The recent riots have highlighted a need for business owners to ensure they have no gap between insurance covers. We have been inundated with calls from business owners in the riot-hit areas, who have let their cover lapse and are now wanting cover. This presents a problem as we are unable to backdate cover.

It has also highlighted a need to renew your business insurance as early as possible as it is now becoming difficult to place insurance within the riot-hit areas. The Association Of British Insurers offers the following advice, which NAMB Insurance echoes:

"We have every sympathy for residents and business owners who have suffered damage to their properties. This is a time of enormous stress for them, and their insurers will be on hand to answer any questions that they may have. Home insurance should cover people for fire, looting or damage caused. Many policies will also cover people for accommodation costs if they cannot stay in their home.

"Most commercial insurance policies will cover businesses for damage to their premises, including the interruption to their business as a result. 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. It is too early for us to have an accurate picture of total costs, especially business interruption costs, but insurers are working hard to deal with claims coming in, which will give a sense of the level and cost of damage."

Stuart Knowles, affinity manager, National Association of Master Bakers Insurance