WPS Town Council Insurance Scheme
Nationwide Riots August 2011
There can be no doubt that the levels of civil unrest/riots over the last few days in London and other parts of the UK have been unpredictable and regrettably serve as a costly reminder how these dreadful events cause havoc to property and business owners, their staff, customers and revenue.
In the last few days Police, F&RS and utility providers have been stretched to unprecedented levels and these situations can be a reminder why you need to take action to protect your property and business.
It's vitally important that Councils continuously exercise an extra high level of diligence in maintaining protective measures and review current fire, safety and security procedures. We firmly believe that despite the unpredictable nature of some of these events that sound risk management measures can be taken to reduce the likelihood of loss or damage to property and its consequences on your business.
We strongly recommend that all Councils in metropolitan cities and the London suburbs affected, as a first step, should immediately identify the threats they may face and wherever practical, introduce risk management measures to protect their employees, physical assets and ultimately their bottom line.
There are a number of safety considerations you should address including:
Violence to staff – you should where practicable:
o Avoid unaccompanied working
o Avoid visiting potential problem areas
o Make use of two-way radio links and personal alarms
Intruder alarms / CCTV– ensure that all security systems are functioning and set in their entirety whenever the premises are unattended
Physical security to buildings – ensure that:
o Existing perimeter barriers are in good repair
o Doors and door hardware are adequate and in good repair
o Accessible windows adequately secured and protected
o Keep removable grilles/shutters in position throughout all hours (even during opening hours)
o Consider temporary boarding up of vulnerable access points and windows particularly in high risk areas
Waste & combustible materials – all waste and other unwanted combustible materials are an obvious source of ignition and may be targeted and hence should be kept to a minimum
Fire fighting equipment – ensure adequate equipment is readily available to hand and staff trained in their use
Projectiles – wherever possible remove portable objects from the open that could be used as projectiles e.g. advertising boards, display stands etc
Security lighting – ensure that this is operating throughout all hours of darkness
High value contents & stock – options to consider include:
o Removal for safe storage elsewhere
o Place theft attractive stock within a physically robust area that would require greater time and effort to
penetrate than the shell of the building
o Remove attractive stock from display windows
o Consider delaying the delivery of attractive stock to your premises until current unrest has subsided
Vehicles in the open – to protect these you should:
o Remove and avoid parking vehicles overnight in high risk areas and on main thoroughfares
o Avoid parking vehicles in close proximity to buildings
Garage Forecourts – avoid storage /display of vehicles on forecourts in high risk areas in the short term, preferably to a secure compound wherever possible
Manned Guarding – consider introduction of security guards increasing the hours of guarding presence and/or increasing the number of guards present
If you have any further questions on the steps you can take to protect your staff and assets then please contact your local Regional Risk Solutions Manager.
Riot claims reporting time lines
Following the rioting across the UK we’d just like to reassure you that Aviva’s claims centres of excellence have teams of experts ready to manage any claims arising who are working closely with loss adjusters and suppliers to support our policyholders.
If you need any further assistance or clarification please speak to your usual WPS Account Handler.
With claims of this nature there are specific time lines to meet for insurers to be reimbursed by the local police authority.
The local police authority has a legal responsibility to reimburse anyone sustaining damage to property as
the result of a riot under the Riot Damages Act 1886. Any claim under the Act must ‘’be made in writing and received by the local police authority within 14 days of the alleged incident”.
Insurers typically include within their Claims Notification Clause to the policy a requirement for any
claim for riot and/or civil commotion to be notified to Insurers immediately with full supporting documentation. This needs to be received within seven days of the incident occurring specifically to prevent a recovery action being turned down by the police authority on basis that the action is time barred. Insurers are entitled to recover their outlays under the principle of subrogation.
Anyone claiming needs to be aware that they must notify Aviva immediately of any damage but equally important is that they must be able to quantify and substantiate their losses with potentially both a schedule of loss and statement of truth within a week of the incident occurring.
The Act excludes liability for loss or damage to cars left on public highways, goods left in shops for repair
and/or consequential losses. Also all claims will be assessed in accordance with common law, which may
not correlate directly to the basis of settlement provided for by the insurance contract.
Again if you any issues or queries please speak to your usual WPS Account Handler.