Lesson 8b: Obtaining insurance on leased or owned trust real estate

Jerald Finney
Copyright © January 20, 2022

Go to the following webpage for links to additional lessons:
Lessons on the Bible (Common Law) Trust

Remember the property is not owned by the church. The real, true, and equitable owner of all property in the trust estate is the beneficiary, the Lord Jesus Christ. The trustee is acting as trustee of the trust, not as pastor of the church. He is not acting for the church. Thus, he should be careful not to identify himself as the pastor of the church when obtaining insurance, or otherwise as part of his duties as trustee. He is acting as the trustee of property owned by the Lord. He is acting to provide a meetinghouse for the church, according to the Lord’s will and for the Lord.

When the trustee approaches the insurance agent, he should state,

“I am the trustee of [Name of trust]. This is an irrevocable trust. I want to obtain insurance on real estate held in trust. Here is a copy of the trust documents, and here is a copy of the title (naming the trust as owner) or the lease (naming the trust as lessee).”

Remember that church members give to the Lord (to the irrevocable trust estate which he owns), not to the church, as with a church which is a legal entity such as an incorporated 501(c)(3) or 508(c)(1)(A) church. Remember also, that in an irrevocable trust, the church has no claim to any property held in the trust estate. When anyone gives to the trust estate, the new owner is the Lord Jesus Christ and the giver loses all claim to what he gave.

After hearing or seeing the name of the trust, the agent may ask questions such as, “Are you the pastor of the church?” The trustee should state that he is not acting as pastor of the church, but as trustee of the trust. The documents make that and other relevant matters clear.

The company will probably present a “Church” or “BUSINESSOWNERS Church” policy. Even though the policy may be opened in the name of the trust, the policy, and trust forms attached thereto, make clear that the policy covers the church. Opening such a policy has just compromised the position of the church. The trustee effectively declares that the church is a legal entity capable of being sued; and by extension acting as a legal entity in other matters. Only a legal entity can be sued, sue, contract, or act legally in other ways. When the trustee purchases a church policy, he has destroyed what the church set out to do by establishing the irrevocable Bible (common law) trust. He treated the church as a business; a legal entity committing spiritual fornication with a lover other than the Lord Jesus Christ. He has opened the door for a disgruntled church member who wishes to file a lawsuit to settle a dispute with other church members, a non-member, or the civil government  to take the church into court to resolve a matter.

An individual policy held by “[Name of trustee], trustee of [Name of church] Trust” is more appropriate, although the policy can be held in the name of the trust. Remember, the trustee is legal owner of the property. He holds and manages the property solely for the benefit of the owner of the property, the Lord Jesus Christ (the beneficiary). He receives no salary for acting as trustee, and no property is to ever accrue to his benefit.

The policies and forms set the church up as a business, a legal entity, even if the policy is held in the name of the church. Church policies, at the church’s election, include or exclude terrorism insurance coverage at no additional cost. They will also include property and liability coverage. Covered will be things such as “Accounts Receivable,” “Business Income,” “Business Income from Dependent Properties,” “Business Personal Property Temporarily in Portable Storage Units,” “Electronic Data,” “Forgery or Alteration,” “Interruption of Computer Operations,” “Money Orders and Counterfeit Currency,” “Newly Acquired or Constructed Property,” “Outdoor Property,” “Personal Property Off Premises (Transit),” “Total Faith Businessowners Coverage Enhancement,” and “On-Premises and Off-Premises Valuable Papers and Records. Do you see how such a policy compromises, on its face, the position of the church as a church under Christ alone and declares the church to be a business?

The trustee must be vigilant in performing all his duties, to include obtaining insurance on the Lord’s real estate.

Always remember that I, as your servant in the Lord, am here to help in any matter. Please do not hesitate to contact me for any reason. God bless.

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