Brokers called to help riot victims

Yuan Phoon

August 9, 2011

Most home insurance should cover people for fire, looting or damage and many policies will also cover people for alternative accommodation costs if they cannot stay in their home.

Commercial insurance policies will normally cover businesses for damage to their premises, including the financial loss due to interruption to their business as a result. Some policies will also cover those businesses which are not damaged, but whose trade is affected by the aftermath.

David Hollingworth, head of communications at London & Country, said: “Damage from this sort of rioting should be covered by general insurance as a result of damages due to civil disturbances.

“I do believe this does present an opportunity for brokers to get in touch with their clients and talk to them about their insurance.”

Graeme Trudgill, head of corporate affairs at BIBA, said: “We want to do everything we can to help those affected. It is important for people to contact their insurance broker to arrange for immediate help and support to make the affected property as secure as possible.”

Steve Foulsham, technical services manager at BIBA, added: “The majority of insurance providers operate a 24 hour claims line and can help people arrange for emergency repairs and the damage to be inspected as quickly as possible.”

Sally Laker, managing director of Mortgage Intelligence, said: “It would certainly be appropriate for people to check they are covered and also to check the policies they’re covered by in writing.

“It has to be done in the right manner, a letter that would come as a normal part of the service would be very apt and appropriate. Brokers will have to be careful to not be seen as profiteering from what is a pretty horrific set of circumstances.

Laker said that if brokers were to look at what their clients’ cover was and they were aware of them being in a hotspot, offering them a helpline to guide them through what their policy covered would a good service to offer.

“Perhaps they may even end up with more business with clients being grateful because with things like that, there can be caveats in insurance policies,” she said

“It’s all about relationship with broker and client and offering a helpline to clients to check what their policy would cover.”

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