermon. This will determine the platform you end up using to live stream the church service.

It is also important to ensure that your internet connection is fast enough to stream. You can get a dedicated internet connection for your stream. Work on your lighting. When you work on your lighting within the church, your live stream will have a better-quality picture for those watching. Set up your camera with the view you want people tuning in to see. Pick a live streaming platform that’s right for your church. Create your account, set up your stream, practice streaming it and then hit go on Sunday morning.

To view our complete risk management library of articles for churches and non-profits, click here.

John Keller, CRM ARM CIC AAI is Client Advisor & Risk Manager at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in non-profit and religious organizations. John works with a wide range of business clients to deliver strategic risk analysis and guidance. Comments and questions are welcome at jkeller@gulfshoreinsurance.com

COVID 19 Liablity Waivers What Churches Should Know John Keller Risk Management Insurance Religious Non Profit Organizations Southwest Florida Naples Fort MyersAfter weeks of mandatory lockdown to help slow the spread of COVID-19, churches across the country are reopening their doors to parishioners. Many are grappling with the risk that worshipers may contract COVID-19 and may try to hold the ministry liable for the resulting damages. Thoughtful deliberation is needed when considering the potential impact of COVID-19 on your congregation.

One option to help minimize this risk is to require worshipers to contractually waive their right to hold the church liable if they contract COVID-19 on premises. Although requiring churchgoers to sign a COVID-19 liability waiver may help insulate you from liability, the enforceability of COVID-19 liability waivers presents some legal uncertainties, as courts have not yet analyzed such waivers in any detail. The enforceability of liability waivers is a matter of state law, some of the more specific legal questions about waivers will have different answers in different jurisdictions.

Guidelines for churches drafting COVID-19 liability waivers:

  • All COVID-19 liability waivers should be drafted in clear language that is understandable to the ordinary person, and these provisions should be very conspicuous if included within a larger contract.
  • Waivers should include language regarding the highly contagious nature of COVID-19 and warn that even with heightened cleaning procedures, social distancing, face masks, etc., the church cannot fully eliminate the risk that churchgoers may contract COVID-19. They should be drafted so that visitors agree that (1) they understand this heightened risk, and (2) with that understanding, they agree not to hold the church liable for any damages resulting from contraction of COVID‑19 due to the organization’s negligence.
  • Waivers should comply with the applicable state laws and public policies regarding traditional liability waivers.
  • Even organizations with COVID-19 liability waivers should strive to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local recommendations for practices that can help lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission. If a court determines that deviance from such guidelines is grossly negligent or reckless, a COVID-19 liability waiver may not protect you from being liable for a visitor’s resulting damages.

Click here to download a sample COVID-19 liability waiver. It is recommended to always have a licensed attorney review any waiver to determine how it would be viewed by a court in a particular situation.

To view our complete risk management library of articles for churches and non-profits, click here.

John Keller, CRM ARM CIC AAI is Client Advisor & Risk Manager at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in non-profit and religious organizations. John works with a wide range of business clients to deliver strategic risk analysis and guidance. Comments and questions are welcome at jkeller@gulfshoreinsurance.com

Low Cost Hurricane Prep for Churches John Keller Risk Management Insurance for Churches Non Profit

Hurricane damage can’t always be prevented or eliminated, but with some careful forethought, it can be mitigated long before a storm arrives. There are some obvious preventative measures that can be conducted that require out of pocket expense like inspecting/repairing/upgrading the roof cover and perimeter flashing or installing hurricane shutters, but for the purposes of this article we will focus on the activities that churches can perform that require little to no investment other than time and energy.  These are broken into Pre-Hurricane, Warning, During, and After-Hurricane phases.

In most cases, hurricane planning activities should be implemented prior to Hurricane Season which begins June 1st and continues through October 31st. However, there are plenty of measures you can take immediately before, during, and after a hurricane to reduce loss.

Click here to download an Emergency Action Plan for Churches

How Does Hurricane Damage Occur?

Widespread damage begins when a hurricane reaches around 110 mph.  At this speed, the wind is sufficient enough to literally suck the roof cover from all or part of the building.  In addition, high winds have the ability to turn most windblown debris into missiles, thereby breaking windows and doors.  These openings then allow more wind to enter the building which creates additional upward forces on the roof.  If a roof hasn’t been sucked off the building from the primary forces, once there are openings in the building, these secondary forces are sure to help blow the roof off the building. Once the roof is all or partially removed, and additional secondary holes have been punched in a building, the interior and contents are much more likely to be damaged or destroyed by rain that typically accompanies a hurricane.

Pre-Hurricane Preventive Measures

Once a hurricane is on its way, resources start to become scarce and much more expensive. Highlighted below are activities churches can perform prior to hurricane season so that they can resume operations as quickly as possible after the storm.

  1. Create or customize a checklist of activities that can be used during all phases of the storm.
  2. Appoint an individual to monitor weather forecasts and track impending hurricanes.
  3. Compile an Emergency Contact List with 24-hour contact numbers for essential employees and volunteers.
  4. Identify vital records and make backup copies.
  5. Qualify and pre-commit contractors and suppliers for post-hurricane repairs. (Use firms not likely to be affected by the same hurricane.)
  6. Stock supplies and prepare needed equipment (rations, generators, radios, flashlights w/ batteries, medical supplies, and lumber/tools/hardware).
  7. Relocate valuable on-floor equipment/storage to protect from water damage.

As the Hurricane Approaches (Warning Phase)

  1. CASH is king! Obtain and keep accessible as much as possible as banks may not be open following the storm.
  2. Brace lightweight doors from the inside to minimize the chance of them blowing in.
  3. Fill fuel tanks, generators, vehicles, etc.
  4. Protect or move valuable papers and important documents to a safe location.
  5. Print a complete copy of the property insurance policy and note the policy number and claim filing information
  6. Close valves on gas lines and, if possible, disconnect the electric supply at the service entrance.
  7. Clean the roof drains, gutters, and downspouts.
  8. Initiate orderly shutdown of equipment sensitive to sudden loss of power.
  9. Evacuate personnel.

During the Hurricane

  1. Remaining personnel should check for roof leaks, broken windows and piping, fires, and initiate emergency responses as needed.
  2. If power failure does occur, disconnect circuits so they cannot be reenergized without checking for damage.

After the Hurricane

  1. Survey the damage and establish priorities.
  2. Board up openings.
  3. Check circuits and equipment before restoring power.
  4. Follow your pre-established salvage reconstruction and recovery plan using key employees and outside contractors.
  5. Photograph and/or video all damage and contact the insurance carrier directly to submit a claim.

Damage from hurricanes may be inevitable, but with some careful pre-planning and diligent execution of strategic activities, you can significantly reduce the cost associated with a hurricane. Costs can escalate significantly once you consider property/wind insurance deductibles, lost production time, and supply chain disruptions.  A risk manager or insurance agent can help you identify and prioritize the most critical exposures for your church.

To view our complete risk management library of articles for churches and non-profits, click here.

John Keller, CRM ARM CIC AAI is Client Advisor & Risk Manager at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in non-profit and religious organizations. John works with a wide range of business clients to deliver strategic risk analysis and guidance. Comments and questions are welcome at jkeller@gulfshoreinsurance.com

Commercial Lines Top 10 Causes of Disabling InjuriesThe 2020 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index (WSI) found that the most disabling workplace injuries cost more than $59 billion per year.

U.S. businesses spend more than $1 billion per week on the most disabling workplace injuries. Compiled annually,  the Index researched the top 10 causes of the most serious workplace injuries — those that cause employees to miss work for more than five days — and ranked those causes by their direct cost to employers, based on medical and lost-wage expenses.

Top 10 causes of disabling workplace injuries:

Top 10 2020 workplace safety index the top 10 causes of disabling injuries 700b

As businesses reassess and refine business operations, now is a good time to address the many risks that employees can face in the workplace. Liberty Mutual took the Workplace Safety Index (WSI) a step further and broke down the most costly causes of injuries into eight industry-specific reports:

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for assistance. We are here to help.

Kim Ovaitte, CPCU, ARM is the Executive Vice President of Marketing & Sales at Gulfshore Insurance.  Also serving as the Construction Practice Leader, Kim works with clients to develop cost effective risk management and claims strategies that dovetail with their insurance program. Comments and questions are welcome at kovaitte@gulfshoreinsurance.com

Personal Lines How to Prepare for a Wildfire

Each year, thousands of acres of wildland and many homes are destroyed by fires that can erupt at any time of the year from a variety of causes, including arson, lightning, and debris burning. We’ve put together some proactive measures you can take to keep your family and home safe from a wildfire.

Inside your home:

  • Install fire-resistant window treatments. Make sure that your smoke detectors are working and that you have a fire extinguisher in your home.
  • Keep fire-fighting tools handy, such as a ladder, shovel, rake, axe, water bucket, and a hose that is long enough to reach your home and other structures.
  • Install a back-up generator in case electrical power is shut off.
  • Store valuable documents in a fire-resistant safe or bank safety deposit box.

 

Outside your home:

  • Make sure your house address is visible from the street.
  • Trim trees regularly to keep branches at least 15 feet off the ground or 1/3 of the total crown height, whichever is less. Remove branches that hang over the roof or chimney.
  • Create a separation between trees, shrubs, and items that could catch fire, such as patio furniture, and swing sets.
  • Maintain adequately watered ground at least 100 feet from the house if the ground is level and 200 feet from the house if the ground is sloped. Keep grass cut down to a maximum of 4 inches high.
  • Clear a 10-foot area around propane or oil tanks and around your barbeque area.
  • If a wildfire is approaching, clear driveways to accommodate large fire equipment. Make sure no flammable vegetation is within 10 feet on both sides of the driveway and there are no overhanging obstructions within 15 feet. If your property is gated, open the gate to allow fire personnel to access your property.

 

Make sure you have an established emergency evacuation plan for your family and pets in the event that a wildfire begins to endanger your home. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out. We are here to help.

Ron Lazarto, CPRIA is Client Advisor and Partner at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in Private Risk Services. Ron specializes in offering customized property and casualty insurance solutions for successful individuals and their families. Comments and questions are welcome at rlazarto@gulfshoreinsurance.com