Vandalism, looting following Floyd death sparks at least $1B in damages nationwide: report
Vandalism and looting across 20 states in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody earlier this year reportedly led to at least $1 billion in damages.
A company called Property Claim Services (PCS) has tracked insurance claims pertaining to civil disorder for the past 70 years, and says the arson, vandalism and looting from civil unrest in 2020 will incur up to $2 billion of paid insurance claims, Axios reported this week.
While an overwhelming majority of protests inspired by Floyd’s death were peaceful, insurance companies are reporting hundreds of millions of dollars in costs in at least seven major cities.
PCS classifies any damages amounting to over $25 million in insurance losses as a “catastrophe,” and says 2020 marks the first year the group has accounted for catastrophe claims in multiple states.
“For the first time, PCS has designated this civil disorder and those that followed across the United States from May 26 to June 8 as a multi-state catastrophe event,” the agency told Axios.
The Insurance Information Institute, which compiles data from PCS and other firms tracking damages relating to civil disorder, estimates the total cost of claims combined could be as much as $2 billion or possibly more.
That’s higher than the damages from the 1992 Los Angeles protests following the acquittal of the police officers who brutalized Rodney King, which are reported to have cost $775 million or $1.42 billion, adjusted for inflation.
Still, damages from vandalism claims are dwarfed by the average cost of damages incurred by natural disasters. Risk Management Solutions said the recent Hurricane Isaias, which swept up the East Coast, resulted in nearly $3 billion to $5 billion in insurance losses.
Damages caused by wildfires in California also take a much more costly toll, as claims for 2018 fires amounted to $18 billion.
The Hill reached out to PCS for comment.