Hong Kong has found itself in the center of the news cycle for weeks now. The ongoing protests between the civilians and the government is, predictably, causing a lot of unrest in a variety of industries, including insurance. Unfortunately, a growing number of Hong Kong business owners are finding out that their insurance companies are not going to foot the bill for any damages related to the protests.
Businesses big and small have suffered significant amounts of damage related to the protests. From graffiti to smashed windows and fires some businesses are looking at a rather costly amount of damage. However, since the damage is related to social unrest, most insurance companies won’t be offering any help paying the bills.
Hong Kong shop owner K.K. Man spoke with Yahoo about the current situation. “I don’t know whether I’ll get insurance compensation,” said Man. “There’s a chance that I won’t get compensation because the damage is due to social unrest… I don’t think riot damage is covered.”
The problem boils down to the nature of the insurance policies that most Hong Kong businesses have. The majority of Hong Kong insurance policies are designed to offer coverage to things related to natural disasters, fires and typhoons. Those same policies don’t offer any coverage for damages related to riots and social unrest.
Now, insurers do offer specific types of coverage that relate to social unrest. The problem is that it tends to be expensive, and before this past year generally viewed as unnecessary. This is particularly true for small and mid-sized businesses. Naturally, some of the bigger players have this type of policy.
Anti-government demonstrations have been happening nearly every week since early June. The damages have been racking up since then.
The reality is that this is just an incredibly unlucky situation for many Hong Kong businesses owners. Moving forward, even the smaller companies may find themselves shuffling their finances around so that they can afford some type of social unrest coverage.