ABI calls for overhaul of Riot Damages Act
by Gill Montia
Story link: ABI calls for overhaul of Riot Damages Act
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) is calling for an overhaul in the Riot (Damages) Act 1886, which allows compensation to be paid by police authorities to victims who suffer loss or damage following a riot.
According to the ABI, the intention of the 126 year-old legislation remains relevant but current arrangements have led to delays in paying out some compensation.
Also, the lack of a uniform and consistent approach has led to riot victims in some areas being treated differently to those in another.
The ABI wants to see:
1. A uniform definition of what constitutes a “riot” which is accepted by all police authorities.
2. A streamlined and standardised claims process for police authorities, the lack of which has led to delays and confusion for riot victims regarding the information they need to provide.
3. The time period for claims to be extended from 14 to 90 days so that those who suffered property damage have enough time to claim, especially as in some cases there may be a delay in being able to access their property to assess the damage.
In a newly published review of the August 2011 riots, the Association also highlights that insurers expect to pay out £200 million to customers in respect of damage to homes, businesses, vehicles and business interruption losses.
ABI members have fully settled or made interim payments on 95% of claims from householders; 92% of claims from small and medium businesses and 75% of large commercial claims.
Insurers are also able to claim under the Riot (Damages) Act 1886 for payments made to policyholders, however, recent Government figures suggest that over half of claims from insurers have been rejected under the Act, the ABI states.