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Tinius & Associates Insurance Agency Blog

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Insurance

Riots, civil commotion and vandalism generally covered by insurance

It’s some Comfort to know that property damage caused by rioting, civil commotion and vandalism are covered under standard insurance policies, says Loretta Worters, vice president, media relations for the Insurance Information Institute.

Damage to vehicles

Automobiles are covered under the optional comprehensive portion of an auto policy, Worters explains.  This provides reimbursement for damage to the vehicle and its contents caused by fire, falling objects, vandalism or rioting.

“Comprehensive coverage will also reimburse you if your windshield is cracked or shattered,” she adds.  Some companies offer glass coverage without a deductible.  Approximately three-quarters of U.S. drivers chose to buy this optional coverage as part of their auto insurance policy.

Damaged buildings and personal property

Standard homeowners policies will cover damage to the property caused by fire, an explosion, a riot or civil commotion, vandalism or malicious mischief.  This would include coverage to the structure of the home, as well as any personal possessions.

“If you can’t live at your home because it was damaged by an insured disaster,” Worters says, “standard (and renters insurance policies) provide coverage for additional living expenses (ALE), which pays the costs of living away from home.  ALE covers hotel bills, restaurant meals, and other expenses incurred while your home is being rebuilt.”

Rioting, civil commotion, and vandalism are also covered perils under virtually all business owners and commercial insurance property policies – both named perils and “all risk” policies.  Damage to windows, doors, light fixtures and other items that are part of a building should be covered under the building property coverage included in the policy.  “Glass is usually part of covered property and built into base rates as long as it’s part of a building or structure (i.e., store windows and plate glass on office fronts)”.

Business owners should check with their insurer.  Furniture, liquor, glassware office supplies, computers, machinery – basically everything except for the building itself that was damaged or stolen should qualify for coverage under the business owner’s personal property coverage.

Business income coverage

Provides loss of income that occurs because access to your premises has been prohibited by civil authority, such as a government entity. Businesses that are forced to suspend operations of limit hours due to rioting, vandalism or civil commotion and have coverage for the loss of income under business income insurance (also known as business interruption) will be covered.