Are you concerned about civil unrest in your community? Even in the best of situations, large crowds and protests can cause inadvertent damage to homes, vehicles, and property. But if things deteriorate and there is any rioting or looting, things can get even worse. If this happens in your neighborhood, will your homeowners insurance cover the damage? The answer is, likely, yes. Here are four key ways.

1. Damage to the Home or Contents

Homeowners insurance is, first and foremost, about insuring the structure you live in and your belongings inside it. Most policies include coverage against such things as theft, vandalism, and physical damage during civil unrest along with other causes. There will be dollar amount limitations based on the policy you purchased, and you would likely pay a deductible. 

2. Contents of Your Car

If your vehicle (including trailers, boats, or off-road equipment) is damaged in the incident, the auto or boat insurance covers the vehicle itself. However, anything you have inside the vehicle — such as high-end music equipment, mobile devices, instruments, or even clothing — is often covered through homeowners insurance. This seems counter-intuitive, but it's because 'belongings' in the homeowners policy are usually covered no matter where they are located. 

3. Injuries on Your Property

The secondary purpose of homeowners insurance is to pay medical expenses for anyone injured on the property and thus protect the owner from these costs. If a stranger is on your property and gets injured, your home insurance may be called upon to pay for their injuries — whether or not you were involved — instead of the homeowner. Keep in mind, though, that your household members are not covered through home insurance. 

4. Liability and Lawsuits

Finally, you have limited coverage against lawsuits through insurance. Home insurance generally covers the costs of lawsuits regarding personal injuries or damage to other people's property. While the coverage is not extended to intentional bad acts or crime committed by you, it would be important if you were accused of slander or libel as a result of the tense atmosphere or if you are sued for an accident that occurs during the chaos. 

Hopefully, you will never need to use your homeowners insurance for this or any other reason. But by knowing how you are protected during civil unrest, you can focus on doing the right thing and protecting your family's health and emotional needs during the crisis.