Property Insurance Coverage for Rioting and Civil Unrest

M. Charles Collins

Building with broken windows and graffiti   Rioting and civil unrest recently have resulted in damage to vehicles and properties owned by individuals and businesses throughout the United States.  The good news for persons experiencing such losses is that insurance coverage may exist to cover the losses. 

Auto Insurance 

   For vehicles, typical auto insurance can be comprised of several potential coverages, including: 

   More important, comprehensive coverage typically also covers damage or loss to vehicles that may result from “mischief” or “vandalism,” and often specifically includes broken windshield or other glass on the vehicle. 

   Vehicle coverage would depend on the coverages selected and for which the insured paid premiums and would also be subject to the limits of insurance selected.  Therefore, in these times of social unrest, individuals and businesses should check with their agents to be sure they would be covered for damages intentionally caused by others. 

Buildings, Home and Business Property 

   For buildings, home and business property, insurance normally will provide coverage for causes of loss including fire, riot, civil commotion and vandalism.  Business owners often also will request, as part of their property coverages, business interruption insurance.  This insurance usually provides income and expense coverage to a business owner, whose business is halted due to property damage, until the property can be restored.  These coverages frequently include business interruptions (in addition to those caused by riot, civil commotion and vandalism property damages to property) that result from civil authority actions restricting access to business property during and following riots or civil unrest. 

   Eastman & Smith stands ready to assist you in reviewing and explaining your available insurance coverages during these trying times.  Please contact one of our business attorneys for assistance.



The article in this publication has been prepared by Eastman & Smith Ltd. for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney/client relationship.