On warm, mild nights, conventioneers and others typically wander down to
Harbor East restaurants, Azumi and Ouzo Bay. But the staff has been turning guests away as early as 8:30 p.m. because of the time it takes to clean up and send employees home before a mandatory 10 p.m. curfew.
The curfew and the potentially long-term tarnish to Baltimore's image have been as devastating as a natural disaster to his business, Smith said. So he filed a claim with his insurance for lost income from the mandatory curfew.
"It's not any different than if a hurricane came through," Smith said. "It's really a catastrophe."
Representatives of the insurance industry said it was likely that the two financial blows -- property damage and lost income -- stemming from the rioting after 25-year-old
death and the subsequent curfew would be covered by insurance. Most businesses carry property insurance to cover property damage. Business owners also can purchase what's known as business interruption insurance and file a claim for lost income as a result of the mandatory weeklong curfew throughout the city.
"The standard business property insurance is going to cover losses arising out of a riot or civil commotion," said
, a spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute, an industry-funded information clearinghouse. "So one of the things we've seen here, fire, vandalism, these are all covered under the standard business property insurance policies."
Business owners typically must purchase a separate insurance, sometimes called a rider, to cover plate glass windows.
In addition to damaging an estimated 200 businesses, rioters also torched 144 cars, according to police, although some were police or other official vehicles.
Individual car owners who had optional comprehensive coverage would be able to file a claim, Barry said. Theft from looting and damage to homes from rioting also would be covered by homeowners or renters insurance, he said.
Several major insurance companies declined to comment on any claims being filed as a result of the rioting. State Farm officials said they had received a "low number" of claims so far from Baltimore and were committed to paying them.
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