Last updated 27th June 2023
Sadly, the incidents of stone and metal theft to churches and churchyards in our diocese is on the increase. These thefts are distressing for people in the parish but can also cause thousands of pounds of damage to church roofs, paths and masonry. This page offers some advice to help prevent metal and stone theft and what to do when theft happens at your church.
Prevention of theft
Ecclesiastical Insurance has provided the following guidance for churches on actions that they can take to help mitigate against the risk of metal and stone theft;
Further guidance on preventing metal and stone theft can be found below:
Additional guidance on security can be found here:
What to do if a theft occurs at your church
How theft of metal can affect your insurance claim
Smartwater: The application and registration of SmartWater (or an approved alternative), along with the display of prominent signage is a condition of Ecclesiastical Insurance policies . If you do not meet this policy condition you will not be covered for theft or attempted theft of metal, or the subsequent damage.
Roof alarms: For some churches that are particularly vulnerable to such losses, Ecclesiastical Insurance require the installation of an approved roof alarm to benefit from increased cover. If you install an approved roof protection system then churches have unlimited cover for theft of metal claims. More information can be found here. Grants for roof alarms are available from the Benefact Trust.
Cover for theft of metal when scaffolding is to be erected
The presence of scaffolding on any building can seriously compromise general security. Because of this insurance policies normally exclude theft of external metal (normally on roofs) when scaffolding is erected. However, Ecclesiastical Insurance do offer some cover subject to various conditions.
What cover is available?
When a church with external metal is having scaffolding erected for repairs or other building work we may be able to provide insurance cover up to the limit of your building and/or contents sum insured for theft of external metal and for any subsequent damage.
What do we need to do to qualify for cover?
A church must meet the following minimum requirements: