The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) New Generation Claims Group has launched a landmark guide for the compensation of claims in the event of a riot.

The Riot Claims Handling Best Practice Guide was created in conjunction with the Home Office and sets out core procedures and technical guidance for handling compensation claims against local policing bodies for riots damage. The ABI, CILA and the police also had significant input into the guide.

Large-scale riots are rare events in Britain but can be devastating when they occur. As well as shocking the country, the 2011 riots resulted in roughly £200million in claims paid out by insurers.

The new guide has been published to make the application of the Riot Compensation Act (RCA) 2016 as clear as possible for those handling claims. Prior to the 2011 riots the law had last been updated in 1886.

The core aims of the new guide are:

  • to facilitate effective and fair claims handling
  • a smooth and well explained claims process for both claimant and claims handler
  • clarity in the outcome of claims;
  • helping riot victims, whether they are individuals or businesses, to get back on their feet following a traumatic setback

The guide, freely accessible via the CII and Home Office websites, is accompanied by a more detailed report, which sets out a high-level model for RCA claims management in the event of a large-scale riot, from preliminary planning stages through to claims handling and ongoing improvements to processes.

The report, Riot Compensation Claims: Meeting Future Challenges, also outlines recommendations on a range of issues relating to RCA claims, including the use of delegated authority, how insurers can support an improved process, and the impact of social media in terms of how it can support community engagement.

The report also notes that social media can act as a catalyst for the spreading of riot activity. Accordingly, the report recommends that a riot compensation social media strategy is not only desirable, but necessary.

Jeremy Trott, Non-executive Director of the Society of Claims Professionals and Head of Claims Operations at Allianz, said:

“In an ideal world, the guidance in this guide will never be used. But it would be irresponsible for the authorities and claims insurers to not plan for the worst.

“The 2019 Riot Best Practice Guide was the result of a collaboration between the CII and the Home Office and outlines core procedures which can be enacted quickly in the event of social unrest.

“During the 2011 riots, 30,000 businesses were estimated to have suffered a loss of trading profit and record numbers of claims were paid out by insurers. The linchpin of this report is not to predict if a riot will happen – no one has a crystal ball – but to be fully prepared in the event of one.”

Patrick Hayward, New Generation Claims Group member co-responsible for compiling the report, said:

“The new guide will help to ensure that decisions made by claims handlers deliver fair outcomes for riot victims and help to address some of the key challenges in applying the rules that were faced by claimants and handlers alike following the 2011 riots.”

The New Generation Claims Group came together as part of the CII’s development programme, with claims professionals from across the sector participating.

To view the guide click here: