Crime, Civil Disorder Insurance & Walmart

In the last couple of weeks, Walmart has announced the closure of several stores. The PIA Western Alliance city of Portland, Oregon has two of them closing on March 24th. One is in SE Portland in one of the poorer parts of town and the other is in North Portland which also has a large percentage of poorer people.

Over a quarter of Walmart’s shoppers have an annual income of $25,000 or less. Another quarter of the business’ shoppers say their income annually is $25,000 to $49,000.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • $25,000 or less: 26.1%
  • $25,000 to 49,900:  26.8%
  • $50,000 to 74,900:  18.3%
  • $75,000 to 99,900:  11%
  • $100,000 or more: 17.4%

Fox News Digital says a spokesperson at Walmart said, “There is no single cause for why a store closes. We consider many factors, including current and projected financial performance, location, population, customer needs, and the proximity of other nearby stores when making these difficult decisions.”

That’s the sanitized version and an odd statement considering that a few months ago Walmart CEO Doug McMillon warned that many of the firm’s stores could close because of the high cost of theft.

“Theft is an issue. It’s higher than what it has historically been,” McMillon said and then added that “prices will be higher and/or stores will close if authorities don’t crack down on prosecuting shoplifting crimes.”

In Portland the two Walmart stores have seen huge spikes in theft in the last few years. Nike’s store in North Portland closed recently because of huge increases in shoplifting. Cracker Barrel, Starbucks and other stores in Portland have also closed because of high crime costs and — in some cases — rioting near or around their stores.

Portland’s Rains PDX closed its doors and posted this sign:

“Our city is in peril. Small businesses (and large) cannot sustain doing business, in our city’s current state. We have no protection, or recourse, against the criminal behavior that goes unpunished.”

All this leads to the topic of this story. Theft and violent crimes are having a huge impact on civil disorder insurance. The strife experience in cities large and small over the past few years has caused concern in the commercial insurance market for strike, riot and civil commotion coverage.

Damage experienced by businesses from protests and political violence has increased interest in the line. Insurers and brokers have — in turn — started reviewing how they cover such events and the limits needed to stay profitable.

Srdjan Todorovic heads up the political violence and hostile environment solutions for Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty. He said coverage used to be available via all risk policies. However, higher limit increases and exclusions have pushed risk managers to getting coverage through terrorism and policies in speciality lines.

“It’s on the agenda like I’ve never seen before,” he said.

Fergus Critchley of Willis Towers Watson agrees. “Whether they have it within their property program or within a standalone terrorism and political violence policy, either way clients are reviewing what coverage they have in this area and potential limitations,” he said. “We have seen a number of inquiries for higher limits around this coverage.”

AGCS issued a report last week on the losses in the line. They hit over $2 billion after the riots and unrest when George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police in 2020.

Insurers in the line don’t see things getting better before they get worse. Thus the price hikes seen in the line currently and that we will see going forward.

Source link: Oregon Catalyst —

Source link: Business Insurance —

About PIA Western Alliance

The Professional Insurance Agents Western Alliance is a membership organization promoting and enhancing the success of independent agencies seeking to grow, learn and be heard within the industry.


More Industry News