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How Many Claims Would Be Considered for Riots Lasting Multiple Nights?

BIGI_logo_askExpert.pngThis question was posted to our Ask an Expert Service, a members' only benefit of the Big "I" national which is staffed by more than 50 volunteer industry experts:

We have a few clients with multiple retail locations throughout various states with various policies. If they have locations which receive damages from riots on multiples nights, how many claims would this be considered and therefore how many deductibles? 

I'm aware of situations where one storm front which led to damages in different states and different dates (overnight) where only 1 applied but can't seem to locate anything with direction specific here.

An ISO assumption would work as this pertains to various clients and carriers, not just one.

Big "I" VU Faculty Responses:

That's an excellent question. Each event is separate and distinct from the other. As far as we are aware, there was no coordination of protests/riots that would indicate that these can be classed as one event. A storm is an event, protests/riots in multiple cities is not comparable.


It really depends on the form.  ISO uses the term “occurrence" and refers to it as loss.  The deductible applies to the loss.   Some courts feel that a series of losses from the same peril is one occurrence with one deductible.  Some property forms may define “occurrence".  There may be a deductible for each event.  You need to read the form or check with your carriers. 


It will depend on facts and case law in each jurisdiction, but each location likely will have a separate deductible because the events took place at a different time or place.


It, as always, depends on the facts and the wording of the policy.


A named storm deductible is specific as to a particular storm.  

The perils of rioting and vandalism should stand on their own as well. 


A logical finding is that each location and each event (i.e. night) is an occurrence.  It is important that each damage occurrence be reported to the carrier as one loss.  An exception is if the entire "riot situation" (editorially, how sad we have come to this?) is identified as on CATASTROPHE which does not seem likely.


Given the gravity of the riots, I feel this answer will be company specific subject to Department of Insurance Regulations if applicable for your state. I might advise that you reach out to your carriers proactively and to your state association for further guidance.


This question is beyond the scope of this service.  These could be potentially be legal questions depending upon the specific circumstances of each situation and the coverage forms in play.  Different coverage forms issued by different insurers may produce different responses.  The statement that coverage forms are not required to answer the question is unfortunately not entirely accurate.  Think about how long it took the courts to determine whether the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center were one occurrence or two occurrences.


Based on ISO's Building and Personal Property coverage form the deductible provision in the unendorsed policy states that the deductible would apply per occurrence and deducted from the amount of the loss.   The word occurrence is not defined in this ISO policy.

Last Updated:  June 1, 2020
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