Businesses struggle with insurance claims following looting

Small businesses are trying to stay open after finding out that their insurance barely covers any damages from looting. 

“I have nothing- everything has been taken, everything has been looted. I have to start from scratch again,” said Wilfredo DeLeon, owner of Vision Optics. 

Inside his shop on Germantown Avenue, all of the eyewear and displays were stolen.

“I had all my designers in my showcases looking out.,” said De Leon. “Most of my expensive ones in the front, Gisselle’s Guccis.”

All other equipment in his store, including security cameras, computers and drives, a cash box and a customer’s pair of prescription glasses are gone as well.

With all of the damage done, DeLeon’s insurance doesn’t even cover a quarter of anything his store lost. At this time, he estimates that to be at least $33,000. 

“It caps out at $5,500. I didn’t know that,” he said.

Vision Optics is one of several businesses in the area that have very little insurance coverage taken out. Though some will not be back, De Leon says that he is here to stay. 

“Doesn’t matter if I have to use every cent, I will definitely reopen.  This community embraced me, I’m not gonna walk out,” he said.

With all that has happened to him, he says that he understands the pain in Philly following the death of George Floyd, and even how situations have gotten out of hand. 

“I’m not mad at what’s happening,” he said. “I just wanna get the bus back together and hopefully justice is down and we can all move forward.”

As he rebuilds, DeLeon is taking responsibility for his insurance coverage. His daughter, however, has started a GoFundMe page asking for donations.


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