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Riots Counting the Costs of Unrest – is your business or home covered?

The costs of rioting and looting in Tottenham (and beyond!) is expected to run into millions of pounds and the disruption to local communities is likely to continue for many months ahead. At a time when some of London's most deprived areas are looking forward to a substantial spending boost from visitors to next years' Olympics, this sends an appalling message to would-be tourists around the world.

As for who is going to pay for the damage, in all likelihood it will be insurers who will pick up the tab and the end result could be higher insurance premiums for the already beleaguered business community.

Insurers may argue that the Police were not quick enough to act and we could see claims from insurers against the Police under the Riot (Damage) Act 1886 which allows companies and individuals to sue the Police over damage caused during civil disturbances. In 2009 a Judge ruled that Bedfordshire Police Authority could be sued for £42 million damages, following the disturbance that destroyed the Yarl's Wood Immigration Detention Centre in 2002.

Retailers have been particularly badly hit with destruction and looting causing massive financial loss in terms of damage, stock loss and loss of trading. It is feared that many smaller, independent traders will not be able to recover and thus lose their livelihood.

Businesses affected by the current disturbances are being urged to contact their insurers. The ABI (Association of British Insurers) is urging affected businesses and residents to contact their insurers to see what they are covered for and to seek immediate help.

Home insurance should cover people for fire, looting or damaged caused, while many policies will also cover accommodation costs if residents are unable to stay in their home.

Most commercial policies will cover business for damage to their premises, including interruption to their business resulting from the unrest. However, there are many policies which omit loss resultant from civil commotion – and the advice is to check your policy thoroughly. If you have any worries about insurance, you should call Westhill Insurance Services – they can explain the insurance situation to you clearly and concisely, and their friendly and professional team will always go the extra mile to help you.

Contact Westhill Insurance Services, today.

Posted on 17th August, 2011