Residents and businesses faced property damage and looting and are now filing with their insurers.
The residents of Baltimore have certainly faced destruction to their properties as a result of the riots, but it is the businesses that will be making the largest insurance claims, and many owners are wondering exactly how much of the various forms of damage will be covered by their insurers.
The most obvious claims are being filed with insurance companies for issues such as looting and property damage.
However other insurance claims could be filed with regards to lost business due to the mandatory curfew that was put into place for 10 p.m. (meaning that businesses would need to close far ahead of that time in order to ensure that their employees could arrive home in time), as well as because of the time that is needed for some businesses to clean up the damage before they can open their doors once again.
For businesses such as bars and restaurants, which would typically bring in a great deal of their revenue after the hours of the curfew, and for businesses facing the largest amount of theft and property damage, that additional level of protection could mean a lot. What they now want to know is whether or not it will be there for them.
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The insurance claims from the Baltimore riots make the catastrophe look as though a natural disaster had hit the city.
The majority of the businesses in the city carry a property insurance policy that would protect them from the costs associated with damage. That said, businesses would also need to purchase an additional form of business interruption insurance if they wish to be able to file a claim that would cover the income that they would lose as a result of the mandatory curfew and other similar issues that would prevent them from being able to continue to generate earnings in their typical way. It is unclear what percentage of businesses had opted for that form of protection.
According to Insurance Information Institute spokesperson, Michael Barry, “The standard business property insurance is going to cover losses arising out of a riot or civil commotion,” adding that “So one of the things we’ve seen here, fire, vandalism, these are all covered under the standard business property insurance policies.” Typically speaking, those businesses would need to purchase a rider in order to be able to file insurance claims for plate glass windows.