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Return To: Business Insurance – The Ultimate Guide

The past year has been especially hard for many businesses, both big and small. 

In recent months, riots accompanied by looting in various cities have taught business owners the value of having insurance, which has been designed to cover owners and their business from unexpected events. 

While business insurance offers consumers some kind of safety net against various kinds of tragedies and misfortune, the real question now is: does business insurance cover riots?

What Is Business Insurance? 

A standard BOP (Business Owners Policy) will usually cover physical damages inflicted to a business and its contents, whether it was caused by riots, fire, vandalism, or civil commotion. 

NOTE – we have a complete guide that discusses “What Is Business Insurance?

If your business is forced to limit its working hours or shut down completely because of rioting, it may be covered for the loss of income through business interruption insurance or business income insurance. However, keep in mind that this will only take effect if the premises are directly damaged physically. 

If your business loses income or suffers from extra expenses, your business policy’s “civil authority provision” will provide coverage in case the fire department or police department prohibits access to your business’ area. 

This is usually implemented when direct physical damage is caused to nearby businesses from civil commotion or riots. 

CoverageInsurance Policy
Covers physical damages to a business and its contentsStandard BOP
Covers loss of income due to shut down or working limits from riots (if premises are directly damaged)Business interruption insuranceBusiness income insurance
Coverage if access to your business is blocked by authoritiesCivil authority provision
Standard Business Owners Insurance Coverage

Does Business Insurance Cover Riots and Looting?


There are several business insurance plans that cover damage made to a business as a result of rioting, civil commotion, looting, or vandalism. 

This can include damages sustained by your business from rioters along with damages from civil authorities in action during a riot. 

Furthermore, if a business is forced to shut down as a result of looting, rioting, or vandalism, and should the business owner have a business insurance plan, then the damages to his or her business will be covered. However, the insurer that pays for the damages will depend on which insurance plan covers the individual damage made to the business. 

Why Would I Need Business Insurance? 

Last year, riots and protests broke out when George Floyd died in Minneapolis, Minnesota while in police custody. The outrage spread to 140 other U.S cities over the next weeks and was recognized as a catastrophe by the Property Claim Services unit of Verisk Analytics

According to PCS, more than 20 states suffered significant losses as a result of this catastrophe. 

Preliminary estimates of the damages incurred amounting to more than $1 billion — the costliest civil disorder in the country’s history. 

Many businesses were looted and ransacked as a result of the riots and protests, with many owners suffering from huge financial loss. Fortunately, some had planned ahead and prepared for such an event; having business insurance saved them from thousands upon thousands of financial loss.

What About Loss of Income? 

If your business suffers income losses in the event that vandals or rioters damage your establishment and are no longer able to operate, you may be covered by business interruption or business income insurance. 

This will provide you with coverage as you repair your property while your business is closed down. Inside the business owners policy, business income coverage should be automatically included. It can also be added to a commercial property policy, either through a separate form or an endorsement. 

FAQS on Business Insurance 

  1. Are Your Inventory Losses Covered By Insurance Cover? 

In general, insurance doesn’t just cover damages done to your property but also damages sustained by the contents inside your business, should it be caused by riots or civil unrest. Furthermore, your policy may also include loss of income as a result of physical damage that prevents it from re-opening quickly. Be sure to contact your insurance provider to get the full details on your policy. 

  1. Does Business Insurance Cover Property Damage as a Result of Riots? 

As mentioned above, business insurance does cover property damages, as long as it was directly damaged physically as a result of a riot, civil commotion, vandalism, or fire. Furthermore, a business insurance policy will generally include doors, windows, plate glass, store windows, and light fixtures. The contents of the establishment such as office supplies, computers, furniture, or machinery that have been stolen or damaged are also typically included. 

  1. Is Loss of Income Covered By Business Insurance? 

Businesses that have limited hours or can’t continue their operations as a result of rioting, civil commotion, or vandalism will have coverage under business interruption or business income insurance. Loss of income coverage is generally applied when a business sustains direct physical damage within its premises. 

  1. What Should You Do if Your Business is Damaged? 

If your business is damaged due to riots, it’s best to contact your insurance provider right away and report any damage you see. 

An insurance adjuster will be sent to your business to verify your claim and evaluate the extent of coverage needed. 

If the damages are severe and haven’t been assessed yet, consider boarding up your business to protect it from further damage. It’s also best to create an inventory list if your business was looted, and a police report may also be essential to provide more documentation. 


As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to know your risks. Part of an effective business plan is being prepared with business insurance. 

Without proper coverage, you may have to pay outrageously high out-of-pocket expenses from unexpected damages caused by riots and looters. 

Forgetting to take such disasters into account can bring your business down. If you’re looking for easy, reliable, and comprehensive insurance, consider working with ALLCHOICE Insurance, the leading insurance provider in North Carolina.

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