William L. Nagy
Mayfield Congregational UCC
I am the interim pastor serving Mayfield Congregational United Church of Christ, Sycamore, Illinois. Mayfield is a little country church in open country about six miles northwest of Sycamore with 125 members. The church was organized in 1860 and proudly was the first congregation in DeKalb County to declare itself as an open and affirming church almost 20 years ago. While some additions have been made to the church, the original structure - the sanctuary - still stands as it was built more than I5O years ago. And so, it came as a complete shock to us to discover during the week of March 25, 2012 that soon after our morning worship service the ceiling of the sanctuary completely collapsed causing significant damage to the sanctuary and its furnishings. We are very grateful that no one was present at the time. A number of engineers and construction people all agree that had it happened while members were at worship there would have been numerous fatalities and serious injuries.
At first, several engineers as well as a member of the congregation who is in the insurance business were not at all encouraging regarding our insurance coverage. I made one call to our Cleveland office and spoke with Joe Boyd regarding our situation. With an assuring voice he told me he would be out here in a couple of days to see for himself and he made good his promise. He and Cy McFarlin met with members of our Board of Trustees and with me and was most encouraging. He told us that they considered us as part of the family of the United Church of Christ and that we would be treated as such. They would review our policy and do as much as they could, he told us. With professionalism coupled with warmth he gave us helpful advice how to proceed from that point. And then, headded, we should let him know when we would be ready to rededicate the sanctuary because, if possible, he would like to be present. That last statement assured us that we were dealing with people onthe insurance board who really cared about us. Yes, he was at there dedication and we gave him time to speak during our afternoon celebration which was open to the community and to which people and pastors of other congregations were present.
In terms of our coverage - we could not be more pleased. Mixed in with all the debris of thick plaster, beams, fans, chandeliers, heating units, broken furnishings, was a thick layer of asbestos. Needless to say,the cleanup of the asbestos alone was very costly. All of it was covered by our insurance. Further, we felt we were being treated very fairly as we worked through our losses, dates of purchase and depreciation etc. As we expected, any additions and improvements would be at our expense. But in terms of covering the cost of what we lost, we are most pleased.
As for me, I continue to eagerly tell our story and our experience with the Insurance Board as I meet with pastors in groups and gatherings as well as those times I meet with them one-on-one. The response I get fromthem goes something like, "Wow! That's impressive," "That's good to know," and even "That's really unusual for an insurance company." Thank you. It feels reassuring to know we are regarded as "one of the family."
Bill Brown, Ex-project Manager & Current Trustee
Carversville Christian Church, UCC
Said of and to Jack Owens, the IB adjuster assigned to the church. "I have enjoyed working with you on this project. You have been very professional, communicative, and forthright in your interaction with our church, and while this certainly has been a trying event for us, your skills and knowledge have made it easier for the Church to collect the proper funds due under the provisions of our insurance policy. All of us here thank you for your efforts. This actually has been a very positive experience for us after the horrible experience of the fire. The church building is in great shape after the restoration, and we have upgraded the building now to meet the modern building code."
Rev. Martha B. Kriebel
Trinity Reformed Church, United Church of Christ, Collegeville, PA
"When a wind storm that preceded Hurricane Irene brought down power lines, resulting in the church’s sump pumps not being able to operate and 27” of water flooded the heater room, I placed a call to the Insurance Board and received an immediate response by phone that provided information for submitting the required forms which were available on line and also arrived in the mail a short time later. Within days an estimate from the company that services our heating and A/C systems was accepted, approval to make the necessary repairs and install replacement parts was given, and a check to cover the cost arrived in the mail. I was amazed in the response time and cannot say enough about the concern and courtesy of the staff. You can be sure that I will tell this story to others and praise the work of our denomination's Insurance Board. Thank you for your service to us!"
Rev. Joe A. Motz
St. Paul's United Church of Christ in Birdsboro, PA
"Personally, I wanted to thank you for taking my concerns seriously and providing so much of what this church’s leadership needed to make a wise decision. Your ministry with us is one of those highlights for me, where I celebrate that I am part of a denomination, because the way you ministered made it very clear that I nor this congregation are alone. But in fact we are part of the living, breathing body of Christ. How good it is to stand in this place with you!"
Rev. Geneva M. Butz
Associate Conference Minister, Penn SE Conference, UCC
"I want to thank you very much for your presentation. Your mission at the Insurance Board is very critical to the well-being of our churches. You did an exceptional job of training leaders to go back to their churches with good questions, thoughtful information, and resources to move the churches toward managing the risks they take in ministering in their community. Churches do take riskes when they do ministry. Many times insurance concerns are rasied as a reason to stop effective outreach ministry. The Insurance Board does not do that. Thanks again!"
First Presbyterian Church, Elk Rapids
"Thanks for another enlightening and refreshing experience! Our Personnel Ministry Team, Staff, and others have been provided with summaries and links with strong suggestions to explore your Safety Solutions.
Many thanks for helping us to do the right things for the right reasons!"
Euclid Avenue Congregational UCC in Cleveland, Ohio
"As Moderator of the Euclid Avenue Congregational Church, UCC, I am writing to express this congregation’s gratitude for the exceptional service provided to us by your company resulting from the catastrophic loss of our historic building on March 23, 2010.
Throughout the claim period, your staff was available, competent, and attentive to our needs. Within two days of the fire, while the site was still smoldering, two of our members met with claims agents to clarify the claims process. Less than two months later, we met with members of your Board and received in person three checks totaling the greatest share of our claim. Within days, several of our members met with representatives from IB and others in the claims process to fully clarify and resolve any questions regarding the settlement of our claim.
Your hard work on our behalf has contributed to our congregation’s bright future. While we are still in the process of determining what God has in store for us, I am certain that our future will be financially secure. What happened to us was a tragedy. Yet, the loving and faithful staff of IB has helped to lighten our load. The healing process of our congregation has been helped by your work."
Tower Hill Camp & Retreat Center
"We heard from the adjuster within two days, and he was here right after the initial phone call. He was very thorough with his inspection and he had an estimate back to us the next day...Process was speedy and effficient....It was an impressive handling of everything."
Edgewood Congregational UCC
"Very satisfied with the initial contact and inspection by the claims adjuster. Received updates and payments in a timely manner, for which we were very grateful!"
Christ United Church of Christ
"We were extemely pleased with the manner in which all aspects of our claim were handled. Since it was a lightning strike, which damaged quite of bit of equipment in the church, some of which needed immediate attention that we initiated, we appreciated that we didn't need to wait for an adjuster to look over everything. Contact was maintained throughout, and our questions were answered in a timely manner."
Westminster Presbyterian Church
Grand Rapdis, MI
"Your company made the entire claims process painless!"
Grace United Church of Christ
"Our agent was very helpful and quick to process our claim. Our adjuster was very friendly and informative (I had never had a claim prior). Adjuster was great in dealing with one problematic vendor!"
First Christian Church
"You were very prompt and we are very satisfied. Thank you!"