Stacked on top of interruptions caused by COVID-19, brick-and-mortar business owners are finding themselves with another challenge as mass protests reel the nation in the wake of the killing of Minneapolis man George Floyd by a police officer. Many business owners face property damages and theft, most notably hundreds of shattered glass doors and windows littered throughout the streets where rioting took place. The consequences are severe and business owners may need to consider taking measures to secure their property from possible future damage.
Most businesses can expect to recover losses associated with recent protest-related events through business insurance, though some fear that their policy won’t cover loss and damages caused by the looters amidst the riot. Some with no insurance at all. Hussein Aloshani, who’s family runs a deli in New York, recounts the scene to The New York Times, “I was outside saying, ‘Please, I don’t have insurance!’”
The Insurance Information Institute encourages companies to …
– Contact your insurance professional and start the claims filing process;
– Take photos of any damage. A photographic record is useful when making an insurance claim;
– Make temporary repairs to prevent further loss from damage or looting; these costs are reimbursable under most policies, so save the receipts;
– Compile a detailed list of all damaged or destroyed property. Do not throw out damaged property until you meet with an insurance adjuster. If you have an inventory list, it will make the claims-filing process easier;
– If your business is forced to close temporarily or relocate because of direct physical damage to its premises, file either a business income (also known as business interruption) or extra expense claim, if you carry these coverages;
– To receive a business income settlement, document your net income and operating expenses, including payroll, both before and after the business was disrupted; and
– Keep detailed records of all business expenses and transactions as your business recovers.
Damage to the physical plant of a business and its contents that is caused by fire, riots, civil commotion, or vandalism is covered under a Business Owners Policy (also known as a BOP). However, coverage for plate glass windows is often sold separately.
Businesses that are forced to suspend operations or limit hours due to rioting may have coverage for the loss of income under business income insurance—also known as business interruption. However, this is only triggered if there is direct physical damage to the premises.
A “civil authority provision” in a business policy provides coverage for lost income and extra expenses in the event the police or fire department bars access to a specific area as a result of the danger caused by a riot or civil commotion.
Attack Resistant Glass and Glass Film
Another measure that landlords and business owners can take, is to invest in “attack-resistant” glass. This specialized glass product mainly comes in two forms: tactical glass and tactical glass film. This attack resistant material is typically certified to withstand bullets, bombs, and fire designed to deter and in some cases completely stop an attacker entry.
When replacing damaged glass, Armoured One, an active shooter defense company that develops tactical glass, is urging that business owners consider installing attack resistant glass to prevent any future damage or loss.
“The same glass that was created to protect kids from active shooters is now being used to protect businesses from looters and rioters. Armoured One’s proprietary interlayers and window film technology make our glass not only attack resistant but bomb blast resistant” stated Tom Czyz, CEO and Co-Founder of Armoured One
Videos of the attacks on public and private property have circulated the internet – showing rioters using various weapons to breach businesses. Most of these weapons include bricks, bats, and in some cases, looters have been filmed using socks filled with rocks to break through the glass panel of a store.
For more information on Armoured One’s security glass, please visit armouredone.com
For updated insurance information from the Insurance Information Institute, please visit www.iii.org