Riots & Landlord Insurance

Date Published 13 October 2011

Landlords who were affected by the riots have been offered expert advice from specialist landlord insurance broker Alan Boswell on what to do.

If landlords were affected by the riots they must have notified their Landlord Insurance company as soon as possible and within 7 days of the incident. If you do not adhere to the 7 day policy condition you will prejudice your Insurers position in making a recovery from the local policy authority, and this could affect settlement of your claim.

Alan Boswell Insurance spokesperson Sharon Coombs-Hoar goes on to advise landlords that the local police authority has a legal responsibility to reimburse anyone sustaining damage to their property as the result of a riot under the Riot (Damages) Act 1886.

Under the doctrine of subrogation the right to recover costs passes to Insurers who pay a claim for riot damage. Insurers making a claim under the Act must submit their claim in writing and be received by the local police authority within 14 days of the riot. Therefore, policies that include riot cover typically include within their Claims Notification Clause that any claim for riot and/or civil commotion to be notified to Insurers immediately and must be within 7 days with full supporting documentation. This allows Insurers adequate time to submit their claim and prevent a recovery action being turned down by the police authority on basis that the action is time barred. While the Act does provide for an application to be made to request an extension, the decision to provide this rests with the local police authority alone and it is anticipated that in the face of central government cuts, that any police authority would look to resist applications for extension as the time limits here provide a straightforward loophole for them to use to keep payments to a minimum.

In simple terms landlords need to get their claim in immediately and definitely within 7 days to prevent any complications.

Unfortunately, the Act excludes liability for loss or damage to cars left on public highways, goods left in shops for repair and/or consequential losses.

If a landlord's property was empty at the time that damage took place it should be noted that any unoccupied properties which are on restricted cover (i.e. Fire, lightning, explosion/earthquake and aircraft), the property owners will need to submit their claim to the police directly within the specified 14 days.