10 March 2021
The Weekly
United States

Nordstrom stores suffered extensive damage during last year’s protests of police violence against Black people and its insurance company is attempting to escape coverage of the related costs. Although mostly peaceful, several weeks of protests stemming from the May 2020 police killing of George Floyd, preceded by the deaths of several other Black men and women at the hands of police, coincided with some property damage and theft. Only a small percentage of the protests turned violent, but it was enough that the entirety of its chain of 100 department stores suffered damage, directly through theft or indirectly through business interruption. It closed all of its stores for a time, boarding them up and hiring security for some, leaving it with an insurance claim of $25mn. The issue is that its insurers, a collective of five companies, are attempting to avoid coverage by defining each instance of store damage or business interruption as an individual event, instead of a single occurrence. Nordstrom is not the only fashion player to be fighting with insurers. Ralph Lauren is suing its insurers for $700mn for refusing to cover costs related to losses amid the coronavirus pandemic. But Nordstrom appears to be among the first to sue in relation to coverage from last year’s protests.

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