The Riot Compensation Act 2016
The Riot Compensation Act 2016

The following Property practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • The Riot Compensation Act 2016
  • Background
  • Entitlement to claim for compensation
  • Scope of property
  • Calculation and payment of compensation
  • Claims procedure
  • Multiple interest claims
  • Claim consolidation
  • Decision-making and claims handling
  • Reviews and appeals

The Riot Compensation Act 2016 (RCA 2016) creates a new scheme in England and Wales to allow compensation to be claimed for property damaged, destroyed or stolen in the course of riots. It makes provision about types of claims, procedures, decision-making and limits on awards payable.

RCA 2016 received royal assent on 23 March 2016. The substantive provisions were implemented through the Riot Compensation Regulations 2017 (RCR 2017), SI 2017/371 which came into force on 6 April 2017.

Certain amendments to the operation of the RCR 2017 were implemented by the Riot Compensation (Amendment) Regulations 2018 (RC(A)R 2018), SI 2018/982. These amendments came into force on 1 October 2018.


The historic liability on local police authorities to pay compensation to those suffering loss caused by riots was codified in the Riot (Damages) Act 1886 (R(D)A 1886). Police authorities would obtain a liability policy. As a result many insurers excluded claims for damages under R(D)A 1886 in their policies. In addition, insurers who had paid indemnities to those who suffered losses by riots exercised subrogation rights against the police authority which was liable to pay the damages. As many police authorities were insured, this led to many cases of insurers suing insurers.

Following the London riots in the summer of 2011, the claims process was lengthy due to unfamiliarity with R(D)A 1886 and the fact it was unsuitable in

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