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Cemetery Insurance Policy Information

Cemetery Insurance

Cemetery Insurance. It may not seem like a place that is as somber as a cemetery would be at risk of legal issues, but the truth is, they are. There are several unique challenges and risks that the owner of a cemetery can face, and these challenges and risks have the potential to cause serious financial and professional harm.

As a cemetery owner, your top priority is to make the people you work with feel comforted during their darkest hours and as they visit your property to pay respects to their loved ones. However, a single injury on your site or an incident that involves providing poor service can do serious damage to your reputation and your business. Furthermore, your property is susceptible to things like vandalism, fires, floods, and even theft - just like any other business.

Cemeteries are the final resting places for deceased persons. Operations may be limited to providing land for in-ground burials, digging the gravesites, covering the graves after the coffins have been lowered, and providing ongoing maintenance to grave markers and landscaping. Some offer crypts, vaults, or mausoleums for above-ground burials or niches for cremated remains. The cemetery may offer "green" burials where the deceased is interred without a coffin or a forested area where cremated remains may be scattered. Some have memorial chapels where funeral services may be conducted. A few offer their facilities to the community for such events as classes, seminars, and weddings.

Cemeteries may be related to or associated with funeral homes or mortuaries and provide all related body preparation services prior to interment or cremation, sell coffins, flowers, assorted memorial items, and monuments or headstones, including engraving or decorating. Cemeteries may provide or have access to crematory services. Some cemeteries offer similar services for deceased animals, such as pet dogs or cats.

In order to safeguard yourself and your business from the potential travesties that can arise, having the right cemetery insurance coverage is vital. From property to liability coverage, find out what type of insurance protection you need.

Cemetery insurance protects your business from lawsuits with rates as low as $57/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.

Below are some answers to commonly asked cemetery insurance questions:

What Is Cemetery Insurance?

Cemetery business insurance is a type of insurance that is specifically designed for businesses that operate cemeteries, crematories, and funeral homes. It provides coverage for a variety of risks that are unique to these types of businesses, including property damage, liability, and loss of income.

Some policies may also include coverage for funeral directors and embalmers. It is designed to protect the cemetery business from financial losses due to accidents, injuries, or other incidents that may occur on the property.

How Much Does Cemetery Insurance Cost?

The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for small cemeteries ranges from $57 to $79 per month based on location, services offered, payroll, sales and experience.

Why Do Cemeteries Need Insurance?

Woman In Cemetery

Cemeteries need insurance for a variety of reasons. Firstly, cemeteries have a number of physical assets that need to be protected, such as buildings, grounds, and equipment. These assets can be damaged or destroyed by natural disasters, theft, or vandalism, and insurance can help cover the costs of repair or replacement.

Secondly, cemeteries often have a high volume of visitors, and there is a risk of accidents occurring on the grounds. This could result in personal injury claims being made against the cemetery, which could be financially devastating without insurance coverage.

Finally, cemeteries may also need liability insurance to protect against claims of negligence or wrongful death. For example, if a loved one is buried in the wrong plot, the cemetery could be held liable for any emotional or financial harm caused as a result. Insurance can provide financial protection in the event of such claims being made.

Overall, insurance is an important tool for cemeteries to protect their assets, manage risks, and ensure financial stability. Without insurance, cemeteries could be at risk of significant financial losses and legal liabilities.

Repairs to your business' property can be exhaustively expensive. That's why it's important to have commercial property insurance coverage. This policy will cover the cost of repairing or replacing anything on your property that has been damaged as a result of weather-related events, fires, vandalism, and more.

It can help you avoid having to spend a tremendous amount of money out of your own pocket. And since the property of a cemetery is constantly exposed to various threats, paying to repair or replace damages can cause serious financial distress.

What Type Of Insurance Do Cemeteries Need?

Cemeteries typically need several types of insurance to protect their business and property. These may include:

  • Commercial Property: This type of insurance covers the physical structures and grounds of the cemetery, including buildings, fences, and other structures.
  • Liability: This type of insurance protects the cemetery against claims of injury or damage caused by the cemetery or its employees. This may include accidents that occur on the property or damage to graves or other structures.
  • Business Interruption: This type of insurance provides financial protection if the cemetery is forced to close or reduce operations due to unforeseen events, such as natural disasters or pandemics.
  • Business Auto. If you use vehicles for any type of transportation, such as hearses and limousines, business auto insurance is highly recommended.
  • Professional Liabilitye: This type of insurance covers errors or omissions made by cemetery staff, such as incorrect burial or misplacement of remains.
  • Workers' Compensation: This type of insurance covers injuries or illnesses sustained by cemetery employees while on the job.

Overall, cemeteries need a combination of insurance coverage to protect against various risks and liabilities that may arise in the operation of their business.

What Are Cemeteries Risks & Exposures

Tombstones In A Cemetery

Property exposure due to fire is usually low because there are few buildings and a limited number of ignition sources. Most cemeteries will have maintenance buildings to keep equipment and supplies necessary to excavate burial sites. Many have office buildings to transact business with customers. Some have above-ground open air or closed mausoleums. Larger cemeteries may have chapels where services may be performed. Buildings should be maintained with updated wiring and good housekeeping. Adequate security is required to prevent vandalism.

An on-premises crematory increases the exposure to fire loss due to the extremely high temperatures required to cremate a body. There must be adequate clearances as the flue exits the chimney and a shut-off valve in place to prevent overheating. Fuels used for crematory ovens include liquid petroleum, natural gas, or home heating oil. These must be stored in approved containers.

Premises liability exposures are high due to the number of visitors to the premises. At a burial, visitors may be under considerable stress, grieving, and unaware of their surroundings. Elderly and/or disabled individuals may attend. There should be sufficient personnel to direct, assist and be able to handle emergencies.

Grass and weeds must be properly cut and trimmed and stones, monuments, and markers must be clearly visible. Parking lots and sidewalks must be in good condition and kept free of ice and snow. If “green” burials are offered, the land must be maintained to prevent excess settling that could lead to a trip or fall hazard. Additional security may be required for high-profile burials. Cemeteries can pose an attractive nuisance hazard. There should be adequate security after hours to deter trespassers.

Environmental impairment exposures are from insecticides and pesticides used for maintaining the grounds, the decomposition of remains, and leaching of metals from burial containers and their fastenings due to corrosion. Bacteria or toxic chemicals, such as arsenic, formaldehyde, lead, or zinc, may seep into the soil or groundwater.

Professional liability or errors and omissions exposures is moderate as improper handling of a body can result in claims of emotional distress by family members. There should be excellent documentation regarding the identification of the deceased and accurate records maintained of occupied gravesites. Should cremation or other services be outsourced, the cemetery should be sure there is adequate liability coverage in place from the outsource vendor.

Crime exposure is due to employee dishonesty. Background checks should be performed on employees handling money. Billing, ordering, and disbursements must be kept as separate duties. Customers often pay in advance for the purchase of the plots, mausoleum space, and perpetual care. Most states now require that these funds be held in trust. An outside firm must audit these funds regularly.

Workers compensation exposure can be high due to work with machinery to dig and cover gravesites. Workers may trip and fall on the uneven ground or into open gravesites. Lawn and ground maintenance can include the application and exposure to pesticides and insecticides, resulting in contact dermatitis and injury to eyes or lungs. If there is any manual ground preparation, exposure to back injuries or hernias from lifting is very high.

Inland marine exposure comes from accounts receivable if the cemetery bills customers for services, computers, contractors' equipment, and valuable papers and records for burial registers. Earth-moving, mowing, and landscaping equipment is used to dig and cover the graves and maintain the grounds. Contracts should be reviewed to determine who is responsible for the monuments and other statuary. If the cemetery is responsible, bailees coverage should be considered. Duplicates of burial records should be made and kept off site to prevent sites from being reused.

Commercial auto exposure will generally be limited to vehicles necessary to maintain the grounds and hired nonownership liability for employees running errands in their own vehicles. All drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. Vehicles must be maintained and the records kept in a central location.

What Does Cemetery Insurance Cover & Pay For?

Cemetery Insurance Claim Form

Cemeteries can be sued for various reasons, including negligence, breach of contract, emotional distress, and desecration of graves. Insurance policies can help protect cemeteries from these lawsuits by covering the associated legal expenses, settlements, or judgments. Here are some examples:

Negligence: A cemetery may be sued if it fails to properly maintain the grounds or burial sites, resulting in accidents, injuries, or damage to property. In such cases, a General Liability Insurance policy can help cover the costs of defending the lawsuit, as well as any settlements or judgments that may arise from the claim.

Breach of Contract: If a cemetery does not fulfill its contractual obligations, such as providing the agreed-upon burial services or following a family's specific burial instructions, it can be sued for breach of contract. A Professional Liability Insurance policy (also known as Errors and Omissions Insurance) can help cover the legal expenses, settlements, or judgments related to the lawsuit.

Emotional Distress: In some cases, a cemetery may be sued for causing emotional distress, such as when the burial process is mishandled, or the remains of a loved one are lost or misplaced. A General Liability Insurance policy can help cover the legal costs associated with defending the claim, as well as any settlements or judgments.

Desecration of Graves: Cemeteries can be held legally responsible if graves are vandalized or desecrated. If the cemetery is found to be negligent in preventing or addressing such incidents, it may face a lawsuit. A General Liability Insurance policy can help cover the costs of defending the lawsuit and any resulting settlements or judgments.

Environmental Issues: Cemeteries can also be sued for environmental damages, such as groundwater contamination resulting from improper burial practices. An Environmental Liability Insurance policy can help cover the legal costs, settlements, or judgments associated with such claims.

In all of these examples, having the appropriate insurance coverage in place can help protect cemeteries from financial losses resulting from lawsuits. It is essential for cemetery operators to work with insurance providers and legal advisors to ensure they have the right coverage for their specific risks and needs.

Commercial Insurance And Business Industry Classification

Description for 6553: Cemetery Subdividers and Developers

Division H: Finance, Insurance, And Real Estate | Major Group 65: Real Estate | Industry Group 655: Land Subdividers And Developers

6553 Cemetery Subdividers and Developers: Establishments primarily engaged in subdividing real property into cemetery lots, and in developing it for resale on their own account.

  • Animal cemetery operation
  • Cemeteries-real estate operation Cemetery associations
  • Mausoleum operation
  • Real property subdividers and developers, cemetery lots only

Cemetery Insurance - The Bottom Line

Cemeteries also need commercial insurance in the event that someone is injured on the property, or if an error or other problem occurs during the cremation process. Families can sue crematories for a many reasons. What if remains were improperly handled? What if you do not handle a deceased person's remains according to the family's wishes? There is a big legal exposure.

Cemeteries are their own unique businesses, and owners of these businesses can face several legal risks. That's why it's important to make sure you are properly protected with the right type of insurance coverage.

Additional Resources For Miscellaneous Insurance

Find informative articles on miscellaneous businesses including the types of commercial insurance they need, costs and other considerations.

Miscellaneous Business Insurance

Businesses need insurance for several reasons. Firstly, insurance protects businesses from potential financial losses that may result from unexpected events, such as accidents, natural disasters, or lawsuits. This financial protection can help businesses recover from unexpected events and continue to operate.

Secondly, business insurance can provide businesses with liability protection. This means that if a business is sued for damages or injuries that occurred on their property or as a result of their products or services, the insurance company will cover the legal costs and damages. Without insurance, businesses may have to pay these costs out of pocket, which can be financially devastating.

Thirdly, commercial insurance can also provide businesses with peace of mind. When businesses have insurance, they can focus on running and growing their business without constantly worrying about potential financial losses or legal issues.

Finally, business insurance can also be a requirement for certain businesses. For example, many businesses that work with the government or large corporations may be required to have certain types of insurance in order to do business with them.

In conclusion, businesses need insurance for financial protection, liability protection, peace of mind, and to meet certain requirements. It is an important aspect of running a successful business and can help ensure the long-term stability and growth of the company.

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