Grapperhaus sets up COVID riot damage fund for entrepreneurs
Two weeks ago, a multitude of Dutch cities were affected by major riots. As well as being a serious disruption of public order, the riots in these cities also caused damage to shops and businesses, many of which had already been hit hard by the measures introduced to combat COVID. It is extremely unfair that these entrepreneurs should have to suffer further damage due to these riots and government action should should reflect this fact. For this reason, Minister of Justice and Security Ferdinand Grapperhaus has set up a scheme that will compensate entrepreneurs for damage that is not covered by their insurance.
"The events that took place in cities like Den Bosch, Rotterdam and Zwolle were disgraceful criminal acts, with shops being looted and destroyed. This has made things twice as difficult for the owners of these businesses, as they were already in an extremely precarious situation. In recent weeks, I have been on working visits to a number of cities and I greatly admire the resilience of these entrepreneurs, who refuse to back down in the face of these challenges and fight with every ounce of strength they have. By setting up this fund, we want to compensate these entrepreneurs for the riot damage that is not covered by their insurance."
The scheme to compensate entrepreneurs has been established in close consultation with groups such as the Dutch Association of Insurers (VvV), the Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW) and the Dutch Federation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MKB-Nederland). The scheme is intended for entrepreneurs who suffered damage to their shop or other business premises, to their goods/stock and/or to their inventory. Thankfully, the majority of entrepreneurs are insured against this damage. The basic principle is that regular traffic between the insurers and policyholders must not be disrupted by this scheme and so entrepreneurs must initially make a claim for the damage with their insurers. If there is any damage that is not compensated in any way by the insurers, then the entrepreneur in question will be eligible for the scheme. Based on these principles, the scheme will benefit entrepreneurs who have an insurance policy but have insufficient cover and therefore don't receive the full amount of the costs, entrepreneurs who are insured but have a policy excess, and entrepreneurs who are not insured against the damage caused.
"In such situations, it is not customary for the government to intervene, although these are exceptional circumstances in an exceptional era that none of the parties involved could possibly have foreseen. For this reason, we have decided that the government will provide assistance in this case."
said Minister Grapperhaus,
Netherlands Enterprise Agency Helpdesk
If entrepreneurs have any questions about the scheme, they can contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), whose helpdesk will be available from 9 February 13:00 onwards via www.rvo.nl and by phone on +31 (0)88 0422 500. The scheme will be published as soon as possible, as will the digital application form for the scheme. Both of these will be available via www.rvo.nl.