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Insurance 101: Rebuilding your business after damage due to civil unrest

Hellmuth & Johnson has tips for businesses struggling in the wake of recent civil unrest.
Damage riot

By Daniel Asiedu and Christopher Sall, of Hellmuth & Johnson

Across the country, and certainly here in the Twin Cities, recent events have led to large protests and civil unrest. Unfortunately, as a consequence, many business owners have suffered substantial damage to their property; preventing them engaging in day-to-day operations as anticipated.

Whether the damages incurred were a result of forced entry, fire, water damage, loss of merchandise, etc., business owners may seek relief under their commercial insurance policies.

These losses will likely be covered under the plain language of the policy, but it is important to take certain steps to best protect your claim. Below are a few suggestions to assist in navigating what can sometimes be a very complicated and confusing process regarding filing a claim with your insurance company:

As soon as possible and when it is safe to do so, document your losses.

This includes,  taking a complete and detailed inventory of all items that may have been stolen or damaged, taking photographs of the physical damage, and gathering documents to substantiate the cost to replace goods and/or repair damage.

To the extent possible, take steps to mitigate any ongoing loss or damage to your business.

For example, if there is a pipe leaking water into your commercial space, turn off the water supply to prevent further damage.

Contact your insurance carrier as soon as possible.

Whether your losses are covered or not, it is important to submit a claim with your insurance company to give them proper notice of your claim.

This can be time-sensitive, so the sooner the better.

What's more, document your communications with your insurance carrier in case there are disputes along the way.

Review your commercial insurance policy

You should do so to determine (a) what losses are covered and (b) what exclusions, if any, may apply to your specific losses.

If you are a business owner with questions on how to navigate your rebuilding process, or have questions regarding your insurance policy, we are here to assist.

Please contact attorney Daniel Asiedu at or attorney Christopher Sall at


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