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Commercial building owners having tougher time securing insurance policies and renewals

Insurers’ fears of civil unrest in wake of election prompt builder’s risk coverage moratoriums.

November 04, 2020 |

Courtesy Pixabay

Some of the nation’s largest commercial property insurers have put moratoriums on issuing new insurance policies and renewing current ones due to fear of potential civil unrest resulting from a closely contested presidential election.

The multifamily sector has been most impacted, but other all sectors have been affected. The situation has been most acute in urban areas, including Chicago, New York, Portland, Ore., and Los Angeles.

Some insurance carriers haven’t pulled back from the market, but even a few lenders waiting things out to see what happens following the election is burdensome for larger projects. In the current climate, projects cannot secure builder's risk coverage from just one carrier and must instead use three or four carriers. That raises project costs.

Insurers that have instituted moratoriums say they will continue to put policy decisions on hold until at least after the election. If the election becomes a drawn-out, litigious affair, that may mean moratoriums could be extended for many weeks.

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