UK Riots: Making An Insurance Claim For Property And Vehicular Damage - Updated

15. August 2011

london met police in riot gearDue to the recent unrest in the capital and various other major cities in England, many people may have concerns regarding their insured property and vehicles and what to do in the event of loss or damage as a direct result of the riots.

Information regarding riot damage is laid out at the foot of this piece, but I will also sum up some of the crucial points to remember.

It is important to be aware that should you suffer from losses or damage as a result of the London riots that you now have a 42 day period from the onset of damages or losses occurring to report any claims against the local authority. We would still recommend that you should contact Performance Direct or your relevant insurer within 7 days to allow the processing of the claim to commence as soon as possible.

This concession was announced this morning (15 August) in Parliament. The increase from the statutory 14 days to 42 days in light of the scale of of the recent riots across the UK will allow for a more comprehensive assessment regarding each claim.

If you have been prevented from returning to your property (for safety reasons for example), you will still need to report the incident to your insurance company as soon as you possibly can, even though the claim itself may take some time to fully assess.

The relevant information from The Public Order Act regarding riot damage is printed below:


  1. Under the Public Order Act 1986 Riot is defined as 12 or more people present together and the use, or threat of unlawful violence for a common purpose and the conduct of them to cause a person of reasonable firmness, present at the scene to fear for their personal safety.
  2. Virtually all UK insurance policies provide cover for riot damage, but most exclude Northern Ireland.
  3. All losses other than motor vehicles on the public highway, goods in for repair or cleaning and consequential losses are ultimately the responsibility of the local police authority. “Riot (Damages) Act 1886.”
  4. Claims against the local authority extended as per this article from 14 days to 42 days.
  5. We would still recommend notifying your insurance company within 7 days or as soon as you are aware of the loss or damage.
  6. In practice insurers deal with your claim and your rights are subrogated to them to recover any outlay against the local police authorities.
  7. If you are prevented from returning to the premises, insurers must still be notified of the occurrence even although it may take time to equate the full extent of the claim.

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