Damaged businesses hoping for help from insurance companies
Insurance companies are getting many claims right now after this weekend's protests left many businesses with significant damage.Posted — Updated
By Leslie Moreno, WRAL multimedia journalist
Insurance companies are getting many claims right now after this weekend's protests.
“We knew it was going to happen to some extent, just didn’t know Raleigh was going to be this torn up about it,” said Darren Bridger, the co-owner of the London Bridge Pub. Many business owners have been waking up to find their businesses destroyed. Rioters broke
windows, stole merchandise and damaged property. “Broke our windows, they took cash registers .They threw liquor bottles inside the bar. It really wasn’t about taking the property but creating havoc,” Bridger said. Many business owners like Bridger are now working with their insurance companies to figure out how much damage was done and what will be covered. “I hope we do, I hope this will be covered, otherwise we’re going to be struggling for another extended period of time,” Bridger added. A standard business policy will usually cover any losses or damage for riots, vandalism or fires much like we saw this weekend, but owners typically need business interruption coverage to qualify for lost income assistance. Experts say that only about 40 percent of U.S. small businesses have this kind of coverage. "If property is damaged, if merchandise has been stolen, their traditional business policy will cover that," Mark Friedlander of Insurance Information Institute said. "But for ongoing loss of revenue, you need that business interruption." If your home was damaged, in most cases, a standard home policy will cover losses. Vehicles damaged are also covered as long as owners have comprehensive auto coverage. As far as reopening, Bridger says his bar will be closed until he feels it’s safe to open up again. "Right now it's adding another week on to the two and a half months of struggling already," he said.
Insurance experts say that business owners can protect themselves by boarding up windows and cleaning up any glass. They should also keep receipts for any extra expenses and turn those in to their insurance companies as part of the claim process.
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