Detroit high insurance rates date back to 1967

In 1967, TV 2 covered scene after scene of burning businesses and homes. In the 2400 block of Pingree, between Linwood and LaSalle, nearly a dozen homes were torched. The area is just a few blocks away from 12th and Taylor.

On the north side of Pingree, 11 homes were set on fire and burned to the ground. On the south side, the homes were intact but the people on the street were gone.

Today, that side of Pingree is an empty lot that the city is trying to turn into a park. 50 years ago, it was a neighborhood, filled homes full of families who who lived, worked, and played in the area.

Olivia Gaines didn't leave. She's lived in her home on Pingree for more than 50 years now. She saw it all happen and was even a victim herself.
"It was people that was angry. It was terrible. My car burned up in the front and we had to wash the porch down with (water, but) the porch fell in. It was just terrible. We didn't have nothing going for us because, ya know, the fire department couldn't come in and there wasn't nothing nobody could really do but just keep our hoses on this house to keep it from burning," Gaines told Huel Perkins earlier this summer.

In the days and weeks after the riots, the concern amoung Detroit residents affected by the rioters was who would pay for the damage. TV 2 reporter Joe Weaver walked the streets of Detroit to explain what they were up against.
"Long after the smoke clears and life returns to normal here in Detroit, the families that lived in these burned down homes, and the hundreds of apartments that were destroyed by the arsonists' firebombs, will be battling with insurance companies. It's still feared that some of the insurance companies will use the insurrection clause as a reason for not paying the claims."

Olivia said after her home and car were damaged, the insurance did nothing.

"They didn't give one dime to what was happening to this house," she said. "No insurance for my car. had car and house insurance both. on the same company. they offered me $140.

Detroit Mayor Jerome Cavanagh was working on a plan to help the families, which Weaver explained:

"Project Rebuild, the mayor's committee which is going to try to do something for the 3-400 families that have lost their homes, among other plans - hope to bulldoze these burned out buildings, lease the property from the existing owners put on mobile homes. Most of the families, however, have been absorbed into the community temporarily living with other families.

Olivia refused to leave. 

"I promised my God if I got here I would not go any place," she said. "I was trying to protect my house and that's what I was trying to do. And that was my biggest problem. and getting back to work. cuz when I got home that Sunday afternoon, I didn't get a chance to go back to work for seven days. so you can see that wasn't good."

Weaver's report 50 years ago still holds true: home and car insurance would be up for years. 50 years later, that's still true.

"One thing is for sure, that everybody in Detroit, in the riot area or not, will be affected by the damage. The claims and the heavy damage may cause people in Detroit to pay a whale of a price for future insurance. This is Joe Weaver on Pingree near Linwood."

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