If your car is damaged in a riot...

* Comprehensive policies should pay out * Insurers urge victims to contact them * What to do if your car has been damaged...

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Emma Butcher
09 August 2011

If your car is damaged in a riot...

Car owners with comprehensive insurance policies should have no problem claiming against damage to their vehicles caused during this week's wide-scale rioting.

Steve Foulsham, technical services manager for the British Insurance Brokers Association, told What Car?: 'If you have a fully comprehensive policy, you should be covered for any damage to the vehicle, whether caused by malicious damage, accident, fire or theft.'

However, he added that third party, fire and theft policies would pay out only in the event of damage to the vehicle caused by fire. Damage caused by a brick thrown through a window, for example, would not usually be covered by this type of policy.

Insurance companies and brokers are urging motorists whose cars have been targeted by rioters to contact them as soon as possible.

If you have been affected, you should also contact the police and ask them for a crime reference number. Your insurer will need this to start the claims process.

Under the terms of most insurance policies, you will be also required to pay the excess on claims for damage caused by rioting.

It is unknown how many vehicles have been affected by the violence so far, though current estimates put the number at less than 100.