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UK Riots August 2011 – Government announces extension to 42 day limit

August 13th, 2011

David Cameron on behalf of the Government has confirmed this morning in Parliament that the Riot (Damages) Act 1886, police compensation schemes will operate as normal and that the time frame for notifying claims under the Riot (Damages) Act 1886 has been relaxed from 14 days to 42 days from the date of damage or injury to property. This is a very welcome concession from the Government and will allow for a more comprehensive assessment of the quantum of the loss to be included on the form.

The Prime Minister commenting on the recent rioting and looting in London and other cities, announced:

  • The 14-day time limit to make compensation claims to their local police force under the Riot (Damages) Act 1886 will be extended to 42 days
  • The Bellwin Scheme will be in operation to support Local Authorities
  • To meet any short term funding problems the Government will set up a ¬£10m recovery fund for Local Authorities

Claims under the Riot (Damages) Act

The majority, if not all insurance claims, following the disturbances, will be dealt with under the peril of Riot. While customers who have this cover will have their claims dealt with in the normal manner, there is still a need for these claims to be notified to the insurer within 7 days.

In cases of Riot (as defined by Section 1 of the Public Order Act), certain compensation is available under the provisions of the Riot (Damages) Act, for loss of, or damage to, property. Any such claims are made against the local Police Authority and following todays announcement within 42 days of the damage.

Next steps for your customers who wish to pursue uninsured losses

For customers in areas affected by the riots we recommend the following actions be undertaken as a matter of urgency:

  1. Where it’s safe to do, carry out an immediate investigation and establish any loss or damage – we understand that this may be difficult but it is better to present as much information as possible to the Police Authority.
  2. Customers should inform their broker of the outcome of the loss and damage assessment and, if an uninsured loss claim is being made, decide who will make the submission, to ensure it is made in the prescribed format  (Riot Damages Act Claim form) and within the timescale.
  3. If applicable, contact the Police Authority, advising them of the circumstances, nature and extent of the claim to be pursued under the Riot (Damages) Act 1886. The customer will need to provide the Police Authority with following information:
(a) the name and address of the claimant;
(b) the day on and hour at which the injury, stealing, or destruction took place;
(c) whether the premises are a house, shop, or building, where they are situated, and the nature of the claimant’s interest therein;
(d) the circumstances in which the injury, stealing, or destruction took place, described in sufficient detail to show whether it was committed by persons “riotously and tumultuously assembled together.”
  1. Once all details have been completed, all the details should be return to:
The Directorate of Legal Services, Accident Claims, 1st Floor (V), New Scotland Yard, No 8-10 Broadway, London SW1H 0BG. For cases outside London please send details to your local police authority

If you have any questions regarding this please do not hesitate to contact Richard Gibson or your usual account executive on 0116 2720770

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