Riot damage and looting – check your insurance

The second week of July 2021 saw a shocking wave of unrest sweep through parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, causing tragic loss of life and upheaval for millions. Hundreds of businesses, shopping malls and warehouses were looted and torched. If your business was one of the victims of the mayhem, you may be able to claim if you have current, valid insurance with a registered insurance provider, and Sasria cover is included in that policy. 

Established in 1979 in response to the upheavals of the 1970s, Sasria is the sole supplier of cover for special risks in the country – claims caused by riots, civil unrest and terrorism, and vandalism caused by public disorder. Generally, Sasria cover excludes theft and looting, but these damages may be covered if they have happened during an active risk for which Sasria accepts liability.

Sasria gave all its insurers authority to settle claims up to R50,000

If you have existing short-term insurance with Nedbank, it’s likely you also have Sasria cover. If you’re unsure, check with your insurance agent to see what you’re covered for. Because Sasria works through agents, Nedbank is (by definition) a Sasria agent and serves as a link between you and Sasria.

You must claim within 30 days

If your business has Sasria cover and your premiums are up to date, you should claim via your insurer as you normally would. Your insurer will then hand your claim over to Sasria for processing. Claims must be lodged within 30 days of the incident taking place. As with any insurance claim, you must first report the incident that has caused the damage to your business at your local police station so that you can get a case number. Then give this SAPS case number to your insurer and alert them of your loss and intention to claim from Sasria.

An assessor will then be appointed to assess your claim. It’s important that you submit all the necessary paperwork so that your claim is not delayed, or worse, rejected. Each claim will be assessed according to its own merits against the relevant policy. 

Good news for small businesses

To speed up the process, Sasria has given all its insurers authority to settle claims up to the amount of R50,000. So, these insurers can authorise payments directly to claimants (Sasria will reimburse them). This is good news for small business owners with smaller claims, as they can be helped quicker. 

Sasria has also committed to ensuring that claims are settled within a week. Small businesses will benefit from this move, as they will be able to buy new stock or replace equipment and get back to trading sooner.