If you live in Cleveland, you may be expecting big things out of the Republican National Convention. There are some substantial economic benefits to the city, of course, but there are also substantial concerns as we head into the meeting that will (probably) crown Trump as the nominee.
Should you buy Cleveland, OH Renters Insurance to protect against the risk of protestors who will doubtless converge upon the city, and who have the potential to create some real trouble?
Does Cleveland Renters Insurance Protect Against Damage From RNC Protestors?
Yes! “Riot or civil commotion” is one of the renters insurance named perils listed in your policy. There’s not much description in the policy form, nor many specifics for that peril so what does it actually mean?
Blackledge v. Omega Insurance Company was a case where coverage hinged on the definition. Decided ultimately by the Mississippi Supreme Court, they held that the following elements make up a riot or civil commotion, for purposes of coverage under a policy:
- Unlawful assembly of three or more people (or lawful assembly that due to its violence and tumult becomes unlawful)
- Acts of violence
- Intent to mutually assist against lawful authority (whether business or people protecting their own interests)
- Public terror
That tracks pretty well with the common understanding of what a riot or civil commotion might be. Cleveland has invested a great deal of money in preventing such events, but an assumption that they’re impossible would just be sticking your head in the sand.
Given that those elements are met and that you personally suffer some sort of property damage from the riot, coverage for damage by protestors is likely.
But what if one individual actor goes tearing through the streets causing property damage? That’s a likely occurrence, unfortunately, and it’s certainly not a riot.
You would look to a different peril for coverage of damage caused by that lone protestor. You’d be looking at vandalism or malicious mischief. Your renters insurance policy would likely offer coverage there, as well. The major exception to coverage under the peril of vandalism or malicious mischief is a vacant dwelling. If your home in Cleveland has been vacant, an exclusion likely applies.
How Do I Claim Damage From RNC Protestors On My Renters Insurance?
In the unfortunate event that you suffer property damage as the result of the acts of RNC protestors, you should contact the insurance company and file a claim.
While you’re obligated to know generally what’s in the policy, and it’s your responsibility to have read the policy in full, you do not need to be prepared to tell the adjuster under which peril you’d like to make a claim. In fact, they don’t expect you to. The adjuster’s job is to determine what happened, how much of a loss occurred, and how much of that loss is covered under which peril.
As we head into the convention, it’s a great reminder to read your policy and know what’s in it, but after a loss your responsibility is simply to notify the company and cooperate with the adjuster.
We might add, of course, that cooperating with the adjuster means returning their telephone calls and responding to their letters within reasonable timeframes. Some insureds just never return the phone calls, for abstract reasons, and as a result the claim is never paid. You don’t want that to be you!
Should I Buy Renters Insurance Now That I’ve Realized RNC Protestors Pose A Threat To My Property?
First things first, protestors are quite likely to be limited to a pretty specific chunk of the city and it’s a part of the city that’s mostly not residential. Protests are guaranteed to happen. Some may get out of hand. Some may get so far out of hand as to qualify as a riot or civil commotion. But they’re still contained away from most residential parts of the city.
Renters insurance will protect you from the unlawful acts of protestors that lead you to suffer property damage. However, renters insurance is not something that you purchase for a specific event. That’s just not how insurance works in general.
As a general rule, insurance is something that you keep over a period of time. You pay a small premium at intervals, whether or not there is a loss. If there is a loss, the fact that the policy has been in force is what allows there to be money to pay claims. Insurance doesn’t function when you buy a policy because you’re worried about one specific event. The good news is that Cleveland, OH Renters Insurance is not expensive, and you probably should have had the policy for as long as you’ve been living in your home.
The national average price of renters insurance is just $187.00, according to the III. That works out to as little as fifteen dollars per month. The vast majority of families can budget renters insurance easily at those prices.
Additionally, it's important to note that renters are at a significantly higher risk of experiencing loss than homeowners. Renters occupy roughly one third of total housing stock in the country, and yet they are fully fifty percent more likely to experience theft than homeowners, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
It only costs a few dollars a month to protect your family, and this cheap renters insurance is a great way to mitigate the additional risks that come with being a renter.
If you’re worried about RNC protestors causing damage, you can certainly buy a policy. But it’s a policy that protects you against far more than the events of this week. Fire, theft, and a number of other perils are covered. It also provides you with loss of use coverage if there’s a loss caused by a covered peril, as well as liability coverage. The latter will also defend you if someone believes that you’ve caused them to suffer a loss that your policy would cover.
Effective Coverage offers the nation's only completely mobile platform to quote and purchase renters insurance right from your phone or tablet in just one minute. Get an online renters insurance quote today and protect your family.
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