Analysts predict the riots in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death may cost insurance companies $2 billion.
If those estimates come true, that would make the ongoing unrest in major metropolitan areas the costliest incident in insurance history.
Floyd’s death occurred a short time after former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. Floyd was motionless and had no pulse during the final two minutes of Chauvin’s inexcusable show of force.
However, some peaceful protests in Minneapolis and struggling neighborhoods in other large cities quickly devolved into riots and looting, destroying numerous business owners’ livelihoods, demonizing law enforcement, and killing more than two dozen Americans.
Per the Daily Wire:
Axios reports Wednesday that insurance companies could pay up to $2 billion to cover damages, rendering the Floyd riots the single largest insurance event in history, utterly dwarfing the next highest payout event, the Rodney King riots, which cost about $1.4 billion in today’s dollars, and mid-century race riots in Los Angeles, California, and Detroit, Michigan, which cost around $350 million each.
“The protests that took place in 140 U.S. cities this spring were mostly peaceful, but the arson, vandalism and looting that did occur will result in at least $1 billion to $2 billion of paid insurance claims — eclipsing the record set in Los Angeles in 1992 after the acquittal of the police officers who brutalized Rodney King,” Axios noted Wednesday. “A company called Property Claim Services (PCS) has tracked insurance claims related to civil disorder since 1950. It classifies anything over $25 million in insured losses as a “catastrophe,” and reports that the unrest this year (from May 26 to June 8) will cost the insurance industry far more than any prior one.”
The Floyd riots are also notable because the destruction is ongoing in places like Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, and new riots and incidents of looting crop up in cities weekly, as new police-involved shooting incidents come to light. The $2 billion likely does not include damage in Rochester, New York, or Lancaster, Pennsylvania, both of which played host, last weekend, to demonstrations that eventually turned violent. And it definitely does not include anticipated unrest following the November presidential election.
“There could be riots [after the election] that lead to significant losses that would meet our reporting thresholds,” one expert told Axios.
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