Terrorism: the rise of vehicles as weapons

Terror attacks using vehicles as weapons feel like the new normal and are incredibly hard to police or protect against. The tactic was used widely by militant groups in several attacks in Israel from 2008 onwards.

It has been adopted by small terror cells and lone wolf terrorists in Western Europe with devastating effect. In August, a van drove at speed down Barcelona’s La Rambla Boulevard, crashing into people and killing thirteen.

In London, a terrorist drove into people along Westminster Bridge in March, killing four. Just three months later, eight people were killed by a group of three terrorists who drove a van into people on London Bridge.

The continued widespread use of vehicles as weapons has highlighted the difficulty authorities have of protecting “soft targets” and while more barriers and CCTV cameras will go up, this type of terror attack will continue to be hard to stop.

The impact on business, whilst not as devastating as human casualties, is still nevertheless keenly felt. This summer’s London Bridge attack left hundreds of businesses in and around Borough Market out of action for a week and a half, as police necessarily cordoned off large sections of the area. However, when these businesses tried to claim back the cost of significant business interruption on their terrorism policies, payment was denied for many as no physical damage – the traditional policy trigger – had occurred. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) as well as the CEO of Pool Re has been calling on the government to update this critical gap in cover, explaining that this kind of event can have a catastrophic impact on business.

But so far, nothing has been done to address the issue.

What can I do to protect my business against lost earnings if I cannot access my property following an attack?

The good news is that there are insurance policies available that provide the option to cover lone wolf style attacks that focus on civilian casualties rather than property damage. This protects against the often significant costs of business interruption due to a terrorist attack which results in denial of access to your premises where there is no physical damage to any property.
Speak to us to see how we can help you to assess your risk and work out what covers will be suitable for you.