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Riot insurance
Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 11:24
Financial ruin

The recent xenophobic attacks have not only caused a lot of reputational damage to our country; they have also left victims financially worse off. It is not only shop owners that suffered loss as a result of the riots; motorists were attacked with flying objects, and houses looted during the rampage.

Events such as these are not only emotionally traumatic. They can be crippling to the pocket. Once an event like this has ended, one is faced with the reality of having to repair or replace lost property. The question is whether they have the relevant insurance cover to restore them to the original position they were in before the riots broke out.
With South Africa’s history of heightened political activism and mass demonstrations, insurance companies are aware of the potential risks during such events. Through the South African Special Risks Insurance Association (SASRIA), some insurance policies automatically include cover for these risks. SASRIA provides cover for any accidental or intentional damage to your insured property caused by any person or group of people taking part in a riot, strike, lock-out, public disorder, civil commotion or committing any act which has a political, social or economic aim, objective or cause, or in protest against any state or government.
Coenraad De Jager, Executive for Personal Lines at Mutual & Federal, explains that policyholders should make sure they are covered for these types of risks. “We automatically include SASRIA with all our products. However, policyholders should check the policy schedule that their insurer would have sent to them, to see whether their particular insurer includes SASRIA with their cover,” he remarks.
If your property has been damaged as a result of any of the above events, the first step is to report the incident at your nearest police station as soon as reasonably possible. Once you have a case number, submit the claim to your insurer, who will forward the claim to SASRIA on your behalf. Once SASRIA has validated and accepted your claim, they will make the relevant payment directly to you. If SASRIA disputes your claim, the responsibility to prove that your claim is valid lies with you.
Whilst you might need medical attention or counselling for trauma or injuries after a violent strike or riot, knowing what to do to recover financially will help you start on the road to restoring what has been lost.
 

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:28.6 1st June, 2015
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