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Riot insurance
Friday, January 29, 2016 - 03:16
Ensuring personal safety

Extensive damage and huge losses for businesses and individuals has been reported during the #Feesmustfall protests. Sasria SOC Limited (Sasria) has announced that it has received nearly 100 claims to the value of over R22 million resulting from the #FeesMustFall student protests, which took place on campuses around the country last year following a government announcement of a fee increment on the 2016 tuition costs. Earlier in the week Wits, Tuks & Unisa announced interdicts against protests have been secured, in an attempt to crack down on the recent events which severely disrupted registrations.
The nature of the claims received by Sasria were mostly business interruption, fires on commercial premises, damage to equipment and damage to vehicles amounting to more than half of the claims exceeding R20 000 in value, 12% of claims amounted to more than R350 000.
According to Lizette Erasmus, head of insurance expertise at IntegriSure, the nature of protests - whether related to service delivery, education issues, politics or any number of social issues - can in some instances become violent and disruptive, and unfortunately many innocent bystanders might be at risk of sustaining damages to their properties, cars and personal belongings. As such, the current tense climate at tertiary facilities have become a growing concern for many South African citizens. “As up to 80 percent of protests which have taken place in South Africa over the last decade were unfortunately associated with violence, we have seen many cases where innocent civilians and businesses in areas where protests are common experience personal injury as well as damage to their private property.”
Thokozile Ntshiqa, Executive Manager at Sasria’s Stakeholder Management Division, explains that many consumers do not realise that Sasria is the only insurer in South Africa that provides cover for these kinds of incidents. “It is therefore imperative for those with short-term insurance to verify with their brokers and insurers that Sasria cover is included in their underlying policy,” says Ntshiqa. “Sasria cover is applicable to personal property such as vehicles, homes and household contents, as well as commercial and government property. In the wake of this civil unrest Ntshiqa adds this further heightens the need for special risk insurance cover provided.”
“Sasria is the only insurer in South Africa that provides cover for riots, strikes, terrorism, civil commotion and public disorder to corporate, commercial and individual policyholders,” continues Erasmus. She adds that Sasria provides cover for material damage, business interruption, financial theft, theft of motor vehicles and goods in transit, and construction risk.
Erasmus advises businesses and individuals to consult their insurance providers to determine whether or not civil unrest protection is included in their insurance coverage. “This is crucial for those who are required to be in high risk protest areas, and we strongly recommend that consumers ensure that insurance provisions are correctly structured, in order to avoid financial damages.”

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:29.1 1st January, 2016
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