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Insurance Even Tougher to Find Since the Riots : Commerce: As many as half the businesses in Central Los Angeles may be without policies. Critics blame a lack of carriers in the area.

May 08, 1994|ROBERT LOPEZ | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Unlike many other riot victims, the Villa family had insurance for its South-Central flower shop, which was looted and burned the first night of the violence. But family members say their insurance carrier, Allstate, canceled their policy after it paid them the $14,000 for which they were insured.

"It is not fair," said Maricela Villa, who operates the business near Manchester Avenue and Main Street with her husband, Luis. "This is not right."

Allstate spokesman Al Orendorff said the insurance company was unable to locate records indicating whether the Villas' policy was dropped. He said the carrier would be willing to write a new policy for the Villas or anyone else in South-Central provided they do not constitute an excessive risk.

"The idea that we take our urban business customers lightly is not true," Orendorff said.

Maricela Villa said that when the shop reopened last year, the family was unable to obtain insurance from a major carrier and had to take out a policy with the California Fair Plan.

Times correspondent Jake Doherty contributed to this report.

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