Law and disorder: Examining the Riot Compensation Act 2016

It's been six years since the UK experienced four days of widespread looting, assault, arson and mugging as part of the London riots in August 2011. What originally began as a peaceful protest culminated in five deaths, 4,000 arrests and insurance pay-outs of £200 million.

The riots and their repercussions flagged the inadequacy of the existing legislation,  the Riot (Damages) Act 1886, which excluded cover for commodities such as vehicles,  computers and work equipment - items either in their infancy or not invented at the time of the Act's inception. Also lacking was clarity around cover for consequential loss, and the interruption to businesses incurred as a direct result of the damage. It was apparent that the law needed bringing into the 21st century.

This article sheds light on how the 2011 London riots contributed to the law change and what the Riot Compensation Act 2016 means for claimants, insurers and businesses.