DEPRECATED-Risk Management Guidelines

Risk Management –Overview: Mission and Purpose

The Diocese of Syracuse Risk Management Office's mission is to enhance the safety and well being of all Diocesan parishes, schools, cemeteries, Catholic Charities and all of our ministries, through loss prevention, fair and timely claims handling, and effective management of all risks throughout the Diocese. Risk Management exists to serve the Diocese of Syracuse parishioners, volunteers, clergy and all employees throughout all 7 counties.

Protected Self Insurance Program Coverages

Protected Self Insurance Program-Structure Overview


The Diocese of Syracuse pays the first $500,000 of each property claim (damages directly to buildings and contents). Excess insurance carriers pay over that amount to the limit placed on each building. Contents are covered up to 18% of the building value.


The Diocese of Syracuse pays the first $250,000 of each liability claim (bodily injuries and property damages to 3rd parties). Excess insurance carriers pay over that amount for any settlement that exceeds $250,000. Defense costs are included in the retention and limit amounts.

Workers Compensation

The Diocese of Syracuse is a certified group self insurer in the the State of New York. The Diocese pays the first $500,000 of any workers compensation claims (including indemnity payments, medical payments and defense costs). Excess insurance carriers pay over that amount.


All active schools, and parishes who have elected this coverage, have Boiler & Machinery coverage. There is a $1,000 deductible. This coverage is placed separately with a carrier.


The Diocese of Syracuse secures its coverages through a broker. A broker is a representative of the policyholder (our Diocese), acting on the policyholder’s behalf, in marketing the placement of insurance.

Claims Administration

The Diocese of Syracuse’s self insurance program claims are self-administered, handled “in house” by a Diocesan-employed Claims Manager. Our claims manager handles the claims on behalf of the Diocese and also on behalf of the excess insurance carriers involved In our program. When it is anticipated that a claim may involve an excess insurance carrier, the claim is reported to that carrier and the Diocese continues to handle, with ongoing communication and involvement as needed with the carrier.


The Diocese of Syracuse pays premiums directly to the excess insurance carriers who are involved with the self insurance program. Internally, each specific Diocesan location, covered under the program, is billed internally by the Diocese.

Claims Handling

All property, liability, auto and workers compensation claims are handled by the Claims Manager, a Diocesan employee, out of the Risk Management Office.

Property Claims

Liability Claims

Workers Compensation


The term SPECIAL EVENTS INSURANCE has often created confusion at the

parish/location level. Perhaps some clarification is in order.

Parish/location-sponsored activities and events do not require the purchase of Special

Events Insurance. It is only for individuals or groups that use your premises for their own benefit. If a parish is having a bazaar or festival, etc., such events are automatically insured by the Diocesan Self-Insurance Program. Special Events Insurance is not necessary even though, in most peoples’ minds, these are “special events”.

On the other hand, any individuals or groups wishing to use your premises are responsible

for insuring their own parties (e.g. showers, wedding receptions) and activities (e.g. non-parish fund-raisers and meetings). The Diocese of Syracuse Self-Insurance Program protects only the interests of the parish/location and the Diocese. It is your obligation to make this known to any such persons that are using/renting the parish location for their personal events and to see to it that adequate insurance coverage is in place before allowing them to use your premises.


Any individuals or groups who use your premises could be held accountable for their

actions by an injured party and could be responsible for paying settlements arising out of accidents or injuries that occur. We have seen this happen all too often. Even if they are not responsible for the alleged act, they still may have to defend themselves in court. Defense costs can be very high at today’s attorney fee rates.

There are two (2) ways for outsiders (including parishioners who use the parish building for a

non-parish event) to insure their events/activities held on your premises:

office, or

providing a Certificate of Insurance as outlined below.

If they want the Special Events Insurance, simply use one of the 4 part forms, follow the

instructions on it and send it with the appropriate premium payment so that we receive it at least 48 hours ahead of the event. (Please see that the form is completed correctly and signed.) Remember: this insurance is in effect for this event only.

You must also be aware that our Special Events Insurance policy does not cover

firework displays, carnival rides or stunt exhibitions. Please call the Diocese Risk Management Department if you have any questions. As mentioned above, a possible alternative to taking our Special Events Insurance is coverage through the event sponsor’s Homeowner’s or Group policy. If this option is chosen, we must be provided with a Certificate of Insurance showing a minimum of $1 million General Liability coverage and naming the Parish/Location AND the Diocese of Syracuse as Additional named insureds. Any such Certificate must be submitted to the Risk Management Office at least one week ahead of the event for final approval. If a Certificate does not meet our minimum requirements, it will be returned for correction. Failing compliance, Special Events coverage or denial of use of the facilities will be necessary. NOTE: It is imperative that Liquor Liability coverage is included in a Homeowner’s or Group policy if applicable and that their certificate of insurance states this.


The New York State Liquor Liability (Dram Shop Law) places liability for

drunken driving accidents on the party who “over serves” an individual or on the party who allows drunken individuals to drive.

If your premises are used by individuals or groups that provide alcoholic

beverages (including wine and beer), it is imperative that adequate Liquor Liability Coverage be in place and verified. In addition, the Parish/Location and the Diocese of Syracuse must be included as additional named insureds. If private insurance is to be used, such coverage must be verified by an appropriate Certificate of Insurance as previously outlined. The Special Events Insurance handles this very nicely by providing $1 million coverage including Liquor Liability and the Additional Named Insureds provision.

It should be noted that whether or not liquor is to be served at an event does not

determine whether insurance is required. It must be in place in either case. Just because you are not the direct sponsor does not mean that your Parish/Location cannot be drawn into a lawsuit. The fact that the incident originated on your premises can draw you in and that is why it is so critical that the event’s sponsor be insured and that his/her insurance also protects your interest and that of the Diocese.

A word about vendors

Some parishes have outside vendors at their festivals, etc.

selling ice cream, popcorn, etc. Such vendors have their own insurance and should be able to provide you with an adequate certificate of insurance. If they cannot, they may wish to purchase our Special Events Insurance for each day they will be doing business on your premises.

We hope this information is helpful in clarifying this for you. Thank you for helping us

protect our own interests and those of others on our premises!

Below are the premium rate schedules and the Sign-Up Form.



Hazard I – Low/Minimum

Hazard II – Medium-Average Hazard Risks

Hazard III – Moderate Hazard/Increased Exposure

Sample Forms