Blow for the David Constable Syndicate at Lloyd’s

Insurers suffered a legal blow this week when the Court of Appeal ruled that they were obliged to pay for damage to property caused by riots under public liability policies.

The David Constable Syndicate at Lloyd’s lost its appeal against the Bedfordshire police for losses of £100m stemming from 2002 riots at Yarl’s Wood detention centre.

The insurer refused to indemnify Bedfordshire Police Authority for the losses, maintaining that such claims were not covered under an excess public liability insurance policy.

The High Court ruled in favour of Bedfordshire police in June last year. The insurer appealed.

Upholding the original decision, the Court of Appeal clarified that the Riot (Damages) Act 1866 used the word “compensation”, which was not a different concept from payment of damages.