Navigating Commercial Insurance In A Time Of Crisis – Coverage for riots, civil commotion and vandalism

By: Denise Koslowsky

We are here to support our commercial insurance customers during a time of continued uncertainty.  As many cities across the country have responded to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in the custody of Minneapolis police officers, with civil commotion, vandalism and riots, some businesses have incurred damage.  If your business was impacted, we want you to know that generally, the damages are covered under standard insurance policies.

In an effort to educate each client we serve, we want to provide some clarity during this uncertainty for our Commercial Insurance clients.

Damage to vehicles is covered under the comprehensive portion of your auto policy. You can be reimbursed for damage caused by fire, falling objects, vandalism or rioting.  This includes damage to both the vehicle and its contents.  Many policies will include coverage for a shattered windshield without a deductible.

Nearly all business owner’s and commercial insurance property policies cover perils such as rioting, civil commotion, and vandalism. Damage to windows, doors, light fixtures and other items that are part of a building should be covered under the building property coverage included in the policy. Glass is sometimes a special endorsement, so you will want to check the specifics of your particular policy.

If you do not own the property, basically anything from your business that was damaged or stolen from the civil commotion, should qualify for coverage under your business personal property coverage, including furniture, improvements, glassware, office supplies, computers and machinery.

Loss of income that occurs because access to your premises has been prohibited by civil authority, such as a government entity may also be covered during a limited period of time (typically 4 weeks).  Businesses that are forced to suspend operations or limit hours due to rioting, vandalism or civil commotion and have coverage for the loss of income under business income insurance (also known as business interruption) will be covered.  Coverage is typically triggered if there is physical damage to the premises and could be subject to a waiting period.

Every business and its exposures are unique.  If you are unsure as to the details of your coverage, we recommend that you get in touch with us. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have and offer any advice needed regarding the claim process.

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