Insurance Question: Say Rioters Destroy My Business, Am I Covered?
A riot breaks out. Your business or home is vandalized and torched. Will your homeowners/commercial insurance policy offer coverage? That was Alan’s question:
“Mr. Beaver, my family owns and operates a small general store, carrying a wide variety of merchandise. Frankly, we are terrified of the civil unrest that has engulfed parts of America, with small businesses like ours destroyed by rioters.
“I asked our insurance broker if we would have coverage should such a terrible thing happen to us, and he answered, ‘Don’t even dream of making a claim. If it happens, the insurance company will tell you it is a rebellion, civil war, and they do not cover civil war.’
“I have read your column for years and walked away with a strong feeling that I can’t trust our broker to tell us the truth. Would we be covered if rioters destroyed our business? Thanks. Alan.”
Brokers and Agents are the Company’s First Line of Defense – Do Not Rely on Them
I ran Alan’s timely question by Los Angeles based attorneys Brian S. Kabateck and Shant Karnikian who specialize in insurance bad faith cases. Both have been longtime friends of this column, always ready to answer readers’ questions.
Kabateck: In general, unless specifically excluded, a business owner’s insurance policy will cover all physical damage to property and the contents inside even when the cause is riots, civil commotion or vandalism. Also, most business policies cover loss of income resulting from physical damage to the premises.