Is Looting Covered By Business Insurance?

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Has the civil unrest on the streets crossed the threshold of your business? Has your business been affected by vandalism, rioting and looting? Are you unable to get to your business because the police or the National Guard has shut down your street or area? Has your business been interrupted by riots? All these instances can be covered by business insurance coverage. Let’s look at all the ways business insurance covers looting and civic unrest.

Commercial Property Insurance. A commercial property insurance policy protects your building and all its contents including exterior fixtures and outdoor signs and fences from vandalism, theft, fire and explosions.

For business owners who have purchased commercial property insurance, their policies do cover losses from protests, riots and civil disturbances. Commercial property insurance in fact does cover damage from the results of vandalism, rioting and civil commotion. And these policies specifically include coverage for acts of looting in connection with a riot or civil commotion. So if your property is damaged by looting your commercial property insurance will cover those damages.

Riots are part of the named perils in many commercial property policies. So any damages your business received from acts of rioting are most likely covered by your insurance policy. Not absolutely sure if your commercial property insurance policy covers damages from a riot? Double-check with your insurance company.

Business Owner’s Policy. Many business owners have a business owner’s policy (BOP). This policy combines property, liability and business interruption insurance coverages. A BOP policy would cover any damages to the physical structure of a business and its contents from vandalism or rioting. Check for the details about your BOP policy with your insurance agent. Does it specifically cover rioting and vandalism? What about looting? How easy would it be to make a claim? Are you eligible for a payment through your business interruption coverage?

The business insurance coverage for plate glass windows is often not covered because it is so high risk. And coverage for a company’s glass window would need to be purchased separately. Business owners with BOP also can add additional coverages for criminal activity and spoilage of inventory for extra protection during times of civil unrest. So consider the needs of your business and choose the insurance coverage that will give you the most protection during times of looting and rioting.

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Business Interruption Insurance. Also known as business income insurance, business interruption insurance would cover lost business income if the business is forced to suspend operations or limit hours because of riots. But this protection can only be triggered if the premises of the business has been physically damaged from the rioting.

Civil authority provisions provide coverage for lost income or extra expenses resulting from access to the business being prohibited by civil authorities such as the fire department, police or National Guard because of rioting or a civic commotion. So if the police and fire department are blocking the way to your business during a riot you have insurance protection.

These civil authority provisions will only cover lost income during a limited time period, usually four weeks. This provision can be extended by paying additional premiums. So if the unrest in your area is going on for some time, you can extend this coverage as needed.

Reporting the Damage. Contact your insurance company to report the damage to your business from looting or rioting. Someone from the insurance company will come out to verify the nature of your claim and the extent of the damage to your business.

While waiting for the insurance company representative to arrive, board up your business to prevent any future losses and secure the area. If your business was looted, make a list of the inventory that was damaged. Use photos and videos to further document your case. Be as thorough as possible. You want to illustrate the total loss to your business as clearly as you can.

File a police report as well. Give a copy of this report to your insurance representative.

File all the needed paperwork with your insurance company as soon as possible. You want your claim completed as promptly as possible so your business can be rebuilt and be back on its feet.

Has your business been vandalised in the civil unrest? Are you unable to return to your place of business? Have the police or fire department been blocking the way to your business? Don’t forget to file a business interruption claim. This insurance will help to cover lost income over a four-week period thanks to its civil authority provisions.

Wondering About Your Home? Homeowner insurance policies cover damages from vandalism and rioting and fires and explosions. This coverage includes damage to the structure of your home and other structures on your property as well as personal property and possessions inside or outside your home. So you are protected by insurance if vandalism and violent unrest comes to your neighborhood as well as your place of business.

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