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A standard commercial property insurance policy typically covers property damage caused by looting and vandalism. Both a commercial package policy or a business owners policy should include property coverage.
However, your policy must specifically list your building or business contents for coverage. For example, if you have a general liability policy only, you wouldn’t be covered for property damage. General liability only covers you for lawsuits and settlements that somebody sues your business for – it doesn’t cover property.
If you’ve opted into business income coverage, damage that results in temporary closure could be covered until repairs allow you to reopen. This coverage is often included in a business owners policy but not automatically included if you have a commercial package policy.
Watch our short video on how your insurance can cover you in the event of vandalism or looting:
Business insurance covers common property losses like:
Other than having the right coverage on your policy, your insurer can deny your claim if:
If your claim is denied, consider alternative financial relief to help your business recover.
No, there is no riot clause in your insurance policy that excludes damage caused by looting, vandalism or violent protests. Rather, “riot and civil commotion” is a listed peril under both business insurance and homeowners insurance.
Two exclusions that could be confused with a riot clause are:
President Trump recently announced his intent to designate Antifa a terrorist organization, and some policyholders are asking whether they’ll still be covered if their property is stolen or damaged during a protest by people identifying as Antifa.
While most property and home insurance policies include an “acts of terrorism” clause, this exclusion probably won’t apply to damage caused by protestors or looters — even if a self-declared member of Antifa is behind it.
There are two key reasons for this. First, it’s unclear whether the president has the authority to designate a loose group like Antifa as a terrorist organization. And second, the secretary of the treasury must declare the event a “certified act of terrorism” under the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act before the insurance exclusion can apply.
If your business is damaged by looting or vandalism, take the steps to protect your business after being vandalized.
Contact your insurance company or agent to start the claims process. To speed up your claims process, carefully gather as much documentation as you can during reporting and cleanup, such as pictures, video, receipts and an inventory of damaged or stolen items.
Property claims, such as those for broken windows and stolen contents, require you to pay a deductible. You’ll likely have two deductibles: one for damage to your building, and another for damage to your contents or inventory.
Business income claims do not require a deductible, but you must provide documentation that shows how much money you’ve made in the last month or so.
With how quickly looting and vandalism can strike, it’s unlikely that you can prevent it, but you can prepare to minimize looting damage to your business both before and during the violence if it’s safe to do so:
Business insurance coverage can be a valuable tool in getting you back on your feet after looting, vandalism or a break-in.
To find the strongest policy for your budget and needs, compare the benefits of business insurance among at least two companies.
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