Does Insurance Cover My Business For Civil Unrest Damage

Business insurance requirements are similar to your average state car insurance requirements. Basic liability is required by many landlords (though not all) in a lease agreement, protecting them in the event that they face lawsuits from customers who are injured on their property, among other legal claims. But it’s up to the individual business owners to decide how much insurance they want to buy to cover their inventory and equipment in case of an accident.

Big box stores such as Target, Starbucks and Apple use their deep pockets to buy policies that cover the entire chain for losses stretching into the millions of dollars, according to Janet Ruiz, director of strategic communication at the Insurance Information Institute.

But for smaller businesses, the amount of coverage can vary widely in terms of deductibles and dollar limits, depending on the type of business, the value of the inventory and the depth of an owner’s pockets. Since landlords don’t require businesses to insure their inventory and equipment against loss, some local owners will forego covering it to save money, then in the case of an accident they are left to cover all of the losses and repair costs on their own.

The Good News, for businesses that purchase property coverage, it usually includes losses from civil disturbances. For those who are insured, packages that include liability and property coverage can be very affordable especially when you compare the total loss of inventory and/or equipment.

It’s based on your risk, for example restaurants, whose kitchens pose fire risks, may have to pay for insurance covering their equipment at a higher rate than an office with little exposure. A small office can get coverage for as little as 500.00 a year for liability and property coverage.

Some leases place the repair of glass on the tenants but many insurance companies offer plate glass coverage as a rider on their policies.  It helps to read your lease carefully to understand what you are responsible for and what you need coverage on.

Until this weekend, the two most costly civil disturbances in the nation’s history occurred in Watts in 1965 and Los Angeles in 1992.

The 1992 unrest was the most costly in U.S. history, causing an estimated $1.4 billion in property damage in today’s dollars, according to the data analytics provider Verisk Analytics and the Insurance Information Institute. The Watts unrest resulted in $357 million in damage, similarly accounting for inflation.

The cost of this week’s unrest has yet to be tallied — but in many cases, businesses will have coverage and be able to survive the damage.

If you haven’t review your lease and policy, if you have any questions please call our office at 405-701-5368 or email us, Mendi is our office manager and will help make sure you are taken care of.


Russ Lowry, President
Oklahoma Insurance Group, Inc.


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