Riots in Minneapolis resulted in some commercial buildings incurring fire damage.
Property owners turning in claims are finding out they may be under-insured.
Specifically, their coverage for ‘Debris Removal’ is a little light.
According to an Insurance Journal article, “…many property owners in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area purchased policies that limit payouts for demolition costs to $25,000 to $50,000, but contractors have submitted bids of $200,000 to $300,000.”
Quick math suggests policyholders may be having to pay 150k to 275k out-of-pocket to cover the under-insured loss.
Per the article, riots that occured after the police killing of George Floyd will likely lead to the greatest losses due to civil unrest in history.
Matthew Palazola, an insurance industry analyst for Bloomberg News, indicated that total damages may reach $2 billion.
This situation underscores a major issue in the industry…under-insurance.
Policyholders don’t always grasp the true “replacement cost” of their structure, and they under-insured their building(s) based on tax-appraisal or what “they think it’s worth”.
They also fail to research the full details of their policy, overlooking key sublimits for coverage items like Debris Removal, Ordinance & Law, and Sewer Backup.
Ultimately, situations like this highlight the importance of understanding one’s insurance policy.
Beyond ‘Debris Removal’ or ‘Building’ coverage, business owners need to be aware of risk-exposures (property and liability) that are covered, excluded, or covered on a limited basis.
From this they can put together a risk management game-plan and make sure their business survives a major loss.