Business owners look to insurance for help after bombing

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Posted at 6:59 PM, Dec 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-30 21:20:52-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Businesses and residents impacted by the downtown bombing are turning to their insurance companies for aid.

Tuesday, the FBI started letting a select few people back into the zone where the bomb went off. The building owners and residents were allowed to assess the damage to their properties and take pictures for insurance purposes.

However, some fear insurance companies will skirt payments if the bombing is labeled as terrorism.

"There may be a benefit to the insurance companies if it's classified as terrorism. Because not many people have terrorism coverage. So, they wouldn't have the losses," said Barrett Hobbs, owner of three businesses in the restricted area.

In order for an act to be labeled as domestic terrorism, the incident must be used to further an ideology, according to the FBI.

Terrorism Risk Insurance is for commercial use only. However, it's not included in most insurance policies. So, if the FBI labels the attack as a terrorist act, many downtown businesses may not be able to receive compensation from their insurance companies.

Right now, the FBI is referring to the bombing as simply an "intentional act." And the motive has not yet been determined.

Business owners may still be able to get insurance compensation for loss of business. Since the streets are closed down, they could receive some money from insurance through that.

Though, Hobbs, who owns Doc Holliday's Saloon, worries the insurance companies won't give them the amount they need there either.

"We're afraid the insurance is going to do the same thing," said Hobbs. "For us, they're going to say what were your last four weeks sales, well they suck. Can we go back to last year when we had great business? Which is why we built those companies was based on those numbers, not what we're living in now."

The pandemic's toll makes the destruction even worse. New Year's Eve was promising to be a big day for sales at the businesses. Now, those events are canceled.

Hobbs worries about the integrity of the neighborhood and the future of the small businesses nearby.

"There's no doubt that there's going to be further damage to businesses that have taken mortal hits this year. Even if it's their insurance pays off, and they give you a loss of business," he said. "It's one of the frustrations of pandemic is the city and the state and the federal government has done virtually nothing to financially help business owners."

Hobbs says without multiple forms of aid for small businesses, many will not recover.