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City Centre Disturbance AdviceTuesday 9th August 2011

In light of the disturbances which have taken place in a number of major city centres across the country over the past few days, Higos Insurance Services has issued the following guidance which we hope clients affected will find useful.

If you think you may be affected in some way, please take a few moments to consider the notes below,  to ensure any potential material damage claim is not invalidated by the slightest of delays.

Act immediately
It is essential policyholders who have been affected by the current situation, or feel they may have a claim arising from these disturbances, notify Higos of any potential claims within 7 days of the relevant incident. You should do this through our normal claim notification procedures.

Provisions under the Riot Damages Act 1886
The current definition of a riot is codified in the Public Order Act 1986. The essential points are:
•12 or more persons must be present together and use or threaten unlawful violence for a common purpose and the conduct of them (taken together) must be such as would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for his personal safety
•It is not necessary for the Claimant to show intent to use force to resist such opposition
•It is not necessary for anyone to be present and actually harmed

The local police authority has a legal responsibility under the Riot Damages Act 1886 to reimburse persons who sustain damage to property as the result of a riot. The wording of the statute is explicit, in that any claim under the Act must “be made in writing and received by the local police authority within 14 days of the alleged incident”.

However, policyholders are reminded that many insurer wordings include within the Claims Notification Clause a requirement for any claim for riot and/or civil commotion to be notified to insurers immediately with full supporting documentation within 7 days of the incident occurring, specifically to prevent a recovery action being turned down by the police authority on the basis that the action is time barred.

We hope all our clients are safe and unaffected by the recent incidents. However, if you do need further guidance or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0845 450 4259 and we will be pleased to help you.

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