The Association of British Insurers, a trade body for insurers across the UK, has recently enforced the message that anyone with a property, be it residential or commercial, affected by the riots must contact their insurer as soon as possible.
Nick Starling, Director of General Protection and Health at The Association of British Insurers, stated:
“We have every sympathy for residents and business owners who have suffered damage to their properties. This is a time of enormous stress for them and their insurers will be on hand to answer any questions that they may have. We urge people to contact their insurer as soon as possible to check what they are covered for and arrange for immediate help. Many insurers operate a 24-hour claims line and can help people arrange for urgent repairs.
“Home insurance should cover people for fire, looting or damage caused. Many policies will also cover people for accommodation costs if they can’t stay in their home. Most commercial insurance policies will cover businesses for damage to their premises, including the interruption to their business as a result. Some policies will also cover those businesses which are not damaged, but whose trade is affected by the aftermath. Insurers are working as quickly as they can to deal with claims. However, access to dangerous buildings which are also crime scenes is a serious issue.”
The riots began in Tottenham in Greater London, before spreading to parts of Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Nottingham, amongst others, over the following days. It is estimated that the cost to insurance companies will be huge. Mr Starling added on the subject:
“It is too early for us to have an accurate picture of total costs, especially business interruption costs, but insurers are expecting significant losses, in excess of £200 million”.
This news comes as Wandsworth Council became the first government body to file a possession order against a tenant whose son breached the law during the rioting.
If you have been affected by the riots and you need a professional to assess the damage to your home, visit www.propertysurveying.co.uk and click on your area. Your local surveyor will be happy to help.