By Max Clarke

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) confirmed that the majority of homes and businesses that have suffered damage are likely to be covered by their insurance policies.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the ABI calculate that damage to property has already exceeded £100 million, and sadly there is no end to the destruction in sight.

“We have every sympathy for residents and business owners who have suffered damage to their properties,” said Nick Starling, Director of General Insurance and Health, ABI.

“This is a time of enormous stress for them and their insurers will be on hand to answer any questions that they may have. We urge people to contact their insurer as soon as possible to check what they are covered for and arrange for immediate help. Many insurers operate a 24-hour claims line and can help people arrange for urgent repairs.

The majority of business owners’ insurance policies will cover them for visible damage and for loss of business during the period of repairs. Goods and damage caused by looting will also be covered, and insurance can even cover businesses for loss of trade in the months after the incident.

“Most commercial insurance policies will cover businesses for damage to their premises, including the interruption to their business as a result of fire, looting and the other damage caused by the recent riots. Some policies will also cover those businesses which are not damaged but whose trade has been affected by the aftermath.

“It is important for people to read their insurance policy’s terms and conditions carefully to check what they are covered for. If necessary, contact your insurance company for any additional clarification that is needed and for any immediate assistance. Insurers are working as quickly as they can to deal with claims and most have 24 hour call centres that will be able to help. If you think you might have a claim, please contact your insurer or insurance broker as soon as possible."

Further to that those not covered by insurance may be able to claim for compensation from police authorities.

Key points raised by insurance experts relating to the riots are as follows:

- Those who are insured should be covered, although the extent of this cover and how much excess they pay - depends on the terms and conditions of individual policies.

-The uninsured may be able to claim for compensation, by notifying their local police authority within 14 days of damage done from rioting.

- Crisis loans are available from the government for some of those affected financially in the short-term.

- Some businesses will be able to claim for disruption to trade.

- Only holidaymakers who return home at the advice of police to inspect homes and businesses can claim on travel insurance for extra travel costs.

- Cover for motorists whose car has been damaged depends on their insurance policy.

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