Does Insurance Cover Riots and Vandalism?

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Are you worried about your home, car, or business in the wake of civil unrest?

You'll be glad to know that standard insurance policies typically cover property damage caused by rioting, civil commotion, and vandalism, according to Loretta Worters, vice president, and media relations for the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

Here are a few of the policies that can protect your property and investments in the event vandalism and riots come to your front door.

Your Home

Standard homeowners' policies are designed to cover damage to your property caused by fire, explosions, a riot or civil commotion, vandalism, or malicious mischief.

Your homeowners' policy protects both the structure of the home, as well as your personal possessions.

What if the damage is extensive and you can't go back until repair work is done?

"If you can't live at your home because it was damaged by an insured disaster," Worters says, "standard home 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 rebuilt."

Your Vehicles

Depending on the type of coverage on your personal or commercial vehicles, you may have coverage against vandalism and riot damage.

Comprehensive coverage is an optional portion of an auto policy that covers the vehicle's damage by fire, falling objects, vandalism, or rioting. "Comprehensive coverage will also reimburse you if your windshield is cracked or shattered," adds Worter.

Approximately three-quarters of drivers in the U.S. carry the optional comprehensive coverage on their vehicles, but it's not required. So it's a good idea to check your policy or talk to your agent to see if you have comprehensive coverage or not.

Your Business

Rioting, vandalism, and civil commotion are also covered perils under most business owners and commercial insurance property policies -- both named perils and "all-risk" policies.

Commercial property policies typically cover damage to windows, doors, light fixtures, and other items that are part of the building. Store windows and plate-glass on office fronts are generally covered, as well.

Your Business Income

If you, your customers, or your employees can't access your business, you may be covered against a loss of business income.

Business income insurance typically includes civil authority coverage, which provides loss of income that occurs in the event access to your premises has been prohibited by civil authority, such as a government entity.

"Access must be prohibited due to damage by a covered peril to property," Worters says, "not located at your premises."

Businesses with business income insurance (also known as business interruption) are covered if forced to suspend operations or limit hours due to rioting, vandalism, or civil commotion.

Protect Your Home, Business & Belongings Against Riots

Insurance is designed to protect your property and financial investments against unexpected losses. And nothing is more unexpected than a fire, vandalism, or riot damaging your home or business.

Call your insurance agent today to find out if you are fully covered in the event of civil commotion and riot-related damage and to see if there are any holes in your coverage so you can fully protect yourself against the financial losses that come along with unexpected damage to the things you've worked so hard for.

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