Brokerbility’s chairman on the changing social climate

A familiar picture is emerging from businesses caught up in the inner-city riots. The majority are uninsured or under-insured, and the Riot (Damages) Act may not cover business interruption or loss of attraction.

Once again the finger of blame will unfairly point at the insurance industry. Insurers can only respond by insisting on the primacy of sound underwriting principles. To allow exemplary underwriting and equitable settlement of claims to slide in these circumstances will set dangerous precedents.

But the riots are also part of a broader theme: a changing social climate. Insurers are responding to a new breed of claims, such as a dramatic rise in thefts from farms, cyber crime and the targeting of lead from roofs. The complexity of ensuring appropriate protection for small businesses is stretching the scope of online products. In short, these new risks mean that the advice of experienced brokers is needed now more than ever.

Ashwin Mistry is chairman of Brokerbility