Washington Commissioner Urges Firms Damaged During Riots to File Claims ASAP

June 3, 2020

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is advising Washington state business owners who have experienced damage during protests to contact their insurance companies as soon as possible.

Damage to businesses and commercial properties caused by theft and vandalism, including fires, should be covered under their commercial property insurance policy. The only exception would be if the policy specifically excludes that type of loss, according to Kreidler’s office.

Damage to plate glass windows may require separate coverage, depending on the language in each business’ policy, according to his office.

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler
Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler

Businesses that have been temporarily closed due to the coronavirus outbreak are not considered vacant under the terms of an insurance policy. Additionally, damage caused during a protest should not be considered a “war and military action” exclusion, Kreidler added.

He said businesses should contact their insurer if they plan to file a claim, and to consider retaining professional help to clean up debris and secure the property to protect it from further damage. Many commercial insurance policies will reimburse businesses for these costs, according to Kreidler’s office.

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