The SA Special Risk Insurance Association (Sasria) expects that total claims following the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng last month could reach R19 billion to R20 billion.
This is almost three times as much as Sasria's ballpark estimation of R7 billion in the immediate aftermath of the unrest.
Sasria covers losses or damage to insured property as a result of social unrest and rioting. It was formed in 1979 in the aftermath of the 1976 uprisings under the apartheid regime, which prompted an avalanche of insurance claims.
In a statement on Tuesday, Sasria said it should have paid R2 billion by the end of the week.
"Our target is to settle all valid small and medium sized claims in the next six weeks," said Cedric Masondo, Sasria’s managing director. The organisation is trying to settle all small claims while at the same time making "interim" payments for large claims.
"As the rebuilding and restoring of businesses have begun, our clients have been using the interim payments made to them to remove debris and clean where the damages were made."
Sasria has R10 billion available on its balance sheet for payouts, with additional funds coming from its reinsurance programme. The company’s reinsurers include Swiss Reinsurance Company, Lloyd's Underwriters, Hannover Reinsurance, Munich Reinsurance, and SCOR Africa, among others.
On Tuesday, Masondo praised the reinsurers for their prompt response and upfront payment of reinsurance funds in certain instances, thus helping Sasria avoid any liquidity issues.