How Insurance Will Cover Businesses Looted During Protests

NBC 7 Responds looked at what types of damage are covered under common business insurance.

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Millions of people around the country have been marching in protest after George Floyd was killed while a white Minneapolis police officer jammed his knee into the back of the black man's neck.

While many of the protests have been peaceful, dozens of businesses have either been looted, destroyed, or vandalized. One of those was the decade-old California Coast Credit Union branch in La Mesa.

"They broke all the windows in the front and the sides with baseball bats and rocks," said CEO Todd Lane. "Anything electronic, monitors, security camera screens, anything they could break they did."

Lane said the security footage showed the destruction happened in just two minutes.

"The loss is sizable," said Lane. "It's a six-figure loss easily when you go inside and look around, but we have insurance that will cover it."

Insurance industry groups say common business insurance policies will cover most of the damage caused by any looting or vandalism.

"Business insurance does cover rights and civil commotion," said Janet Ruiz with the Insurance Information Institute. "So the looting, the destruction that's taken place, business insurance will cover that."

Ruiz says even most homes and cars would likely be covered.

"Newer model cars generally have a comprehensive policy that would cover replacing it after a riot," said Ruiz. "If there is a fire or people throwing things, breaking windows, that would all be covered with your homeowners insurance."

The American Property Casualty Insurance Association says double check your policy, because there might be some exclusions written in.

"Physical damage to homes, businesses, and vehicles resulting from the current unrest will be generally covered by insurance policies unless there are specific exclusions or additional coverage requirements," read a statement from the APCIA’s Senior Vice President of Policy Robert Gordon.

Ruiz says people will still have to pay deductibles and wants to remind everyone to save their receipts to make sure their costs are covered.

"Anyone with damage, call the insurance company and turn in a claim quickly," urged Ruiz. "That gets the wheels rolling."

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