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Will insurance protect businesses damaged by looting?



Will insurance protect businesses damaged by looting?

Sean Wotherspoon spent Saturday nights at his home in Los Angeles, watching live when his business was destroyed.

He watched as security camera baits showed people smashing window panes from his Round Two store in North Fairfax and walking out with more than $ 250,000 of upscale street clothing. He saw them buying as much inventory as possible from the vintage shop next to it. He watched as the location of Round Two on the other side of the country in Richmond, Va., Was perforated by fire.

“I’ve been robbed before, but not like this,” said Wotherspoon.

Protests over police killings in Minneapolis, George Floyd, continued in cities across the country Sunday night, and thousands of Angelenos took to the streets to voice their anger at police impunity that killed or slaughtered black Americans.

Looting has accompanied several protests. Among the first businesses to be broken into was the Minneapolis Target near police station officer Derek Chauvin, who was accused of committing third-degree murder and slaughter after killing Floyd by kneeling on the neck as he struggled to breathe. In the days since, national chains and local businesses have been broken into, including several in downtown Los Angeles, the Fairfax district, Beverly Hills, and the Santa Monica seaside commercial zone.

Many businesses have struggled with cutting income and gloomy income prospects under a sustainable COVID-19 pandemic.

But how and whether they bounce back from shattered windows, stolen property, and burned buildings depend on one factor: their insurance policy.

When Wotherspoon spent Sunday assessing losses at his shop, he admitted that he was not sure whether his policy would protect him from this kind of damage.

“We are insured, but I do not know what we are covered for, and I do not know whether we are covered for losses” in civil disturbances, he said. “We might not know for a week or more.”

Business insurance is similar to consumer car insurance: Basic liability is required by many (though not all) landowners in a lease agreement to protect the owner if they face lawsuits from injured customers in their stores, among other legal claims. But it often depends on individual business owners to decide how much insurance they want to buy to cover their inventory and equipment in case of theft, fire and other scenarios.

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Large chains such as Target, Starbucks and Apple use their deep pockets to buy sophisticated policies that cover the entire chain for millions of dollars in losses, according to Janet Ruiz, director of strategic communications at the Insurance Information Institute.

But for smaller businesses, the amount of coverage can vary greatly in terms of deductibles and dollar limits, depending on the type of business, inventory value and depth of owner’s pockets. Because not all landowners require businesses to insure their inventory and equipment against losses, some local owners end up having to bear all the losses and repair costs themselves.

For those insured, the estimated general cost is around $ 1,200 per year for small businesses with up to 100 employees and $ 5 million in income, Ruiz said, adding that “it depends on how much they want to spend if they have a loss. “

Restaurants, whose kitchens pose a fire risk, may have to pay insurance to cover their equipment at a higher rate than retail stores where customers read carefully the clothes rack.

Losses suffered by businesses due to a pandemic are not included in a typical business policy, although some operators began offering them after the SARS pandemic in 2003, he said.

“There are companies that make them, and they don’t sell,” Ruiz said of the policy. “That’s expensive.”

Fraser Ross, owner of the Kitson clothing and gift chain on Robertson Boulevard in West Hollywood, recorded a video from across the street as people moved from the burglary of a nearby MedMen store, smashed the windows of their outlet stores and began transporting what clothing, accessories and cash were in register. He estimates that $ 300,000 of merchandise is stolen but believes it will be borne by his insurance, although he still needs to check with his lawyer.

“In 2002 we were robbed with weapons at $ 35,000 in a watch,” Ross said. “Everything is closed.”

After locking up coronaviruses throughout the city forced Ross to close its doors at the end of March, he said, the only expenses he continued to pay were for Shopify’s online store, basic utilities, and insurance policies. He was concerned that some of his neighbors in the shopping district might have canceled their insurance policies during the closure.

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Under normal circumstances, said Ross, he would not be on track to replace windows – many insurance companies offer glass coverage as a rider on their policies. But because he is technically in the middle of a lease with his owner, Ross may have to pay for repairs.

A few miles east of Kitson, the crowd smashed windows and windows in Chi Spacca, an upscale Italian restaurant that had been operating as a Mozza to Go takeout during a coronavirus locking.

Once inside, they took all the restaurant wines, electronics, empty cashiers and several chef knives; throwing plates; and turn on a lighter puddle on the floor. Next to him at Osteria Mozza, looters took a third of liquor from the bar and some upscale champagne, according to Kate Greenberg, director of operations for the restaurant group.

“I hope everything is covered” by insurance, Greenberg said. “I don’t understand why we didn’t.”

Mozza staff spend Sunday photographing damage and plan to take 3D images on Monday to show the insurers that the level of damage is due to fire. “Whether it’s a discarded salad or whatever, we take photos of everything,” Greeenberg said.

Now, to try and prevent further damage, business owners throughout the city are climbing the window displays and deleting as much inventory as they can. Ross said that he went up to his Kitson store on Sunday and went to the pop-up location in Beverly Hills and filled up his car.

“I didn’t know what to take, so I only took the most valuable items,” Ross said, like jewelry and sunglasses.

Large companies are also preparing for more damage on Sunday. The target closes or adjusts 175 hour locations across the country in response to protests, including 49 stores in California. Whole Foods locations in and around Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Chicago remain closed on Sunday, and Walmart and Apple announced that many of their stores will be closed throughout the country.

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Until this weekend, the two most expensive civil disturbances in the country’s history occurred in Watts in 1965 and Los Angeles in 1992, following the release of four police officers in the beating of African-American motorcyclist Rodney King.

The 1992 riots were the most expensive in US history, which caused property damage worth $ 1.4 billion in dollars today, according to data analysis provider Verisk Analytics and the Insurance Information Institute. The Watts riots caused $ 357 million in damage, as did accounting for inflation.

The cost of riots this week has not yet been calculated – but in many cases, insurance companies will likely be stuck with bills.

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara called on insurance companies to move quickly to help affected businesses recover from the riots.

“Commissioner Lara expects people who can adjust as quickly as possible to help every looted business quickly access their insurance benefits,” said Michael Soller, a spokesman for the state insurance department.

Lara will also make a decision on whether to issue an emergency declaration that will allow insurance companies to use overseas adjustments to speed up the process, he said. This was done in 2018 after fires at Camp and Woolsey, when the scale of the damage flooded the insurance companies.

Because of the COVID-19 crisis, Lara ordered insurance companies to return a portion of the commercial premium for the pandemic affected business until May and asked them to extend the grace period of premium payments until mid-July.

Businesses affected by looting should contact their insurance company about the grace period and discounted premium prices. Because of the commissioner’s actions, they must have more time to pay premiums and be able to qualify for lower rates; they can contact the Insurance Department to get help in filing a claim or with questions about their coverage.

Times cooking editor, Genevieve Ko contributed to this report.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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