Businesses in Charlotte, North Carolina will most likely be
covered by property insurance for damage caused by protesters.
Additionally, some may be able to recover lost business income.
Over the last two evenings, Charlotte has been the site of
protests as a result of the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott,
a 43 year old man. On Tuesday night, protestors blocked Interstate
85 near the UNC-Charlotte area, and looted a nearby Wal-Mart. On
Wednesday night, the Uptown area near the Epicenter was the site of
most of the demonstrations. The protests, and resulting police
response, have caused business disruptions in various parts of
Today, it is reported that many of the largest employers
in the urban center of the city, including Bank of America, Duke
Energy, and Wells Fargo have asked or permitted employees to work
from home. Governor Pat McCrory has declared a state of emergency
and requested the assistance of the National Guard.
Local news reported that a number of Uptown Charlotte businesses
were damaged or looted during the violent overnight protests. These
included the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the Charlotte Hornet's team
store, the Charlotte Convention Center, the United Way of Central
Carolinas, the Bank of America headquarters, and several
Generally, businesses have a commercial property or
business-owners property policy (sometimes called a BOP). The
standard ISO commercial property and business-owners property
policies have provisions that cover riot, civil insurrection
property damage, and looting. This would include physical damage to
a building, as well as merchandise that may have been stolen.
Damage from fire will also be covered as a named peril.
On the other hand, photographs from social media and news
reports show many shattered windows in Charlotte. Plate glass
window insurance is usually offered as an add-on or additional
insurance, and is not covered by many standard policies.
Businesses which are routinely in possession of someone
else's property – such as a shoe repair or auto repair
shop – would likely need to have specific bailee insurance to
cover the cost of replacement of a customer's property which
If any curfew is imposed in Charlotte, or other restrictions on
access to a business by either its customers or employees, the
company may have a claim for business interruption or lost business
income, depending on what coverages were selected. These policies
typically provide require the insurer to pay for necessary extra
expenses and lost business income as a result of a civil authority
prohibiting access to the business.
The usual business interruption policy will only be triggered if
there is sufficient physical damage to the business's property
such that the business must suspend its operations. Business owners
should carefully read their policies however, as the trigger for
business interruption may not begin for 24, 48, or 72 hours after
the first civil authority prohibits access to their premises.
Although the policy may not require an additional deductible prior
to business income coverage being available, the 24 to 72 hour
waiting period serves as a "time deductible." Even once
the business interruption coverage is triggered, it will not be
retroactive to the date of the event. In other words, for damage
caused on Wednesday night, business interruption coverage will not
begin until Saturday night. As a result, some losses will not be
recoverable under the standard policy. The business interruption
during the first 72 hours could be covered by a captive insurer,
Often, this is a critical period of time for business owners
immediately after a civil insurrection. During this waiting period,
policyholders should take prompt repair measures to mitigate their
damages even though lost profits will not be recoverable. Extra
expense coverage, on the other hand, typically is triggered as soon
as the first civil authority action.
Businesses with claims should immediately take photographs and
put their insurance companies on notice. If claims are denied,
there are typically internal appeals processes available to
policyholders. If claims continued to be denied, business owners
should consult with a knowledgeable insurance attorney about their
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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