Chicago Mayor Calls For Insurance Companies To ‘Start Cutting Checks’

Experts say it is too early to estimate the cost of the damage

The looters who on Sunday ransacked Z Smoke Shop, which has been selling glass pipes and vaping products in Logan Square for eight years, left behind not only major damage but also empty shelves that could take weeks to fill.

“We will be closed for a good while,” said manager Kyle Korab. “There isn’t one piece of glass that isn’t broke.”

The business called its insurance company immediately. Now it’s waiting, nervously, to see if its claim is approved.

“We’re not 100% sure,” Korab said. “They might find a reason to not cover it.”

Most standard commercial property insurance policies cover riots and civil commotions. That coverage typically includes not only physical property damage but also income losses when businesses can’t operate as a result — including when access to the business is restricted by civil authorities because of damage to neighboring properties.

After facing criticism for denying income loss claims from businesses forced to close because of COVID-19, insurers are unlikely to fight claims related to the widespread unrest in response to the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, said Everett Cygal, an attorney with Chicago-based Schiff Hardin who represents insurers.

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