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Christian Products and Services Now a $4.5 Billion Business

Auto, home insurance for churchgoers among the hottest new offerings


Contact: Andy Larsen, Boelter + Lincoln PR, 414-271-0101; Emily Abbas, GuideOne Insurance, 515-267-5709


WEST DES MOINES, Iowa, Sept. 10 /Christian Newswire/ -- According to statistics released earlier this summer, religious books were the publishing industry's fastest-growing category last year, with Bible sales alone exceeding 25 million copies. And that's just the tip of the iceberg for the $4.5 billion Christian products industry,* which runs the gamut from books and videos to toys, games and, now, even insurance.


Launched two years ago in select test markets, GuideOne Insurance's FaithGuard Auto and Home product is now offered to churchgoers in 19 states. FaithGuard offers customers a number of unique benefits including waiving policyholders' deductibles in crashes that happen on the way to church (or Sunday school) and doubling medical payments to persons injured during at-home church activities.


The popularity of this coverage has grown exponentially since its introduction, with FaithGuard included with nearly 65,000 GuideOne policies since its launch in 2005.


The appeal of FaithGuard is fairly obvious to policyholders such as Andrew and Celeste Parker of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Parkers were on their way home from their weekly church service when they hit a pipe in the road that damaged their tire. Though their policy had a $1,000 deductible, they ultimately paid nothing because they were on their way home from a religious service.


"Interest in niche insurance products has really exploded in the past year," said Joseph Annotti, senior vice president of public affairs at the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). "As far as we can tell, there is no other coverage for churchgoers quite like this, and obviously there is demand for it."


In addition to the benefits listed above, FaithGuard also will make payments of auto loans and church tithing for insured persons losing income from injuries suffered in such accidents. Additionally, policies with FaithGuard pay a $1,000 memorial gift to the insured person's church in the event of his or her death; double medical payments in the event of injuries to attendees of church-related events in the insured person's home; and cover mortgage, lease or rent payments for insured persons losing incomes as a result of an accident in the home.


Founded in 1947 and headquartered in West Des Moines, Iowa, GuideOne Insurance is one of the nation's largest church insurers, with approximately 43,000 church policyholders. GuideOne also insures faith-based private schools and colleges as well as not-for-profit senior living communities. GuideOne's personal product lines include standard auto, homeowners, and life insurance products underwritten by the Kansas City Life Insurance Company. GuideOne is licensed to do business in all 50 states and markets its products and services through nearly 1,600 independent and career agents. GuideOne carries an "Excellent" rating from A.M. Best.


*Sources: USA Today, Chicago Tribune