Protest and riot insurance claims up by over 30 percent

Since the beginning of 2017, South Africa has experienced thousands of violent protests and riots across the country, many spurred on by service delivery failure, corruption and growing youth unemployment – and all exacerbated by criminal elements.

According to Sasria’s 2017 Integrated report, in the financial year ending March 31, 2017, Sasria paid net insurance claims with a total value of R766 million, up by 30,8 percent on the previous year, with a marked increase in claims severity. The number of claims increased by 22 percent and the severity increased by 29 percent. The biggest drivers remain service-delivery related issues and university student protests (approximately R325 million).

Aon South Africa says it is crucial for business owners and individuals to review their assets insurance policies and ensure that they have Sasria cover included for special risks.

“Without Sasria cover, businesses and private individuals caught in the cross-hairs of violent protests and riot action run the risk of significant losses. Standard insurance policies available through private-sector insurers do not provide cover for damage to assets as a result of these types of events, as they are precluded from underwriting these risks. Cover is only available through Sasria SOC Limited,” explains Hussain Bhikhoo, client manager at Aon South Africa.

“As a matter of course, clients should be offered this type of cover when discussing their business or personal insurance requirements as this presents a significant risk to both consumers and business owners who could find themselves severely out of pocket if their assets and goods in transit were damaged during a violent protest,” explains Hussain.

“Sasria cover is especially important for people who own property, live, work or commute in areas that have a high propensity for protest and strike action,” says Hussain. “Their rates are regulated and for businesses the premium is not affected by the type of industry or the risks the business is exposed to, with the exception of certain mining risks.

“For commercial clients, Sasria cover in terms of business interruption is limited to fixed expenses or standing charges and net profit, but not for the traditional contingent business interruption covers, such as losses following damage to premises of customers and suppliers, and to the supply of public utilities. These covers can be purchased from the private sector to ensure that your business is comprehensively covered,” concludes Hussain.

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