Christina Arnone Discusses Insurance Coverage for Riot Related Damage and Business Losses in Law360 Article

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In a Law360 article titled "Post-Floyd Unrest Spurred Coverage Concerns, New Policies," Stinson LLP Partner Christina Arnone discusses insurance coverage issues arising from the nationwide demonstrations and protests following the May 2020 death of George Floyd.

The Floyd-related protests and their aftermath resulted in an estimated loss of $1 billion to $2 billion, and now, two years later, businesses and insurers are grappling with how those events impact insurance coverage for the businesses that suffered insurance losses as a result of the civil unrest.

Arnone explains that standard commercial property insurance policies provide coverage for damage arising from incidents of civil unrest, including for rioting, civil commotion and vandalism. Arnone also explains how incidents of civil unrest can give rise to numerous different types of covered perils under property policies, including vandalism, looting, rioting, and what is called a "civil commotion." She explains that the distinctions between these types of perils occasionally result in disputes over the applicable number of policy deductibles, and notes that, because these are all distinct, potentially covered perils, "businesses should consider their distinctions when presenting claims for coverage from incidents of civil unrest."

In addition, most property policies provide coverage for lost business income during the time the policyholder is repairing, replacing or otherwise restoring the property. "Some property policies also provide coverage for an extended 'ramp up' period after the business has repaired or restored the property but before operations are back to normal and profits back to pre-loss levels."

Although broader policies could cover expenses for the costs of protecting insured property from physical loss or damage, and business owners may wish to take preventative measures to reduce property damage, Arnone says the policyholder may have to establish that physical loss or damage to the property was imminent when the preventative actions were taken.

Arnone has represented clients faced with natural and man-made disasters through all stages of the recovery process under commercial property policies, including for losses arising from fire, flood, collapse, civil unrest and rioting, microburst, dome collapse, and a mass shooting.

Read the full article. 

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