Sasria assures SA that it covers damage caused by riots, political violence

Sasria executive for insurance operations, Fareedah Benjamin, told Eyewitness News that it was adequately capitalised and backed by international reinsurers to facilitate all claims payments.

Police arrest suspected looters following riots in Alexandra on 12 July 2021. Picture: Boikhutso Ntsoko/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Sasria, South Africa’s life insurance company that provides coverage for damage caused by special risks such as politically motivated malicious acts and riots said that the nation must rest assured that they’ve got a handle on the current situation.

Sasria executive for insurance operations, Fareedah Benjamin, told Eyewitness News that it is adequately capitalised and backed by international reinsurers to facilitate all claims payments.

Sasria runs simulations every year to weigh up the scenarios should events such as the looting, destruction of private and public property and riots take place and they said that qualifying South Africans looking at great personal cost should not worry because they were created for this.

"In terms of the classification of this cover, the incidents that are occurring, Sasria is not disputing that it falls within the ambit of Sasria payroll, so the transpiring of these events will ultimately be coming through to Sasria on the Sasria list of perils," Benjamin said.

The financial value of the latest incidents of anarchy would likely run into the billions of rands once all involved could reconcile the costs.

Over the past three years, Sasria said that it paid R1.7 billion in 2018/2019 for service delivery protests and suffered one of their biggest underwritings during the fees must fall protests in 2015/2016.

But not everyone qualified for cover on all their belonging unless they choose so, as benjamin explains.

"It is not automatically included, because it is optional for the client to take personal cover. On the personal goods, such as personal vehicles and personal buildings, those are normally automatically insured. On the commercial side, please ensure that the question is asked: is the Sasria cover attached to my policy?"

Sasria is a public enterprise listed company under the Public Finance Management Act and is mandated to pay consumers’ claims for among others strikes, acts of terrorism and public disorder.

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