Travel Insurance

by Jon
(Northern Illinois, USA)

In a non-profit 501c3 ministry, can the ministry pay for travel insurance for the traveling minister when it includes a death benefit for the spouse (as well as other things)?

For example:

If Minister Bob is going to Africa to preach and teach in churches there and the ministry is buying his ticket and paying his expenses, can the ministry also pay for travel insurance? (Such as TravelGuard or any of the others out there?)

The coverage usually involves medical coverage, repatriation of remains, emergency evacuation, a death benefit for the spouse, cancellation insurance, etc.

Sometimes there is even an option for travel insurance while purchasing the airfare.

So... Can the ministry pay for this? Is it okay to have the spouse and other family members be the beneficiary? Would all this need to be included in the compensation package for the ministry?

Comments for Travel Insurance

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Jan 14, 2015
Travel Insurance for Pastor
by: MarcusNtexas

I am far from an expert on this but I would think this would not be considered as compensation to the pastor if the expenses being paid by the church are for the pastor only inasmuch as this would seem to be a part of the mission work / outreach mission of the church.

What travel expenses covered from church funds, including the travel insurance payment would need to be something that the elected church leadership (deacons and finance /stewardship committee, etc.) should be authorized by church policy to decide. Naming the pastor's wife and other family members as beneficiaries of the travel insurance policy would also seem to be a decision left to the elected church leaders.

Jan 14, 2015
Info from another site
by: Jon from Northern Illinois

I posted the same question on the Facebook Page of the ministry that helped us do our 501c3 work.

This was their answer:

"Yes, the ministry can pay for the insurance. Yes, a family member can be the beneficiary. And yes, this should be detailed in the compensation agreement. Hope this helps!"

Here is what my follow up question was (and is):

"Is the cost of the insurance taxable income for the pastor/ministry leader? How is that reported on the W2 (if at all)??"

(Source: https://www.facebook.com/StartCHURCH/posts/779671122069113)

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