Guiding religious organizations through risk exposures

Gallagher Bassett began its service to religious and faith-based organizations working with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago following a tragic 1958 primary school fire that killed 92 students and three nuns. The losses took a toll on the community and the parish.

Committed to helping the community and ensuring such a tragedy would never occur again, Gallagher Bassett worked with the Archdiocese to inspect all other buildings within the parish for safety and created a new collaborative model of insurance and claims handling. Since then, we've expanded our religious and faith-based solutions worldwide.

Today, faith-based organizations face many different risk exposures. Our dedicated team works with leaders to identify and discuss potential hazards — from everyday incidents like slips, trips, and falls, to concerns about sexual abuse and active shooter scenarios — and develop plans that mitigate risks and protect congregations, volunteers, board members, and employees.

Some of the entities we serve include:

  • Houses of worship, including mosques, temples, and churches
  • Private and parochial elementary, middle, and high schools
  • Colleges, universities, and boarding schools
  • Administrative functions for religious communities and clergy
  • Faith-based social service agencies and charities
  • Faith-based nursing homes and centers for the disabled.

Our experience in the religious sector

By the numbers


New Claims

Claims Handled

$885 Million
Total Incurred

Figures represent 2023 year-end results and include all coverages.

Fire sparks partnership to protect faith communities

This video shares the origins of Gallagher Bassett following the 1958 fire that devastated Our Lady of Angels school in Chicago.

The tragedy inspired Gallagher leadership to partner with Sterling Bassett and provide the Catholic church with comprehensive insurance, claims handling, and risk management consulting services.

"At the heart of what Gallagher Bassett does is respond to people that are really hurting...that's a real emotional gut thing, and we can never forget that's what we're dealing with." — J. Patrick Gallagher, Jr.

Claims handling solutions that help reduce the cost of risk

While we handle all types of insurance claims, some specific liabilities we manage for our religious and faith-based organization clients include:

  • Workers' Compensation
  • Property
  • General Liability
  • Auto Liability
  • Cyber and Tech E&O Liability
  • Professional and Executive Liability
  • Misconduct Liability.

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Risk management programs for the unique concerns of religious organizations

In addition to claims management, we partner with clients to assist with workplace safety, exposure mitigation, reduction of potential liability claims, and compliance with state and federal regulations. Our Risk Control Consulting Service (RCCS) has served religious and faith-based organizations since 1962. Some key elements of our solutions are:

  • Oversight, implementation, and revision of health & safety protocols and policies
  • On-site and web-based training for employees, volunteers, and clergy
  • Litigation management and a vetted network of attorneys with experience in religious and faith-based organizations
  • Dedicated misconduct unit specializing in management of misconduct claims
  • OSHA advocacy and appraisals.

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Innovative solutions that address your unique needs

Our Field Consultants leverage our award-winning RMIS Luminos extensively to trend out losses and recommend remedies that minimize the frequency and/or severity of losses. With a wealth of data available, the insights and decisions driven through this technology empower our team to help our partners with their loss prevention goals. Key features of our technology suite that are relevant for religious and faith-based organizations include:

  • COPE
  • SOV
  • Fleet management
  • Policy management.

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Additional specialty solutions in the religious and faith-based sector include:

Skilled professional team with proven scientific methods to improve safety

Indoor environmental contaminants and faulty renovation or construction practices represent an ongoing challenge in schools, churches, and associated educational and religious facilities. Many of these buildings were constructed at a time when the hazards of certain construction materials were not fully known, and now the materials must be addressed to maintain a safe environment for building inhabitants.

Our Environmental Health & Safety services are curated to meet your specific needs. Some of our solutions include:

  • Inspection and environmental risk assessment
    • Asbestos, lead, mercury, PCBs, etc.
  • Mold and microbiological inspection, prevention programs, remediation design and management
  • Ventilation, plumbing, and industrial hygiene air/surface sampling and testing.

Connect With us

Connect with our religious team

Joe  Zinga

Joe Zinga

EVP — Risk Management

Make Gallagher Bassett your claims and risk management partner

Our global resources, innovative solutions, and trusted professionals can give you confidence in the ongoing future of your missions in the communities and congregations you serve.


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