Aviva on ground and getting people back in business

Article date: 12 August 2011

Specialist claims teams from Aviva have been visiting customers affected by the recent riots to help get them back to normal as soon as possible.

Every customer, who has logged a claim, has been contacted and surveyors have been on site across the worst hit areas from Hackney to Manchester, Tottenham to Birmingham, to assess the damage caused by the riots earlier this week.

Emergency interim payments have been made and property has been secured where needed. If alternative accommodation is required for any homeowners, suitable properties will be found.

Some areas are still inaccessible because of the danger of buildings collapsing and police have also restricted travel in some places - claims teams in Manchester travelled by foot or bus so they could visit commercial customers there.

Aviva, the UK’s largest insurer, has also been working with the local authorities to arrange demolition of any dangerous structures so that high streets can return to normal and once buildings are deemed safe the re-building and repair work can begin.

Dominic Clayden, director of claims at Aviva, said its priority was to get customers back to normal as quickly as possible:

“This is obviously a distressing event for those affected by the events across the UK and our focus is to help our customers as best and fast as we possibly can.

“We have experts on the ground right now assessing the damage, we will be authorising interim payments where needed and organising repairs to buildings to get businesses back on their feet.

“Any damage caused by riots, civil commotion or malicious damage is covered as standard in commercial, household and motor policies, but we would urge anyone who hasn’t already been in touch with us to contact us, either directly or via their broker, as soon as possible.”

The majority of claims Aviva has seen are from its commercial and business customers.

If your business has been affected:

  • Contact your broker and/or insurer as quickly as possible.
  • We know your priority is to get your business up and running as quickly as possible and will do all we can to make this happen.
  • The amount of time this will take depends on the level of damage your building has sustained.
  • Minor damage to the fabric of the building will be re-instated on a 'like for like' basis, but it could potentially take a few weeks to repair.
  • Where the damage is more severe and involves surveyors, architects, planning permission etc the process could be considerably longer.

Aviva Risk Management Solutions is the specialist division of Aviva dedicated to helping UK businesses manage their risks in an effective way.

It has put together the following tips and advice for businesses where the threat of riot exists:

Staff:

  • Of paramount importance is the safety of your staff. Managers need to be vigilant and react quickly to protect their staff.
  • Avoid unaccompanied working
  • Avoid visiting potential problem areas
  • Make use of two-way radio links and personal alarms

Property

  • Ensure all security systems/alarms/security lighting/CCTV are on/functioning
  • Ensure existing perimeter barriers are in good repair
  • Ensure doors and door hardware are adequate and in good repair
  • Ensure accessible windows are adequately secured and protected
  • Keep removable grilles/shutters in position at all times
  • Consider temporary boarding up of vulnerable access points and windows – particularly in high risk areas
  • Waste and other unwanted combustible materials are a source of ignition so ensure this is kept to a minimum and safety stored.
  • Ensure adequate fire fighting equipment is readily available and staff are trained in their use
  • Remove portable objects from the open that could be used as a projectile, such as an advertising board or display stand
  • If you have theft-attractive stock place this within a physically robust area that would require greater time and effort to penetrate than the shell of the building
  • Remove attractive stock from display windows

Vehicles

  • Remove and avoid parking vehicles overnight in high risk areas and on main thoroughfares or in close proximity to buildings

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If you are a journalist and would like further information, please contact:
Rebecca Holmes: Aviva Press Office : 01603 685177: 07800 690731: rebecca.l.holmes@aviva.co.uk

Notes to editors:

Aviva is the world’s sixth largest* insurance group.  We provide more than 53 million customers with insurance, savings and investment products with total worldwide sales in 2010 of £47.1 billion**.

We are the UK’s largest insurer with 19 million customers and one in three households has a relationship with us. Our combination of life, health and general insurance is unique in its scale and breadth in the UK market.  Customers can choose to buy our products through intermediaries, our corporate partners or from Aviva direct and we have become the partner of choice for many of the UK’s biggest organisations. 

We are ranked as one of the UK’s top ten most valuable brands and Aviva Plc are in the top 10% of socially responsible companies globally in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.  In 2010 we invested £4.3m into our communities in the UK, which included 1,500 Aviva volunteers giving 24,000 hours for good causes. In addition, our employees gave £600,000 through fundraising and donating. Read our corporate responsibility report at www.aviva.com/2010cr.

Aviva is working in partnership with Railway Children through the Aviva Street to School programme to get children living or working on UK streets back into everyday life. Find out more at www.aviva.co.uk/street-to-school.

The Aviva media centre at www.aviva.com/media includes images, company and product information and a news release archive.

For broadcast-standard video, please visit www.aviva.com/media/video.

Follow us on twitter: www.twitter.com/avivaplc

*based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2009.
**at 31 December 2010.

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