The fallout from this summer’s riots — which saw businesses large and small looted and burned to the ground — continues to be seen, as a new report from The New York Times shines a light on the insurance woes faced by those whose livelihoods were destroyed in the name of racial justice.
For months we have been told that property doesn’t matter and that business owners will recoup their losses thanks to insurance, but as the Times found, this is not the case.
“While large chains like Walmart and Best Buy have excellent insurance, many small businesses that have been burned down since the riots lack similar coverage. And for them, there is no easy way to replace all that they lost,” the outlet reported. “In Kenosha, more than 35 small businesses were completely destroyed, and around 80 have been damaged, according to the city’s business association. Almost all are locally owned and many are underinsured or struggling to manage.”
Ricardo Tagliapietra, who owns three restaurants in Kenosha, Wisconsin, told the Times that small business owners can’t simply “call corporate” and that they don’t have that kind of “backup.”
The Times also detailed the plight of Tony Farhan and his family who own an electronic shop in Kenosha. The shop is struggling and Farhan and his wife have four sons, one of whom needs extra health care. The family moved in with Farhan’s parents to pay for their son’s medical needs. When they moved, the couldn’t fit all of their possessions in the new home, so they kept many things in the shop’s storage room.
“Half my house was in there,” Farhan told the outlet.
The Times reported:
The shop, which sells cellphones, charging cords, headphones and speakers, was looted on the night Mr. Blake was shot and burned the next. So was his brother’s shoe and clothing shop next door. The apartment units upstairs burned with them, as did many other buildings in the working-class neighborhood of Uptown Kenosha, a historic and bustling multicultural neighborhood. Weeks later it remained a scene of char and rubble.
They have insurance, though they say it is not enough, and now they are tangling to get the money. But personal items they stored in the shops were not insured, they said. Mr. Farhan does not know how he will pay to replace his children’s winter clothes that were in a storage room.
Farhan is now in debt, and his brother is struggling as well. In addition, several family pets died in the fires that destroyed the shops and apartment homes above.
The rioting and looting started after a black man, George Floyd, died in a police-involved incident. The violence picked up in Kenosha on August 23 after resident Jacob Blake was shot seven times in the back by a police officer while resisting arrest and reaching for a knife.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, the riots and looting that followed Floyd’s death may cost $2 billion, and many business owners learned that insurance won’t cover everything they need to rebuild, like demolition of the damaged property.
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