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Will Your Homeowners Insurance Cover Damage to Your Home Caused by Protest Damage?

By Tanya Svoboda
August 2020

Americans across the country have been gathering to protest and raise awareness about a variety of civil issues. Though many of the protests are peaceful, some have resulted in property damage. Commercial and civic buildings have been the primary recipient of the damage. However, homeowners in areas where protests continue are asking if their home insurance would cover damage should it occur on their property.

Loretta Worters, Vice President of Media Relations for the Insurance Information Institute, says “Property damage caused by rioting, civil commotion, and vandalism are covered under standard insurance policies.” If the damage caused to your property as the result of looting or rioting falls into one of the four basic areas of homeowners insurance, you will be covered without having to purchase anything extra.

What Specifically Does a Standard Homeowners Insurance Policy Cover?

Homeowners insurance offers ongoing financial protection on what, for many, is their largest asset.   However, while we likely all have homeowners insurance, many homeowners are unclear about what specifically is covered. There are four basic areas protected by homeowners insurance.

Structural Coverage

This portion of your policy will pay to repair or rebuild your home if it is damaged by a disaster listed in your policy. It’s recommended you purchase enough insurance to cover the cost to rebuild your home.

While a standard policy will not pay for damage caused by flood, earthquake or routine wear and tear, damage as a result of rioting or vandalism are typically covered.

2. Personal Belongings

This area of your policy covers the cost to replace damaged or stolen belongings like clothing, furniture, and electronics. The Insurance Information Institute says this portion of coverage “is generally 50 to 70 percent of the insurance you have on the structure of the house.”

Conducting a home inventory survey is a good way to determine if you have enough coverage for your personal items. Plants and trees are also covered in this area. If these items are damaged, even as a result of vandalism, they are generally covered for around $500 per item.

3. Liability

Liability protects you from lawsuits filed against you. For example, if your dog chews up your neighbor’s couch, you’re covered. Liability protection will cover the cost of defending you in court and court-ordered awards up to the limits stated in your policy documents.

Your policy should also provide no-fault medical coverage. This portion of liability protection allows someone who is injured on your property to submit medical bills to your insurance company.

4. Additional Living Expenses (ALE)

This part of your policy will cover the costs incurred if your home becomes inhabitable as the result of damage caused by an insured disaster. Expenses covered by ALE include the cost of dining out and hotel bills, but it can also include the rent you would have received from a tenant living on your property.

Most standard homeowners’ insurance policies will cover damage caused by civil commotion. However, you should always read the fine print of your insurance policy and if you have any questions or feel you need to make adjustments to the value of your home, or your personal items, now is a great time to call your insurer and discuss those changes.


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