One in three victims had not been paid four months after 2011 summer riots

Carpetright Tottenham London riots

Insurers were too slow to pay claims from last year’s riots across the UK, according to a new report by the London Assembly.

The report, Picking up the Pieces, said more should have been done to speed up settlements and provide aid for businesses affected by the riots.

It notes that one in three victims had still not received a penny from insurers four months after the riots, and has urged the ABI to publish payment times for its members.

The report, by the Assembly’s Budget and Performance Committee, outlines nine recommendations to apply to the aftermath of rioting but also other events such as flooding and major fires. It argues that poor co-ordination immediately after the riots and lack of urgency from the government and the insurance industry to settle claims held back the recovery process.

Six of the nine recommendations in the report apply to the insurance industry. Among them are that the ABI should publish average payment times for each of its members, and that the industry could play a leading role in administering post-reform Riot (Damages) Act 1886 cash.

Budget and Performance Committee chair John Biggs said in a statement:

“This report isn’t about the riots – it’s about what happened the next day, when the camera crews had gone home and people were left to pick up the pieces. While a lot of good work was done to help the worst-hit businesses back on their feet, more could clearly have been done to speed up the process, especially for insurance claims.

“Charities like the High Street Fund did a fantastic job providing a lifeline for traders who in some cases had lost everything, but the Mayor and local authorities could have provided more information and co-ordination both for the victims and for charities.

“The Riot (Damages) Act needs to be reformed and we would like to see the insurance industry using its skills and experience to play a leading role in administering government cash in the future.”

The committee will hold a follow-up meeting on Tuesday 4 December at City Hall to discuss implementation of the recommendations with representatives from the insurance industry, the government and the High Street Fund.