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Riots and Civil Commotion: Insurance Perspective

June 2, 2020


We are currently experiencing some unprecedented times in 2020. First, the COVID-19 pandemic, which included many stay-at-home orders. Now a stay safe order following the unfortunate events in Minneapolis involving George Floyd on May 25, 2020.  We are now seeing riots and civil commotion all over the United States.

As a result, we are fielding questions from business owners, homeowners, property owners, and vehicle owners regarding coverage against Riots, Civil Commotion, and Vandalism. Some of our customers and business associations actually experienced these situations firsthand. So, we wanted to address those questions! Let’s help everyone could get a better understanding of insurance coverage from a 30,000-foot view.

What is Vandalism, Riot, or Civil Commotion Insurance?

Coverage against the damage to property caused by the following:

  • protest
  • riot
  • looting
  • vandalism
  • civil unrest or disturbance
  • other related event.  

Here are some examples of covered items:

  1. Property damage to home. This would apply to both the structure and/or personal property.
  2. Property damage to commercial building or real estate. This would apply to the structure and business personal property.
  3. Loss of Income. This would apply if the business is closed for repairs and loss of income is experienced.
  4. Vehicle Damage. This would apply as long as the vehicle has comprehensive or other than collision coverage on it at the time of loss.
  5. Additional Living Expenses. If a home is damaged and unlivable and an increased cost of living results, the policy will pay those additional expenses while you repair the home.

Does an insurance policy cover these types of events (typically)?

Let’s talk generally here. Most of these events are covered by policies written on an ISO (insurance service office) policy form. Under the Basic, Broad, and Special insurance forms, Riot and Civil Commotion is a covered peril of a policy. Extension of coverage would occur. Talk to your independent insurance agent! They can explain the specifics on your policy and look into the details of your actual claim situation to verify coverage.

Are there any other considerations regarding Riot insurance?

There could be clauses in the policy to help pay for temporary board up situations to preserve the property.

The contract also states that the property owner has the responsibility to preserve and save the property from further damage. Do not let the property sit open with broken windows for an extended period of time. This could allow others to enter freely and cause further damages. Only return to the property when it is safe!

The policy could exclude damages due to riots or vandalism. Vacant property and no vacancy clause added to the policy could cause this exclusion. Please contact your insurance agent if you have an unoccupied structure. Proper protection is extremely important! Not addressing this could leave a large gap in coverage. Communicate this clearly to your agent. There is no real way for an agent to know if your property is vacant.

More questions?

Thanks for reading our blog and checking out our page! If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out. Drop us a message! We’d love to help.

If you’d like us to look into providing a competitive quote for your business, click below to get started.

Above all, stay safe!

Please note this blog is not a binding contract and holds no merit for any individual policy, talk to your agent specifically on the policy you carry.