Birmingham Citizens Advice Bureau have released advice for those whose businesses or personal property has been damaged in the Birmingham riots
Since the recent Birmingham wide disturbances, which started on Monday 8th August 2011, many businesses and property-owners have suffered significant losses. Regardless of the severity of the damage to your property there are avenues available to recover your loss.
An insurer can make a claim in the policy holder¹s name against the police to recover their losses under The Riots (Damages) Act 1886 (RDA). In order to do this the claim must normally be lodged within 14 days of the damage having occurred. However, according to the Prime Minister¹s Statement on the 11th of August, the time limit for applying for compensation will increase from 14 to 42 days.
Businesses that have suffered riot damage that do not have property insurance can also make a claim to recover their losses directly from the police under the RDA.
According to the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA), people who have been affected by the turmoil should speak to their insurance broker as soon as possible.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) says damage to homes, including riot damage and fire, would be covered under a standard home insurance policy. It goes on to state that many policies will also cover people for accommodation costs if they can’t stay in their home.
The AA states that comprehensive car insurance policies will normally cover policy holders for damage to cars that have been smashed, burnt out or damaged in any other way. Third party policies will not cover you because they exclude cover for the car itself. Third party, fire and theft may cover you for fire-related damage, so check the policy wording carefully.
The ABI says most policies will cover the direct damage and theft of property, plus pay compensation towards the costs of an interruption of business as usual, if the policy includes that cover.
When making a claim, you must ensure:
* You know your policy
* You keep receipts and proof of ownership documents safe and be prepared to produce them
* When you make a claim, act quickly
* Provide as much detail as possible
* Don’t exaggerate
* Birmingham Citizens Advice Bureau provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to local residents. We advise on peoples’ rights and responsibilities, and can provide information on a wide range of issues.
* We offer a variety of services, from providing information and directing people to the best source of help for their issue, through general advice from a trained advisor, to specialist debt and benefits work from one of our specialists.
* Our Telephone Advice Line number 08444 77 10 10 Monday Friday 10am until 4pm (5p per minute from a BT fixed line calls from mobiles and other networks will vary)
* Birmingham Citizens Advice Bureau website is www.bcabs.org.uk <http://www.bcabs.org.uk/>