Vandalism and looting following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police did more damage than any other modern U.S. demonstrations, according to insurance estimates obtained by Axios managing editor Jennifer Kingson.
- Why it matters: The protests that took place in 140 U.S. cities this spring were mostly peaceful. But the arson and other damage will result in at least $1 billion to $2 billion of paid insurance claims — eclipsing the record set in L.A. in 1992 after the acquittal of the police officers who brutalized Rodney King.
How it works: A company called Property Claim Services (PCS), which has tracked insurance claims related to civil disorder since 1950, reports that this year's unrest (May 26 to June 8) will cost the industry far more than any prior one.
- The number could be as much as $2 billion and possibly more, according to the Insurance Information Institute ("Triple-I"), which compiles information from PCS as well as other firms that report such statistics.
The protests related to Floyd's death are also different because they are so widespread. "It's not just happening in one city or state — it's all over the country," Loretta L. Worters of Triple-I tells Axios.
- "And this is still happening, so the losses could be significantly more."
The context: These losses are small compared with those from natural disasters.
- Hurricane Isaias (landfall Aug. 4) will cost insurers $3 billion to $5 billion.
- "In California alone, wildfires have already burned 2.2 million acres in 2020 — more than any year on record. And the 2020 wildfire season still has a way to go," says Worters.
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