Insurance reality for South Africans

2017-07-30 06:00

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Insurance has always been a reality for most people, especially when it comes to incidents that it’s usually needed for. These are incidents such as vehicle theft, repairs due to a motor accident or when valuable goods such as electronic equipment, cellular phones and jewellery are stolen and need to be replaced.

About four decades ago there were certain things that wouldn’t have made up a part of insurance packages. These include riots, public violence, and service-delivery protests.

It may look like a dark cloud, but there is a silver lining – Sasria SOC Ltd (Sasria). This state-owned entity is the only short-term insurer that offers cover to all individuals and enterprises who have assets in South Africa, as well as to government enterprises that are exposed to special risks such as civil unrest, public disorder, strikes, protests and terrorism.

Sasria has a unique business model. Its products are not sold directly to the end user, but the company enters into agreements with other short-term insurers, who sell Sasria products to their clients. The insurance companies also handle the daily administration of the contract and collect the premiums on behalf of Sasria.

For example, an individual who insures a vehicle for personal use pays only R2 a month or R20 a year to insure the car against strikes and riots. In the event of the total loss of the vehicle, Sasria will pay out the retail value of the car.

One advantage of Sasria cover includes that it is available immediately, without a waiting period. It is also available for material damage, business interruption, goods in transit, and vehicle and construction risks.

Clients can hand in their Sasria claims at their broker or the insurance company that issued the policy. These parties collect all the required documentation and send the claim to Sasria.

The past few years have been characterised by an increase in the number of strikes, protests and incidents of public unrest. This led to an increase in the total claims that were handled by Sasria.

The majority of the claims are the result of non-political riot risks, which include service-delivery protests, student protests and incidents of xenophobia. Service delivery protests are the biggest contributor to Sasria’s losses.

Sasria cover is crucial, but many consumers don’t realise that it isn’t automatically included in the cover of buildings, vehicles and valuable possessions. It is an optional extra that offers cover against events that aren’t covered by other insurers.

Sasria's legislative mandate is the provision of cover against these types of incidents - cover extended in the case of businesses to cover more than movable and immovable assets.

For individuals and businesses it is important that any assets that are financed  ¬   whether it’s houses, commercial properties, vehicles, industrial plants or equipment – are covered by Sasria. It is a double whammy if you don’t just lose assets but if you also have to still pay back the outstanding amount of the financing on them.

In addition to the excellent coverage that consumers receive and the increasing number of claims submitted, Sasria also has more than enough capital and is more than able to settle all claims submitted.

In a nut shell: Against the background of the increasing number of claims in the first half of the year, Sasria cover is a non-negotiable addition to the insurance of buildings, vehicles and valuable items.

Fast facts:

1. R1 billion in claims has been paid out over the past two years.


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