SA riots: limitations on insurance claims

15th July 2021

SA riots: limitations on insurance claims

Businesses seeking to recover losses from the widespread damage caused by recent riots and looting recently need to act promptly in filing claims to SASRIA

As vandalism, looting, damage and destruction course through the vital arteries of our beloved country, how do businesses recover their losses?

All-risk property insurance policies protect the assets of a business against the risk of physical loss or damage from certain perils and the consequential financial loss to the business.  But these policies do not cover damage caused by vandalism, riots, public disorder, and civil commotion.  Nor do they cover damage caused through lawful attempts at controlling, suppressing or preventing these acts.  Insurers simply do not underwrite these 'special risks'.

South Africa is one of few countries in the world in which cover for damage caused by special risks can be obtained. It is provided by SASRIA.

If SASRIA cover is in place, depending on the extent of the cover obtained, your business might be insured against the risk of loss or damage to its tangible assets, goods in transit, money, vehicles, construction works and construction plant and equipment, and specific consequential business interruption loss.

If you do have SASRIA cover and intend to make a claim under your SASRIA policy, here are a couple of important things you need to know:

While some of the losses stemming from these events, such as trauma and lost confidence, are incalculable, it is important that businesses get back on their feet as soon as possible for the sake of their employees and suppliers. We urge you to approach us for legal advice on insurance or other matters arising from these events.

Written By Lisa Swaine and Maria Philippides from Webber Wentzel