The Riot (Damages) Act 1886 permits those affected by riots in England to claim compensation from the relevant police authority for losses suffered.

The British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA), in collaboration with the government, has recently developed a new claim form for riot compensation claims (click here for the new form). The form should be completed and sent to the relevant police authority within 42 days of the loss, counted from the day after the loss is suffered. This deadline, widely reported in the early days of the recent rioting as 14 days, was extended to 42 days by the Prime Minister in an announcement to Parliament on 11 August 2011.

BIBA is encouraging insureds to submit claims to their insurers as quickly as possible, and within the notification period specified in their policies. This will enable insurers to submit subrogated compensation claims to the relevant police authority on their behalf within the 42 day window. Victims without insurance should complete and submit their own claims for compensation.

To the extent they do not have insurance cover in place, police authorities will meet riot compensation claims from their own reserves or a special grant from the Home Office.