Civil unrest can occur anywhere – from big cities to a small-town community. Looting, theft, and vandalism are possible in the midst of the mayhem. But if something happens to your home or business as a result – will your homeowners’ insurance or business insurance cover it?
Standard home insurance policies are in place to protect your property from sudden and accidental losses. Typically, this includes damage to your home from the following:
For many homeowners, riot is top of mind right now because of the events in Ferguson, Missouri. Damage resulting from riots typically can be covered by standard homeowners policies.
The standard ISO form property coverage will also provide coverage. Typically, property insurance under business owners policies written on a named peril basis includes coverage for direct physical loss caused by riot or civil commotion, and looting at the time and place of the occurrence.
The “rioting” definition covers looting by participants who steal merchandise or other property from the premises, as well as fire. Vandalism is also a covered peril in the Business Owners Policy (BOP).
As for those businesses that must suspend operations or limit hours due to rioting, business income or interruption coverage is triggered “if there is physical damage to the premises of such magnitude that the business must suspend its operations.”
Physical damage to other property that prevents customers or employees from gaining access to the business is also covered, though most policies have a waiting period of several days before business interruption coverage will come into play. Even then, coverage is not retroactive to the day of the event, which means some losses may not be covered under this policy.
If civil authority—i.e. the police or fire department—keep people away from an area, there is generally coverage for lost business income and extra expense through a civil authority provision. This includes curfews and other restrictions on access to a place of business, and usually begins 72 hours after the time of the first action of civil authority.
Other Insurance Coverage
Plate-glass-window insurance is an additional coverage that, if owned, “would cover for any damage done to glass windows.”
Specific types of businesses, such as a bailor’s property, may also have unique coverage that is triggered in a rioting or civil unrest event.
Workers’ compensation generally covers injured workers during events like the ones in Ferguson, but state-specific regulations may differ.
Contact The Andrew Agency
If you live in Virginia, Maryland or South Carolina and have questions about homeowners insurance or business insurance contact The Andrew Agency at (804) 320-2886 or e-mail [email protected].