General Insurance Article - ABI comment on independent review of Riot Damages Act


 Aidan Kerr, Head of Property at the Association of British Insurers, said:

 "Insurers reacted quickly to help customers recover from the £200 million insured damage caused by the riots and have made payments towards all claims for affected households and settled over 95% of business claims.

 "The Riot Damages Act provides important compensation to the uninsured, however the riots of 2011 highlighted the century old Act needs to be reformed for the modern day, so we welcome the independent review. Those claiming under the Act faced an overly bureaucratic process, inconsistent approach and unacceptable delays.

 "We need to see the Riot Damages Act modernised with a more streamlined and standardised process to ensure those most vulnerable have the reassurance it will help them in what is inevitably a distressing time."

 The ABI is calling for:

 - A uniform definition of what constitutes a ‘riot' which is accepted by all police authorities.
 - A streamlined and standardised claims process for police authorities. The lack of such an approach led to delays and confusion for victims as to what information they need to provide.
 - The time period for claims to be made should 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.

 HOME OFFICE

 Riot (Damages) Act 1886

 The Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice Damian Green

 The Home Secretary has commissioned an independent review of the Riot (Damages) Act 1886. This will be led by Neil Kinghan and is expected to conclude by the end of September 2013.

 The review will examine the existing criteria which determine when compensation is payable under the Riot (Damages) Act. This includes looking at key issues involving the definition of a riot, who should be liable and what level of entitlement should be afforded under the Act. 

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