Tulsa Businesses Worry Insurance Won't Cover Vandalism From Recent Protests

Wednesday, June 3rd 2020, 9:42 pm
By: Kristen Weaver

TULSA, Okla. - Some Tulsa business owners are worried their insurance policies won't cover damages from vandalism and looting.

Oklahoma's insurance commissioner tells me most insurance companies cover this type of damage under riot, vandalism and civil commotion but that's not always the case.

As peaceful protests turned to violence Sunday and Monday in Tulsa, broken glass and damaged and stolen property greeted some business owners in Brookside and the areas of 71st and Memorial.

"The good news is most businesses will have coverage for any damage sustained," said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready.

Mulready said riots, vandalism and civil commotion causing damage to the building and property inside are commonly covered by most insurance companies.

But broken glass may not be covered if you don't have separate plate glass coverage.

Mulready said business interruption insurance, which covers loss of income if a business is closed during damage repairs or other interruptions, would usually apply in this situation.

"That would be covered as well if you had to shut down your business 2-3 days while you repair," he said.

"You can work to calculate the losses and negotiate with the company on the claim," Matthews said.

Attorney Kevinn Matthews said he works with several businesses concerned about being damaged and dealing with loss of foot traffic.

That includes one at Woodland Hills Mall, which closed early on Monday due to protest concerns.

Matthews said businesses should work with an attorney to find out how to best move forward on their insurance policy.

"Their business has been interrupted," he said.

Mulready warns some insurance companies may tell business owners damage from riots aren't covered, like one who he says claimed the damage should count as an act of terrorism.

He said calling what happened in Tulsa recently terrorism is a stretch.

"I can say we would welcome a conversation with that insurance company," Mulready said.

Mulready said business owners with damaged property should secure their business as much as they can to avoid further problems.