- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Property damage from riots in 140 U.S. cities following George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody will cost the insurance industry more than any other violent demonstrations in recent history, according to a new analysis released by Axios on Wednesday.

Those events will result in at least $1 billion to $2 billion of paid insurance claims, the news organization said in the report. The amount tops the $1.4 billion record set in 1992 by week-long riots in Los Angeles following the acquittal of police officers accused of brutally beating Rodney King.

“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 report noted.

That number could top $2 billion and possibly more, according to the Insurance Information Institute, which compiles information from PCS and other industry sources.

“The protests related to George Floyd’s death are also different because they are so widespread. It’s not just happening in one city or state — it’s all over the country,” Loretta L. Worters, vice president for communication for the organization, told Axios.

“And this is still happening, so the losses could be significantly more,” she said.

The Axios report suggests that insurance industry is “rolling up its sleeves in anticipation of potential unrest” following the presidential election on Nov. 3.

“There could be riots that lead to significant losses that would meet our reporting thresholds,” predicted Tom Johansmeyer, vice president of PCS.

• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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