Insurance executive says churches can afford payouts
Australian church dioceses would be unlikely to be bankrupted by sexual abuse payouts because they were fairly asset rich, the country's biggest church insurer EIG Ansvar has said.
But premiums have risen up to 400% this year to cover huge increases in small property and public liability claims.
EIG managing director John Peberdy on Friday said sexual abuse claims were only a small part of the increased payouts.
A huge increase in the number of small claims for minor injuries including cuts and scratches or claims for dry-cleaning clothes was now affecting churches as much as other community organisations, he said.
Church policies were not being renewed until churches completed survey forms detailing all the activities of organisations within the church to enable the insurer to assess risk, he said.
``Some increases are 300 to 400% if the churches run youth groups and have skateboarding ramps and other sporting equipment.''
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18 Jun 2002