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PM extends Riot Act to six weeks for claims

The Government has extended the window for people to claim compensation from the state for riot damage from 14 to 42 days.

Under the 1886 Riot (Damages) Act, people can claim from the police for damages resulting from a riot.

If an insurance firm pays an individual who has applied to the scheme, the amount the policyholder gets from the state will be reduced by the same amount, with the money going to the insurance firm.

Prime Minister David Cameron made the announcement in his statement on the rioting and looting to a recalled House of Commons last week. He said the Government would ensure the police have funds to cover all legitimate claims.

Cameron said: “Any individual, homeowner or business that has suffered damage to, or loss of, their buildings or property as a result of rioting can seek compensation under the act, even if uninsured. Claims must normally be received in 14 days but we will extend it to 42 days.”

The Association of British Insurers, which lobbied for the extension, welcomed the announcement, estimating that insurers will pay out £200m to policyholders.

Association of British Insurers director general Otto Thoresen says: “The insurance industry is already paying out claims to people with insurance but wants to do more to support the Government in helping get people get back on their feet. It is important that we do everything to help people recover.”

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