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Rioters confront police at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in an attempt to prevent Congress from conducting the ceremonial counting of Electoral College votes. The disorderly mob left a trail of destruction throughout the Capitol Building. The riot left four dead, at least 14 police injured and resulted in more than 50 arrests. (Photo: Gallagher Photography/Shutterstock) Rioters confront police at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in an attempt to prevent Congress from conducting the ceremonial counting of Electoral College votes. The disorderly mob left a trail of destruction and caused four deaths, approximately 140 injured police officers and resulted in federal prosecutors charging more than 500 people. (Photo: Gallagher Photography/Shutterstock)

2021 has been the most active year on record for civil disturbances. The Chilean ‘Social Outburst’ protests spread throughout the nation, the Zuma protests in South Africa escalated into widespread rioting and looting, sporadic riots continue in Hong Kong, and then there was the extraordinary storming of the U.S. Capitol in January. These events, to name but a few, are part of a pattern of rising social tensions globally.

COVID-19 and the associated lockdowns are certainly contributing factors, yet there are many others propelling these events as part of persistent underlying volatility that is challenging the political violence and terrorism (PVT) insurance market.

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