Buckhead protest damaged tabbed at $10 million to $15 million

People stop to take photographs of the damage near the CNN center after the George Floyd protest Saturday, May 30, 2020. STEVE SCHAEFER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION
People stop to take photographs of the damage near the CNN center after the George Floyd protest Saturday, May 30, 2020. STEVE SCHAEFER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION

Protesters caused an estimated $10 million to $15 million in property damage in Buckhead this weekend, a community group said Monday.

Property damage was assessed for a four-mile stretch of Peachtree Road between Wieuca Road and Peachtree Battle Avenue, said Buckhead Coalition president Sam Massell. The estimate did not include losses sustained from looting.

City officials on Monday could not provide an estimate for damages downtown.

Marches against police violence turned chaotic when some demonstrators began smashing windows, setting fires and looting businesses.

The damage was primarily sustained by businesses with storefronts directly on Peachtree Road, but some businesses located inside Phipps Plaza were also targeted, Massell said.

“They did break into the Gucci store in Phipps and took some merchandise, but it was limited to the display area and was not inside the store,” Massell said.

Central Atlanta Progress has not completed an estimate for downtown, said president A.J. Robinson. City officials declined to provide a cost estimate. The Atlanta Police Department did not respond to a request for an estimate.

The state Department of Insurance won’t have a cost estimate for riot damage for several weeks, after insurance companies report the number and total value of claims, said spokesman Weston Burleson.

Most standard business owners policies include coverage for events related to civil unrest, riots and vandalism, said Bill Davis, a spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute, an industry trade association. These policies typically come with special riders for riot coverage, even if the applicant does not specifically request it, he said. They can also include business interruption coverage for a business’s downtime caused by vandals.

Some policies require policyholders to buy additional coverage for plate glass windows, Davis said.

Stolen goods and other items, like furniture, liquor, glassware and office supplies should be covered by a business owner’s personal property policy, Davis said.

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