Representatives from the Missouri Department of Insurance headed to Ferguson on Aug. 27 to assist businesses that experienced damage during recent protests with filing insurance claims and to answer questions about the claims process.
The department said it is encouraging business owners who sustained property damage to contact their insurance agent or insurance company as soon as possible.
Businesses in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson were vandalized and looted in the aftermath of the shooting of a black teenager, Michael Brown, by a white police officer, Darren Wilson.
Violent street protests went on for several days after the shooting.
The Missouri Department of Insurance is advising business owners whose property was damaged to make temporary repairs to prevent further damage.
“For example, a broken window should be boarded up to keep out rain. Otherwise, further damage will likely not be covered by your insurance policy. Keep the receipts for materials you buy so you can be reimbursed,” the department said.
The extent of claims costs are not yet known, according to Brent Butler, government affairs director with the Missouri Insurance Coalition/Missouri Insurance Information service.
There are no hard and fast numbers yet as claims are still being processed, Butler said. However, most property damage resulting from rioting or looting should be covered by property polices. Insurers have personnel on the ground and are working to adjust claims.
Chris Cline, communications director for the Missouri Insurance Department, said the agency doesn’t have specific figures for projected claims in Ferguson either. The department collects data for commercial claims on a statewide, aggregate basis only and the information is not broken down by municipality or zip code, he said.
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