The UK Government announced lockdown measures back on the 23rd of March, restricting when people could leave their homes and limiting gatherings. The result is that the Police have announced that the overall crime rate has fallen in Britain by 28% since lockdown began. Falls in crime recorded by police include a 37% drop in burglary, a 27% drop in vehicle crime, serious assault and personal robbery. Shoplifting has fallen by 54%, while all non-essential stores have been closed.

Recent Civil Unrest in the UK Was Predicted

Although crime levels in England and Wales have fallen during the pandemic, back in April the UK Police Chief predicted riots and civil unrest once lockdown was relaxed, warning that our police force should be ready to deal with a “more volatile and agitated society” due to impact of what the public has gone through over the last few months.

As predicted, riots broke out across some major UK cities recently, including London, Newcastle and Bristol, as violent scenes were created by crowds on the streets that claimed to be there to protect historic statues from Black Lives Matter protesters. 

The London riots in 2011, which began following a protest in Tottenham over the shooting of Mark Duggan by police, saw extensive destruction of property including homes, businesses, and cars looted and set on fire. Now, after what can only be described as a turbulent first half of the year after the global Coronavirus pandemic and the protests related to the death of George Floyd, we now face more potential civil unrest caused by a significant rise in unemployment and the looming threat of a no-deal Brexit. 

Will My Insurance Policy Protect My Home & Business?

You may be concerned about loss or damage to your property, either in your home or business should civil unrest cause riots or looting in your neighbourhood, and wondering if your home insurance and business insurance policies will cover you.

According to the ABI (Based on the 2011 London Riots): 

  • Most home insurance policies should cover fire, looting and other damage caused by civil unrest (there may be an exception if the home has been unoccupied for a while).
  • Many home insurance policies also cover accommodation costs if you cannot stay in your home.
  • Most business insurance policies will cover businesses for damage to their premises, including the interruption to their business as a result.
  • Some business policies will also cover those businesses which are not damaged, but whose trade is affected by the aftermath.

What About My Car Insurance?

Vehicles being set alight in the street during civil unrest is also a consideration and the different types of car insurance that you may hold will affect if you are covered.

  • Unfortunately, anyone with a Third-Party Only car insurance policy will not be covered in this situation due to the nature of the policy only covering damage caused to a third party.
  • If you hold a Third Party Fire & Theft policy, you may be able to make a claim for any fire damage, although be aware that many insurance policies also exclude arson. Check with your provider to be sure.
  • Most fully comprehensive insurance policies actually exclude “riot damage”, but the exclusion typically only applies outside of Great Britain. This means that you should be covered with this type of policy, but check with your provider to be sure.

If you have been affected by theft or damage caused by civil unrest, riots and looting, we recommend that you contact your insurer immediately to check what you are covered for and arrange help. You can also call Ashburnham Insurance on FREEPHONE 0800 1696137 for more help and advice.

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