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Traders could struggle to get insurance after London riots

PUBLISHED: 13:20 18 June 2012

Looting of JD Sports in Ripple Road on Monday, August 8

Looting of JD Sports in Ripple Road on Monday, August 8

Archant

»Small traders that suffered damage during last summer’s riots could be left without insurance cover due to a hike in premiums and bureaucracy, politicians have warned.

Members of the London Assembly’s budget and performance committee (BPC) heard warnings from Tottenham MP David Lammy and London Assembly Member for City and East, John Biggs, about problems businesses are facing in rebuilding after the riots, during a committee meeting last week.

They blamed the complicated and bureaucratic claims procedures of the Riot Damages Act for the fact that many businesses opted out of insurance cover.

Mr Biggs, chairman of the assembly’s budget and performance committee, who represents Barking and Dagenham, said: “Ten months on from the riots it’s clear that some traders are still struggling to get the cash to rebuild their businesses.

“We must not allow a worrying rise in uninsured and under-insured businesses to be a legacy of the riots and we hope to put these concerns to the insurance industry at our next meeting.”

The London Riots started in Tottenham following the police shooting of Mark Duggan, before spreading across other parts of the capital.

Shops were attacked and damaged in Barking’s Ripple Road on August 8, before violence spread across the borough to Highbridge Road and parts of High Street, Chadwell Heath.

It was mostly chain stores that were looted, such as electric goods store Comet in Abbey Retail Park and Whalebone Lane South. However, several grocery stores and fast food restaurants were also affected.

Confusing

Some businesses are waiting on the insurance companies and some on the police to pay out through the Riots Damages Act.

Some traders had told the speakers that the process of applying for regeneration funding was confusing.

Others feared a rise in insurance premiums and told of hikes of up to 20 per cent in the last year.

The London Assembly committee will invite representatives of the insurance industry and councils to its next meeting on July 10.


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