Planning for Civil Unrest to Protect Your Business

Planning for Civil Unrest to Protect Your Business

Peaceful protests can be overshadowed by civil unrest events, which presents unique challenges for business owners. Learn how you can prepare your property and business.
A cornerstone of American democracy is the right of citizens to assemble and peacefully protect issues of social, political and economic importance. As 2020 has taught us, however, peaceful protests can be overshadowed by civil unrest events. These events result in unique challenges for property and business owners.
 
In fact, Verisk Analytics' Property Claim Services categorized the U.S. protests and riots from May to June 2020 as multi-state catastrophic events.1 Early estimates for damages from these events is over $1 billion.2
 

What Are the Causes of Civil Unrest?

Civil unrest is an act of public protest that escalates into a disturbance or interruption to peace and order. This can happen when social, economic and political stress slowly accumulates and gets released all at once.3
 

Civil Unrest and Businesses

Civil unrest events can involve large amounts of people, and in some cases can lead to:
 
  • Violence
  • Property damage
  • Bodily injury
It’s important to remember that not every peaceful protest results in civil unrest. While it’s hard to prevent it from happening, there are actions you can take to reduce the impact of civil unrest on your business.
 

Adding a Civil Unrest Plan in Your Pre-Emergency Program

Pre-emergency plans typically address how companies will respond to various events, like:
 
  • Weather disasters
  • Fires
  • Utility outages
It’s important to include civil unrest events in your pre-emergency plan because it can make a difference in how your business and employees get impacted. Some things to consider when adding civil unrest events to your pre-emergency plan:
 
  • Align your response plan with your business’ overall emergency and business continuity plans.
  • Regularly test your plan to make sure it’s efficient and works.
  • Designate an emergency coordinator to be in charge of the plan and testing process.
  • Communicate your plan with employees so they understand their responsibilities during a civil unrest.
 
 
The information provided in these materials is intended to be general and advisory in nature. It shall not be considered legal advice. The Hartford does not warrant that the implementation of any view or recommendation contained herein will: (i) result in the elimination of any unsafe conditions at your business locations or with respect to your business operations; or (ii) be an appropriate legal or business practice. The Hartford assumes no responsibility for the control or correction of hazards or legal compliance with respect to your business practices, and the views and recommendations contained herein shall not constitute our undertaking, on your behalf or for the benefit of others, to determine or warrant that your business premises, locations or operations are safe or healthful, or are in compliance with any law, rule or regulation. Readers seeking to resolve specific safety, legal or business issues or concerns related to the information provided in these materials should consult their safety consultant, attorney or business advisors. All information and representations herein are as of October 2020.
 
1, 2 Insurance Information Institute, “Facts + Statistics: Civil Disorders”
 
3 National Institute of Health: U.S. National Library of Medicine, “Global Civil Unrest: Contagion, Self-Organization and Prediction”
 

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The Hartford Staff
The Hartford Staff
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