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Insurance Is Key Factor In Dallas Businesses Recovering From Looting, Vandalism

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - While many of the protests in North Texas have been peaceful, several businesses were hit by individuals who vandalized their property and stole merchandise.

How these shops recover could depend on their insurance coverage.

Despite the boarded-up windows, The Point Skate Shop in Deep Ellum is open for business.

On Friday night, vandals broke the store's windows, smashed displays and stole skateboards and apparel.

But co-owner Drew Dorbritz said he's grateful. That's because he said insurance will cover the losses.

"That's what insurance is for, right? To cover the instances you never really hope come up," said Dorbritz, who helped open the Deep Ellum location approximately 18 months ago.

Most standard business owners' policies cover property damage caused by vandalism, riots or civil commotion, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Certain add-ons for "business interruption" can also cover monetary losses incurred by companies, said Camille Garcia, the spokeswoman for the Insurance Council of Texas.

"'Business interruption' typically covers businesses' financial losses during the time of this unrest," Garcia said.

But every policy is different, so owners should check for exclusions and reread the policies.

Oftentimes, commercial leases will require business owners to carry a basic insurance policy.

But beyond that, it's up to business owners to select their level of coverage, said Bill Davis, a spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute.

That's why looted inventory may not always be covered for small businesses. While most establishments are covered under business owners' insurance, such policies are by no means mandatory.

"Often those smaller mom-and-pops are going under the radar," said Garcia, with the Insurance Council of Texas. "There are some businesses that have to make a choice. Am I going to pay for' x' or am I going to pay for insurance?"

Because of insurance, Dorbritz said The Point can move forward. But he said support from the community has been just as helpful.

"As skateboarders, we learn to fall and get back up. That's what makes us resilient," Dorbritz said.

The Insurance Council of Texas is urging business owners to file insurance claims, along with relevant pictures, videos and documentation, as soon as possible.

As for vehicles, property damage is covered under comprehensive auto insurance.

While drivers are required to carry liability insurance in Texas, comprehensive insurance is optional.

But Garcia said nearly 80% of drivers in Texas carry comprehensive insurance, as well.

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