Cleveland's Board of Control voted — reportedly "without discussion," according to Cleveland.com — to approve the $9.5 million purchase of a $50 million "protest" insurance policy from AON Risk Services Northeast, to protect the city from claims related to its hosting of the Republican National Convention (RNC) from July 18-21.
The move increases the city's coverage by a factor of five, having already approved spending $1.5 million on an insurance policy last March, a figure similar to the $1.7 million spent on insurance by the city of Tampa when hosting the 2012 RNC. The substantial increase in Cleveland's policy was motivated by a study with included a poll of 40 insurance companies. Cleveland's Finance Director Sharon Dumas said, "They analyzed the national trend of conflicts and the risks associated with the convention, and we concurred."
For a while at least, the fearful specter haunting this year's RNC was the possibility floated by Trump that there would be riots in the event of a brokered convention which denied him the nomination. But now that Trump has the nomination mathematically clinched, the growing concern centers on potential clashes between Trump's sometimes punchy supporters, as well as anti-Trump supporters (who have on occasion expressed themselves violently already), the neo-Nazis who have pledged to attend, and other assorted representatives of the American electorate.
The city intends to have the fee spent on the insurance policy reimbursed by the federal grant which allocates $50 million for convention-related security spending. With upwards of 50,000 people expected to descend on the city, Cleveland.com estimates that approximately $5.6 million has been spent on "convention-related supplies and equipment, including vehicles, motorcycles, 'personal protective' riot gear, steel fencing and bicycles."
Rampant misconduct by the Cleveland PD led to a consent decree and federal monitor being imposed on the department in May 2015, making Cleveland the first city to host a major political convention while under such conditions. To provide security for the RNC, over 3,500 officers from outside the greater Cleveland area are expected to be hired to assist the Cleveland PD, and the added "protest insurance" also covers the out-of-towners and their equipment, as well as public property (city employees are property are insured by the city itself).