Riot Insurance – given all the recent trouble and as I have properties in affected areas I’m worried about being able to recover the cost of any damage. What is the situation with riot damage insurance claims for landlord’s premises?
This is a question on most landlord’s minds at this time. The short answer is that most building policies cover riot and civil commotion, unless these perils have been specifically excluded – this would be unusual.
Many policies cover people and tenants for accommodation costs if they can’t stay in their home due to damage caused by riots or malicious fires and tenants in business premises should have insurance to cover interruption to trading. Many commercial landlords also have loss of rent insurance cover.
Riot damage is covered by home insurance under fire and theft, even basic car insurance covers damage through fire and theft and contents insurance will also cover stolen or damaged possessions as a result of looting.
Landlords’ and also tenants’ contents insurance covers the contents of a home for theft and damage and also may insure certain possessions (jewellery, cycles) outside of the home. Things to watch for include the excess and also the maximum payout on individual items and the necessity to identify specifically valuable items to the insurers beforehand.
Building Insurance covers rebuilding costs, not the market value of the property, so it’s crucial in a total loss situation that your replacement values are accurate and include things like site clearance costs and professional fees etc.
If landlords have been affected by the riots they must notify their insurance company as soon as possible and at the latest within 7 days of the incident to prevent the claim being time barred. In addition, of equal importance, landlords must provide all supporting documentation including an accurate schedule of loss and statement of truth within the 7 days.
All police authorities have a legal responsibility to reimburse anyone sustaining damage to their property as the result of a riot under the Riot (Damages) Act 1886. The insurance company has a limited time in which to re-claim from the police under the Act, so any delay is crucial.
If a landlord’s property is vacant at the time the damage took place it could be more of a problem, especially as the property could be on restricted cover. In this case it may be necessary for the owner to submit their claim direct to the police within 14 days.
Take the trouble to check your policy now.
©LandlordZONE All Rights Reserved – never rely totally on these standard answers which apply primarily to England and Wales. Before taking action or not, always do your own research and/or seek professional advice with the full facts of the case and all documents to hand.