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Insurers respond to riots (July 06, 2001)


July 6, 2001   by Canadian Underwriter


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In the wake of Canada Day riots that rocked the city of Edmonton last week, insurers are stepping up to deal with claims from local businesses, says the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC). Estimates of damage are in the hundreds of thousands of dollars as a result of the uprising, which broke out early Canada Day morning on Whyte Avenue, and involved more than a thousand party-goers. The riots began after bar patrons filled the streets and degenerated into the crowd taunting and throwing objects, including beer bottles, at police officers lining the street.
About 30 businesses were vandalised, and several vehicles damaged. Forty street installations, including bus shelters, telephone booths, benches and newspaper boxes were also hit.
Most of the damage should be covered by business insurance policies, the IBC states in a press release. Generally policies cover damage as a result of vandalism, malevolent acts or riots, as well as stolen goods. But the IBC is encouraging business owners to contact their brokers to find out just how far their coverage extends.
“Although insurance can never make up for the inconvenience and interruption that a riot creates for businesses, it can compensate and replace any property that may have been damaged or stolen,” notes IBC regional vice president Jim Rivait.