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Citizens in places like Chicago, Seattle, Portland, and the other cities that have seen rioting in the last few months are hoping for some respite as the summer ends. Whether it arrives or not, their financial interests have already been severely damaged, and most of them don’t even recognize it yet. But they will. Everyone must pay the piper after the dance.
When you insure your house, one of the things the insurance company looks for, in terms of assessing risk and setting premiums, are things like your local fire department. How is it rated? Is it a city service, or is it manned by volunteers? What are response times like? That’s because the most common loss associated with insuring houses is fire. Thus these questions have an impact on assessing the risk and setting the premiums.
It’s also why there are exclusions in the insurance policy. For example, an exclusion for criminal acts. If a criminal act (like making methamphetamine) leads to a loss, it will be uncovered. Landlords have to keep this in mind when renting. Similarly, if an intentional act leads to a loss (usually the insured committing arson) that too is uncovered. Insurance companies want to insure only against fortuitous losses. One insurance company even includes an exclusion for any “act or failure to act” by the insured. That’s a pretty broad exclusion, and it’s rarely enforced, but it’s there to keep honest people honest.
Now that the Miracle Mile in Chicago has been looted, its stores and businesses (and even a Tesla dealership) destroyed, it is pretty clear that insurers are going to take notice. They might pay this kind of loss one time, but they won’t pay it again. As soon as the policy period ends, so will the insurance contract, and it won’t be renewed. If it does get renewed, that $1,000 policy is going to be a $10,000 policy because the risk is so much higher. For the Marxists and Communists following along, this is how capitalism works.
And the cities that are sending their police out like so much cannon fodder and seeing huge utilization of workers’ compensation policies. Do you think those cities will get by with paying the same premiums? Do you think their burned-out police cars are going to be replaced without some kind of adjustment in the policy? An insurer understands a vehicle might be lost to a high-speed chase, but not to a bunch of adolescent gang-banger wannabes.
Consider a city like St. Louis, MO. The inner city, called St. Louis City, is its own county. It’s the hole of the donut. Surrounding it is St. Louis County. The county has its own police force, but so do much smaller towns like Brentwood, Ladue, Florrisant, St. Ann, Manchester, and others. Beyond those smaller cities, there are cities in Jefferson County, south and west of St. Louis City and St. Louis County, that are still a part of the same metropolitan statistical area. Every one of those cities, even if it hasn’t seen increased losses and increased costs for its municipal employees, is going to see their insurance costs skyrocket.
And retailers like Target, Walmart, Best Buy, and many others are going to find their premiums for theft losses going way up, particularly in cities like Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago, and DC where the idiotic and gleeful plea to disarm and defund the police is being enacted by the woke, social-justice idiots who were elected. When a police response time increases from five minutes to half an hour, and when your city police send out an email that tells residents not to “walk alone” and be “ hyper-aware of your surroundings at all times,” in addition to advising to “give up your cell phone and purse/wallet,” because “robberies may still occur,” it’s a safe bet that insurers take note of that and adjust their rates accordingly.
And even restaurants, like that infamous Wendy’s in Atlanta, are going to wind up paying more. In Missouri, a landlord, while not an insurer of his guest’s safety, must take notice of dangerous conditions and take actions to protect his business invitees. Premises liability insurance premiums will skyrocket. The price of a Big Mac, which the internet says is an average of $5.67 in the United States, will climb by $1.50 in these areas. Are you still “lovin’ it?”
Because these riots have produced arson on a grand scale, with housing, apartments, malls, and other structures being burned to the ground, fire insurance in these cities will be more expensive, as will liability insurance for landlords and corporate actors. The natural and probable consequence of this is easy to see coming.
So what happens when a landlord who charges $750 a month for an apartment suddenly finds himself paying $150 more per apartment for insurance? Rent goes up. That rent goes up for people who not only didn’t riot but likely didn’t approve of the idea of defunding their police. It’s the poorest people, with the most to lose, who really suffer when police response times inch upwards of an hour.
Not only does rent go up, but the price of a laptop at Best Buy in these cities will need to be adjusted by upwards of 35% or more to account for the increase in insurance premiums being paid both for building integrity as well as loss due to theft. Get your clothing at Target? Even assuming it rebuilds and stays in Minneapolis, the prices are going to nowhere like what they were before the great Floyd Conflagration.
Who does this impact the most?
It impacts the very people who can afford it least. While a bunch of pimpled, white, college-dropout goons dressed in black was busy burning these places, they were staying home, obeying the law, and doing what they have always done: trying to stay out of the line of fire. They are most in need of affordable housing, but they won’t get it from the government now because the Antifa goons burned down their affordable housing in a fit of rage. They won’t be able to get it or afford it from private landlords either, because those landlords have to protect their investments. They’ll do that by setting rents that are likely out of range of many of the people who, if they could, would flee from these Democrat-run hellholes. Housing prices will fall as thousands flee to the more rural areas and visit their friendly neighborhood gun store on the way.
I recently saw a tweet from someone who was likely missing a few of the more functional brain cells. It suggested that the fires set in Portland were “peaceful” because it was only property, and “property doesn’t matter until black lives do.” I find it a felony conviction of the education system in this country that this moron did not recognize that by engaging in this behavior she increased her own cost of living by hundreds, if not thousands of dollars every year. And, of course, many of the people rioting, looting, and burning are not even citizens of these cities. They come from out of state to take advantage of a pathetically weak criminal justice system designed to sing criminals to sleep with lullabies instead of pulling down their pants and beating them until they wail and beg for mercy.
Antifa is passing on a hidden cost to all of these citizens.
Many do not individually deserve it.
But they all deserve it collectively. They voted for the clowns that refuse to back the blue and stand up to the thugs. They got what they voted for, not what they deserve.
They can change that.
The question is, will they?Published in