Insurance Decisions

Press release: Insurance Decisions

Sasria SOC Limited

02 February 2016

All you need to know about insurance cover for civil unrest

Make sure both you and your business are covered for all eventualities

Choosing insurance cover can sometimes feel like wandering through a bewildering maze and, in today’s uncertain times, cover for damage experienced during special events such as civil unrest, protests, labour actions or acts of terrorism is an essential consideration.

What few consumers realise is that this kind of cover is not automatically included in standard building, vehicle and valuables insurance policies. It is an optional add-on offered by Sasria, a state-owned entity that provides insurance for special events not covered by retail providers.

In terms of the Department of Finance’s Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) regulatory guidelines, all insurance brokers are, however, obliged to advise consumers – whether businesses or individuals – that packaged insurance products do not automatically include Sasria cover, and to offer it as an optional extra. On the other side of the coin, consumers can benefit from Sasria cover if they have an insurance policy from any one of the retail providers such as Hollard, Santam and Outsurance because Sasria does not provide insurance directly to consumers.

“Insurance against special risks is a vital aspect of any building or short-term insurance policy,” says Keith Fick, Sasria’s Executive for Insurance Operations. “This is especially true as Sasria has seen a 54% increase in claims related to events such as protests and strikes in the past year alone, as well as a 25% increase in the severity of these claims.”

Sasria’s legislative mandate is to provide cover against just such events and, especially for businesses, this extends to more than just movable and immovable assets.

“Businesses should have two kinds of special events cover,” says Fick. “They obviously need to cover the assets of trade, such a buildings, machinery and vehicles, but they also need to make sure they’re covered for the interruption of trade should this occur as a result of political or labour-related events. Being unable to trade while repairs are being made or essential equipment is being replaced can sink a business of any size.”

He points out that cover for staff who may be injured in a special event is not, however, provided by Sasria. This eventuality needs to be allowed for in the company’s group personal insurance policy, which also provides cover for damage to or loss of movable property that may take place under normal circumstances, such as during a robbery or an electrical fire.

“For both individuals and businesses, it is especially important that any assets which are being financed – whether these are homes, commercial properties, vehicles or plant and equipment, be covered by Sasria,” says Fick. “It’s a double blow if one not only loses the asset, but also has to pay back whatever portion of the financing may still be outstanding.”

Larger companies and corporations, which have dedicated Risk Managers, therefore usually purchase Sasria’s riot wrap product because of the high level of exposure in South Africa. Since the #FeesMustFall campaign, universities are also starting to enquire about this kind of cover, as they are now exposed to an emerging risk of damage during protest action, which was not previously the case.

Standard Sasria insurance provides cover for damages up to a value of R500 million per annum, while the riot wrap product provides for damages up to a value of R1 billion. This is a more complex form of insurance, so Sasria prices the product internally to suit each client’s needs, while pricing for standard Sasria cover is handled through the various insurance companies.

As the upward trend in claims numbers has continued over clash royale hack 2017 apk the past quarter, Sasria cover is an absolutely essential add-on for building, vehicle and valuables insurance policies.

“We received 1 211 claims for the six-month period ending 31 September 2015,” concludes Fick. “These originated from such events as service delivery protests, xenophobic attacks, the actions of disgruntled commuters and taxi industry violence.

“Damage related to the recent student protests is yet to be assessed, but already amounts to millions, so we urge individuals, businesses and public institutions to ensure that Sasria cover is included in all of their insurance policies.”