Riot Coverage for Your Car? Yes, It’s a Thing
Dan Levenson September 21, 2020
It goes without saying that 2020 has been a year of turmoil. The coronavirus pandemic, economic uncertainty and civil unrest have affected our nation.
According to the insurance industry, the riots following the death of George Floyd are on track to become the costliest since the Los Angeles riots in April 1992. In Minnesota alone, damages have topped $500 million, prompting Governor Tim Walz’s to request FEMA (which the federal government denied).
One thing that has become clear for businesses — and anyone else living or working in the vicinity of the riots — is the need for adequate insurance against theft, damage, and destruction of inventory and assets.
Among assets, it is important to include vehicles. Cars are the second most valuable asset — and second-largest liability — for many Americans. They are indispensable in many urban centers and a must-have for suburban living. Even if you are not directly involved in an instance of civil unrest, the car or truck you parked in a metered space on the street is vulnerable if nearby protests turn into riots. Know what type of insurance you have and if it is adequate to cover a total loss from theft or damage, including arson or other acts of vandalism.
Auto insurance for personal vehicles offers optional comprehensive coverage in most states. However, some specific losses such as theft may be excluded. When in doubt, check your policy or call your insurer to verify coverage.
When checking your policy or shopping for new coverage, always consider your ability to cover losses below a certain deductible threshold without using insurance, keeping in mind that higher deductibles generally mean lower premiums. If your financial position allows you to set aside $1,000 or more in an easily accessible savings account for damage to your car, you may be able to increase your deductible and lower your premium costs.
Commercial and Government-Owned Vehicles
The same considerations apply to commercial auto insurance. With commercial auto coverage, more is always better since vehicles are essential assets of many small businesses. Fortunately, many commercial auto policies cover losses from rioting.
State and local governments funded by federal grants are often required to insure assets purchased with grant funds. According to this report, the New York City Police Department sustained over $1 million in damage and destruction to 303 police vehicles during the June 2020 riots. Without proper asset insurance such a loss could break a small business.
Although we can’t prevent every loss to our personal or business assets, proper insurance coverage is available to help you weather turbulence ranging from random accidents to civil unrest. If you are unsure whether the coverage you have will cover losses to theft, damage or destruction incurred during a riot, call your insurance agent today.
InsureYourCompany.com specializes in providing coverage to small business owners in New Jersey. To learn more about how we can help your New Jersey-based business stay afloat during uncertain times, contact us.