Washington National Cathedral, and many other churches, received compounding bad news that their buildings damaged in the earthquake centered in Virginia would not be covered by insurance.
This includes churches insured by the Church Insurance Company.
The Cathedral’s twitter feed says that costs will be in the millions, and confirms that the damage will not be covered.
The Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston, Bishop of Virginia, wrote yesterday to the Diocese. In it, the bishop eloquently reminds Episcopalians of our relationship to each other:
Earthquake insurance is an additional insurance one must purchase and, given the fact that earthquakes have been such a rarity in Virginia, many churches may not have such insurance. As a result, I would urge all churches at this point to determine whether they have such coverage and, if they do not, consider adding earthquake insurance to their existing policies.
With regard to those churches which have suffered damage and do not have insurance coverage, the diocesan staff is exploring what resources can be made available to those churches in need. It is precisely this sort of situation that reminds us that we are not a congregational church, but are bound together in dioceses – so that we might bear each others’ burdens and bring together resources we hold in common. Once we have an assessment of these costs, I will also share that information.
While we are grateful that there are no reported deaths from this earthquake, it should be a sobering reminder for clergy and vestries to be clear as to what their church insurance covers.