The Association of British Insurers (ABI) says it expects insured losses of more than 200 million pounds (about $328 million) from claims connected to the rioting and looting in London and other cities recently.
The estimate is more than double the ABI’s initial loss estimate of 100 million pounds.
The news comes as Prime Minister David Cameron extends the time to report claims under the Riot Damages Act of 1886.
Under the act, the British police are required to compensate individuals and organizations who suffer property loss or damages from a riot—regardless of whether they are insured—and insurers can also make a riot-compensation claim for the amount of claims paid to policyholders who suffered riot-related property losses and damages.
Business-interruption losses are not covered under the act.
The ABI says it has offered assistance to the government and police in handling claims.
“The insurance industry is already paying out claims to people with insurance but wants to do more to support the government in helping people get back on their feet,” says Otto Thoresen, ABI director general. “We will work in partnership with the government and share our expertise to make sure that the police-compensation schemes work effectively and get compensation to people who need it quickly.”
ABI says home insurance should cover fire, looting and damages. Many policies also provide payments if homeowners cannot stay in their home.
Most commercial policies will cover damages and business interruption caused by fire, looting and other damages. Some policies will cover interruption to businesses that were not directly damaged by the riots.
Crawford & Co., an independent provider of claims-management services, says key considerations for businesses are adequacy of cover and—in cases where an insured takes damages at more than one location—whether or not the riots will be classified as one event for the application of deductibles.
Standard business-interruption policies may be extended in some cases to include coverage to a business owner who cannot access his business because of destruction or damage at neighboring businesses.