Will insurance cover the riot damage in Cleveland?

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – Many downtown business, still reeling from being closed for about two months, now face a second blow: they are closed again because of damage caused by Saturday’s looting and rioting.

But are they insured?

“Most people will be covered under their policies,” says Tim Graydon, of the Graydon-Toole Insurance Group in Bedford Heights.

Graydon says only the most basic policies may not cover this type of damage, and most businesses carry more then just a basic policy.

In general, insurance companies took the position that business policies did not cover losses from COVID-19, because there was no physical damage to property.

With the rioting and the looting, the physical damage is sadly obvious.

And Stuart Scott, a partner with the Spangenberg Law Firm, says he is arguing on behalf of clients that the physical presence of the COVID-19 virus in buildings would trigger coverage under many policies.

For continuing coverage about the coronavirus pandemic, including the latest on Ohio, head here.

“It’s not as obvious as the damage from a riot,” Scott says. “But businesses were still deprived of the ability to generate revenue, and they still had a physical loss of use of their buildings.”

While some claims for damage from COVID-19 may wind up in court, businesses should not have any problem getting coverage for damage from the riot.

That is at least a sliver of good news in what has been, for many downtown Cleveland businesses, a otherwise miserable spring.

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