Analyzing claims leads to safer practices

A variety of property losses and personal injury claims occur at camps and conference centers.  These events can happen when campers and guests take part in fun events, when staff perform work activities, when structures are impacted by adverse weather conditions or from several other contributing factors.  Significant injures and/or property damages are normally reported to insurance companies as claims.  Recently, Church Mutual analyzed policyholder claims and losses submitted by camps and conference centers during calendar years 2013-2015.  The three-year analysis identified the following claim-related loss drivers, by line of coverage:

Line of Coverage

Claim Count Percentage of all Claims

Percent of Total Incurred Cost for all Claims

#1 Loss Driver In Cost

#2 Loss Driver In Cost

Workers’ Comp.



Struck by/collusion with


General Liability









Fire and Lightning




Property damage








Within the five prior calendar years, camps insured by Church Mutual experienced claims where each one was expected to or did exceed more than $500,000 in total loss.  These claims included: 

  • An electrical arc fire.
  • A camper fell from an elevated ropes course platform.
  • An auto accident involving three vehicles – one death and several others injured.
  • An employee injured his head while sawing wood in camp’s saw mill.
  • A wildfire caused damage to multiple structures.
  • A volunteer fell off of a ladder and injured his head and spine.
  • A camper and/or staff member drowned.
  • A finger was amputated using a wood splitter.
  • A camper fell off a horse.
  • Structural damage to buildings was caused due to wind, hail or snow load.

Further analysis of loss activity by line of coverage revealed the following:   

  • General Liability - slips and falls were the leading loss driver and accounted for 39% of all GL claims and 55% of total incurred GL costs (paid and reserves).
  • Property – wind and hail accounted for 34% of all property claims and 32% of total incurred property losses. 
  • Workers’ Compensation – struck by/collision with objects was the loss leader accounting for 27% of the claims and 49% of the losses.  Next in line were slips/falls, accounting for 23% of the claims and 26% of the losses.

There are several preventive steps camps and conference centers can take to reduce their level of exposure to these occurrences.  For example, proactive organizations who conduct periodic surveys of their heavily traveled walking surfaces such as sidewalks, parking lots, decks, interior floors and steps/stairways are able to quickly identify and correct damaged surfaces before these injuries occur.

Outlined below are some risk reduction practices to consider for controlling loss exposures mentioned above:

Auto Responsible organizations prepare for road trips around town or across the country by taking important steps ahead of time to keep travel safe for drivers and passengers.  First, it’s essential that only qualified drivers be allowed to operate motor vehicles on behalf of your organization. One good tool to help select qualified drivers is to check a person’s Motor Vehicle Record (MVR), which can be supplied through a Church Mutual risk control specialist.  A person’s MVR shows if he or she has a valid license for the types of vehicles to be driven, and more importantly, what kind of driving record he or she has had in recent years. Secondly, drivers need to be able to focus their attention on driving and not on motor vehicle related problems. Have a qualified mechanic check and maintain critical vehicle components such as tires, engine, lights, brakes, windshield wipers and the exhaust system. A properly maintained vehicle is vital to the safety of drivers, passengers, pedestrians and others on the roadway.

Workers’ Compensation Most organizations consider their people to be their most valuable resources. Slip and fall accidents continue to be one of the leading causes of loss for accidents at work and related workers’ compensations claims. These accidents commonly occur due to improper footwear or slippery/uneven walking surfaces. When an injury occurs, it’s important for an injured employee to receive the appropriate level of care in a timely matter. Without proper medical assessment at the time of injury, it’s very likely that an employee with only minor injuries might be sent for unnecessary medical treatment. Conversely, an employee with more serious injuries may not receive the level care he or she needs.

Property-Related Loss Property-related claims at camps and conference centers have historically been a loss leader in both the number of claims and the cost of claims.  Your buildings are the front line of defense against risks such as wind, water damage or fire.  Heavy rains, hail, strong winds and lightning strikes can result in roof and structural damage, water leaks or flooding.  During cold spells, your property could also be at risk from frozen pipes and related water damage. Church Mutual maintains an extensive library of safety resources including posters, self-inspection checklists, videos and safety brochures to assist you with your safety plan.  Our Risk Control safety professionals can recommend materials to help you create a customized plan to protect your buildings and organization from losses.

Samples of Safety Resources include:

  • Booklet: Roofing Product Comparisons.
  • Videos: Prevent Frozen Pipes, Fire at Your Worship Center.
  • Self-Inspection Safety Checklist for Camps and Conference Centers.
  • Poster: How to Use a Fire Extinguisher.

If you have a question or need more information on any of the safety topics reviewed above, please email your question to or contact our Risk Control Center directly at 800-554-2642 x 5213.

To review more safety resources, visit

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Church Mutual Insurance Company
P.O. Box 357 | 3000 Schuster Lane | Merrill, WI 54452-0357
Telephone (800) 554-2642 or (715) 536-5577

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