Report: Riots in aftermath of George Floyd could cost insurers $2 Billion

MINNEAPOLIS, MN –In May of this year, George Floyd died while in the custody of the Minneapolis, Minnesota Police Department.  Despite the extremely fast termination, and arrest of the officers involved, nationwide protests, riots, and looting happened. 

Now, the bills are starting to come in from the areas where it has calmed, and it looks like this may well be the most expensive for insurers yet, perhaps to top $2 billion.

The civil unrest was not just centralized where Floyd died, but spread out into roughly 20 states.  The incidents seemed to fester the worst in democratic lead cities and states. 

The costliest riot before this incident was in 1992, after the acquittal of the Los Angeles Police Officers in the beating of Rodney King.  Those riots lasted roughly a week and costs insurers $775 million dollars. 

According to Axios, when inflation is taken into account, that $775 million would roughly equate to $1.42 billion today.

According to a group known as Property Claim Services, a firm which has kept tabs on the prices of riots since 1950, terms any losses over $25 million as catastrophic. 

Examples of other catastrophic riots include the 1965 Watts riots that cost $44 million, the 1967 riots in Detroit that cost $42 million, and the rioting and looting during the New York City blackout in 1977 that cost $28 million.

The actual cost, when all is said and done, is yet to be figured.  The PCS has only factored in costs associated with riots from May through June, so, areas like Portland and Seattle which continue to see rioting are not counted as well as in Kenosha. 

A spokeswoman for PCS, Loretta Worters, said:

“It’s [riots] not just happening in one city or state – it’s all over the country.  And this is still happening, so the losses could be significantly more.”

Insurance industries are also leery of further unrest resulting from the results of the general election. 

The head of PCS, Tom Johansmeyer said:

“There could be riots that lead to significant losses that would meet our reporting thresholds.”

Kenosha saw rioting after the shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man who was repeatedly told to stop and drop a knife from officers and refused all lawful orders. 

Blake had several warrants for his arrest at the time of the encounter, one of the charges was for rape.  Police shot him seven times in the back.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice alleges that Blake admitted to being armed with a knife.

Despite that, the shooting, whether eventually ruled as justified or excessive, sparked outrage from people all over the country.  As a result, Kenosha fell victim to several nights of rioting, which, according to the fire department in Kenosha, caused over $11 million in damages. 

Fire Chief Charles Leipzig said:

“To put into context, that’s [the damage] three years of fire loss for us in the span of about a week.”

Many cite that the losses that have been incurred as a result of civil unrest pale in comparison to those that happen as a result of natural disasters, such as the wildfires that are occurring on the western coast of the United States and hurricane season.

While this may be true, natural disasters are more costly, but they cannot be avoided.  Unlike rioting, looting, and arson, all of those things could be easily avoided, prevented, and stopped. 

Several government leaders have called for calm throughout the country.  While everyone supports a person’s right to peacefully protest, a lot of what is occurring is anything but civil and peaceful.  After all, if these ‘peaceful protests’ were truly peaceful, there would not be over a billion dollars-worth of damage caused.

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Since the death of George Floyd, politicians have called for the defunding of police. Now, after budget cuts and the disbanding of units, they are asking where they are.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – On September 15th, a meeting was held that hosted the Minneapolis City Council to discuss aspects related to police reform.

However, what the meeting turned into was more along the lines of asking “where are the police” as crime is on the rise.

Council members told MPD Chief Medaria Arradondo, during most of the two-hour meeting, that local residents are witnessing the likes of street racing, shameless carjackings in broad daylight, thefts, assaults and even shootings.

The general question being posed by the council was what the police chief was doing to address these ongoing criminal acts being reported.

Jamal Osman, the newly elected Ward 6 council member, said he has been getting flooded with calls and complaints from citizens that were alleging police calls are not being answered:

“Residents are asking, ‘Where are the police’?”

Osman stated that the local police is essentially the lifeline for certain areas within Minneapolis, and those calling for assistance aren’t allegedly being tended to:

“That is the only public safety option they have at the moment. MPD. They rely on MPD. And they are saying they are nowhere to be seen.”

Keep in mind, this line of questioning directed toward Chief Arradondo is coming just months after this very same council was doing all it could to have the MPD defunded and essentially dismantled. Now, after the council having pushed for a non-existent MPD, they seemingly want to know where the police are.

Current times in Minneapolis are not that great, when comparing crime in 2019 to that of crime in the current year.

According to MPD crime statistics, the amount of recorded violent crimes such as assaults, thefts and homicides is up relative to 2019. In the first nine months of 2020, more people have been killed in the area than killed in all of last year.

But it’s not just crimes akin to violence that are on the rise – property crimes have increased as well in the vain of car thefts and residential burglaries. With little surprise, cases of arson have increased by 55% when looking at the number of arson reports in 2019 up to this point.

Chief Arradondo did respond to the inquiries levied by the council, noting that the MPD is working to shift more officers onto patrol duties and investigations as well as trying to crack down on the robberies being reported.

But Council President Lisa Bender implied that officers from the MPD are basically intentionally ignoring calls for assistance when crimes are being reported.

She alleged that locals had told her that MPD officers had admitted to residents in the area that they’re purposely not enacting arrests of those alleged to have committed crimes.

Bender, who was one of the more vocal critics of the MPD when the calls to defund the department started after the death of George Floyd, further implied that police have always failed to properly enact their duties:

“This is not new. But it is very concerning in the current context.”

Chief Arradondo afforded the diplomatic response of Bender’s accusations against police, saying that it was “troubling to hear” and that he was look into the matter to see if there was any validity to the accusations.

However, other council members noted that MPD officers have complained that they’re not only overworked currently – but that they’re understaffed. Thus far, approximately 100 officers from the MPD have either left the department all together or have taken a leave of absence, according to Chief Arradondo.

To put that into perspective, that’s roughly twice the amount of separations that the department encounters annually.

But areas that typically don’t see that much crime, such as the 11th Ward, which is represented by council member Jeremy Schroeder, are now feeling “terrorized” by the influx of criminal activity. He said a new-found outbreak of robberies of businesses have alarmed and angered locals and business owners at 48th Street and Chicago Road.

The police chief acknowledged those concerns, explaining that a majority of those crimes in that area were being perpetrated by youthful offenders:

“Arrests have been made. There are still some pending charges. Both our juvenile units are pursuing those.”

During the exchange, council member Phillipe Cunningham actually voiced his disdain that his associates were basically asking the police for help when he thought they were all on board with getting rid of the MPD:

“What I am sort of flabbergasted by right now is colleagues, who a very short time ago were calling for abolition, are now suggesting we should be putting more resources and funding into MPD.”

Well, perhaps some of these council members have seen what happens to a lacking police department that has also been demoralized. And obviously, residents don’t seem to be enjoying the spoils of these efforts.

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Author: Chris Elliot


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