Losses from protests could reach ‘catastrophic levels,’ experts say


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Losses stemming from the recent unrest across the county are predicted to reach “catastrophic levels,” according to the insurance industry.

And experts say it end up being the most costly civil disorder in the country’s history.

Filing a claim is just the start of the process for someone whose business was damaged.

Your business owner’s policy generally covers riots and civil commotion, so if there is physical damage to your property you are covered.

But, before you file a claim, you’re going to need proof of all your losses.

“The first thing you should do is gather all your sales receipts, your lease statement like the cost of your rent,” said Cullen Roberts of Brightway Insurance, the Ganim Agency.

He said you will also need to document your inventory cost and your loss of inventory.

Once your claim is in the system, the insurance company will send out an adjuster who will evaluate the extent of the damage to your property as well as the value of items stolen, lost or damaged.

The adjuster will then come up with a monetary amount for a settlement, but if you don’t like the offer you can go another route and call in a public adjuster.

“If they aren’t meeting the expectations of your claim and coverage you expect, that’s what a public adjuster is for,” said Roberts. “They usually take a percentage of that claim, so they’re not always having your best interest in mind.”

Before hiring a public adjuster, there are a number of questions you need to ask – including are they licensed to practice in this state, and what is the amount of the fee they will be taking from you.

Because Roberts works for an independent agency, he can shop around and find you the most cost-effective policy for your needs and says you should avoid special policies like riot insurance.

“I’d prefer to have a business owner’s policy because it’s a package policy that will cover a variety of perils, not one just limited to rioting,” he said.

With so many claims being filed in our area and nationally, it’s impossible to say if premiums will stay steady.

“If they do go up, keep in mind you have the option to shop around and find another carrier that may be able to offer you a better rate,” he said.

Let’s say you don’t have a business policy and your establishment was damaged in a riot and you decide you need to get a business insurance policy—you will have to wait.

Before you apply for a policy, all the previous damage has to be repaired.

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