ABI Chides UK’s Riot Compensation Scheme for Shortchanging Londoners

July 11, 2012

A bulletin from the Association of British Insurers (ABI) indicates that “while insurers reacted quickly to help customers hit by last August’s riots, the riot compensation scheme has failed too many Londoners.”

Presenting the figures at the London Assembly the ABI said they show ” that just over half of the 3,487 claims made by Londoners to the Metropolitan Police for compensation for property damage sustained in the riots have either been rejected or discontinued.” The ABI is urging the Government to overhaul the Riot (Damages) Act of 1886, under which police authorities are required to pay compensation to those affected.

Appearing before the London Assembly Nick Starling, the ABI’s Director of General Insurance, stated: “Insurers reacted quickly to help thousands of Londoners hit by last August’s riots. In one case, within one week of the riots an insurer had made an initial payment of £100,000 [$155,622] to their customer in South London to enable them to hire temporary trading premises to resume trading and stay in business. Overall, insurers expect to pay out £200 million [$311.273 million] in respect of riot damage to homes, businesses and vehicles.”

“Yet too many people without insurance, or who are under-insured, have and continue to face unacceptable delays and bureaucracy in claiming the compensation they are entitled to from the police authorities. This compounds their distress and puts them under even more financial pressure.”

He concluded by telling the Assembly that “Londoners need and deserve a much more streamlined and standardized compensation process. A more effective compensation process will also ensure that insurance to cover riot damage remains widely available in the capital. We urge the Government to review and update the Riot (Damages) Act to ensure that it meets to needs of modern day London”.

Source: Association of British Insurers

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