Retailers affected by the riots across the UK have been urged to submit insurance claims as soon as possible.

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) has advised retailers that they will need to register claims within seven days of the incident.

“Insurance companies will be seeking to claim costs back from local police budgets under the provisions of the Riot Damages Act (1886). In order to do this, claims must be registered within fourteen days, and insurance companies are likely to require the claim and supporting evidence within seven days.”

The ACS added that retailers who have been the victims of looting, arson or other attacks would be able to claim against their insurance with an excess payment, typically around £250.

It also warned retailers that any insurance claims also rely on the home secretary or police declaring the incident a riot, defined in the Public Order Act 1986 as 12 or more people threatening violence for a common purpose, causing people to fear for their safety.

Stuart Knowles, affinity manager for Convenience Store Insurance, said retailers should contact their insurer to determine what they are covered for.

“Most commercial insurance policies will cover businesses for damage to their premises, including the interruption to their business as a result,” he said. “Some policies will also cover those businesses which are not damaged, but whose trade is affected by the aftermath. It is important for people to contact their insurer to check what they are covered for and arrange for immediate help.”

According to the ACS, there are unconfirmed reports of retailers being uninsured and that a “significant minority” of retailers only insure against fire or business-threatening incidents, so it is possible that some retailers will be uninsured for damage and looting.

Knowles said that Convenience Store Insurance had been “inundated with calls” from business owners in the affected areas who have let their cover lapse. He recommended that retailers ensure that their insurance is up to date. “This has highlighted the need for business owners to ensure they have no gap between insurance covers,” he said. “