Does Insurance Cover Riots?

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Standard homeowners and business insurance policies cover damages from rioting, and some car insurance policies will cover rioting as well, depending on your coverage.
While many demonstrations start in a peaceful way, they can sometimes escalate and turn violent. In the midst of this chaos, surrounding properties like businesses, homes, and cars can suffer damages.
What does this mean for the people who own these properties? What exactly is covered by insurance when it comes to rioting? Read on to learn what's covered, with a little help from insurance broker Jerry.
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Does homeowners insurance cover rioting?

Most standard homeowners policies cover damages caused by the following:
  • Fire and smoke 
  • Lightning strikes 
  • Windstorm and hail
  • Explosions
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Vandalism and malicious mischief 
  • Damage from an aircraft, car, or vehicle 
  • Falling objects 
  • Weight of ice, snow, or sleet 
  • Water damage 
As you can see, riots are usually covered. And, since riots and civil commotions are very similar (the main difference being the scope of the gathering), these are usually listed together in a policy. Of course, the coverage's specifics may vary depending on your insurance company and the state in which you live.

What's covered?

With a standard homeowners insurance policy, your house should be covered against any damages caused by the riots (taking into account the limitations of your policy). Not only that, but under personal property protection, the things inside your home would also be covered. 
And, if your house suffers damages that are serious enough to impede you from living in your home, the additional living expenses coverage should cover any extra expense related to temporarily moving out from your home.

There are some exceptions when rioting isn't covered by insurance

While riots may be listed in your homeowners insurance policy as a covered peril, there may be some gaps in your policy that may prevent you from benefiting from this
For example, one of the most common exceptions would be a vacancy. Usually, when a house has been vacant for more than 60 days, insurance companies may no longer cover damages caused by riots. 
Another thing to note is that insurance companies cover riots, but not wars. So, if the situation escalates to the point where the National Guard is called, you may find yourself in a murky situation where the insurance might refuse to step in. Always make sure to check in with your insurance company and get familiar with their coverages and exceptions.

Does business/commercial insurance cover rioting?

Yes, a standard business or commercial policy will cover rioting.
Just like a homeowners insurance policy, rioting and civil commotion are grouped together and both covered in your business insurance. This means that your business will be covered in the event that rioting leads to damages.
Most business insurance policies also come with business income coverage. This is a specific type of coverage that helps pay you if your business is inoperable due to a covered peril. Business income coverage will help make sure you don't lose your stream of income when rioting causes your business to be totally inoperable.

Does car insurance cover riots?

Rioting is sometimes covered by car insurance, depending on your specific policy. If you only have the minimum required insurance in your state, you won't be covered for riot damages.
This is because basic liability insurance only covers the other driver and vehicle in a car accident. If you want to be covered for rioting damages, you need comprehensive car insurance coverage.
Comprehensive insurance covers non-accident related damages, including fire, vandalism, and theft. You will need to pay a deductible, but after that, your damages are covered.
Make sure you understand your policy. Collision insurance, another popular type of coverage, won't cover vandalism.
If you want to be covered for damages due to rioting and you don't have comprehensive insurance already, give Jerry a try.
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