Important Claims Information for Homeowners & Businesses Affected by Riot

The recent public order problems in and around London and other major cities in the UK are likely to result in insurance claims being made by both individuals and businesses for damage to their homes, businesses and property. PI Expert would like to express our sympathy to anyone who has been affected by these problems.

Although the TV and Press are referring to these outbreaks of violence as “riot” the Police and Home Secretary have yet to confirm officially that the recent disruptions constitute a ‘riot’ under the Public Order Act 1986. This is important because if the events are classified
officially as riot then this will have a significant impact on any householder or business owner who wishes to make an insurance claim for the damage that they have sustained.

Under the Public Order Act 1986 Insurers are able to apply for compensation under the Riot (Damages) Act for any claims in respect of loss or damage which arise from an officially classified riot. This money is claimed by the insurers from the police fund for the area where the riot occurred. Therefore, and unlike other types of damage, claims which are made in respect of Riot Damage are subject to special rules and anyone who is likely to need to make a claim for damage caused in this way needs to be made aware of these.

If Insurers are to be successful with any claim that they make against the police authority concerned they have to submit it in writing to the local police authority within 14 days of the alleged incident. Time is therefore of the essence and as such most insurance policies include a requirement for any claim for riot and/or civil commotion to be notified to insurers immediately or at most be within 7 days of any damage occurring.  The claim report will need to include full supporting documentation.

This could be a tall order for anyone who has seen their home or business destroyed. It is however imperative that any policyholder who has suffered damage to contact their insurers immediately as a delay could result in the claim being rejected.

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