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Protect against the financial impact of violent protests

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As South Africa reels from the financial costs of destruction of property and assets in the wake of #Feesmustfall protests, estimated to be in the region of R1-billion to date, Aon South Africa is advising business owners and individuals to review their assets insurance policies and ensure that they have Sasria cover included.
“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,” explains Hussain Bhikhoo, client manager at Aon South Africa.
According to Sasria’s integrated 2016 report in the financial year ending 31 March 2016, Sasria received 2 262 claims with a total value of R729-million. During the period under review, service delivery issues accounted for 74% of its claims. It also reported a marked increase in claims severity related to student protests from 3% to 18%, which will be an interesting figure to look at in its next reporting cycle. The biggest claim received by Sasria for the period was valued at R103-million.
“Both businesses and consumers need to consult with their brokers and insurers to ascertain whether their insurance coverage has been extended to cover Sasria perils.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 were damaged during a violent strike. Given the status quo of the last 12 to 18 months, it’s an essential if not non-negotiable cover on any insurance policy,” 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. Sasria also has a number of discount options available and you should speak to your broker about some of the options for your business.
“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,” says Hussain.