Government will aid commercial insurance on riot damage

While the majority of standard commercial insurance policies will provide cover to businesses that suffered property damage or an interruption of business due to the recent riots, a large proportion of the damages may end up being taken care of by the Government.

The insured loss will most likely be in excess of £200 million in business insurance claims, according to a recent statement from the Association of British Insurers.  However, the ABI said that it was still too soon to get a true and accurate picture of the total costs associated with the recent riots.

The rioting, which began as a non-violent protest on August 6 before spreading to more than 10 English towns by the next day, caused looting and property damage in such locations as Nottingham, Liverpool, Bristol, and Birmingham.  Many companies suffered serious damage due to the hundreds of rioters that smashed open shop windows, absconded with the goods therein, and then set the buildings on fire.

Business liability insurance provider Marsh’s property practice head, Caroline Wooley, remarked that losses could be categorised as the results of many sources, such as potentially political violence, riot, denial of access, vandalism, and property damage, to name but a few.  In some affected areas, businesses made the decision to send staff home early due to fears of even more disruption and violence, which resulted in a loss of business.

The lion’s share of the claims mentioned will most likely be covered through the average business insurance policy.  While the requirement for notifying insurers of riot claims is typically no later than 14 days after the incident, most insurers have been lenient with these deadlines in order to facilitate hard-hit businesses still reeling from the rioting.

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