All about South African Special Risks Insurance Association (Sasria)

It is important to know exactly what you are covered for and so we are reposting information that was put out by Sasria in 2020.

What is Sasria?

Sasria is a Short-Term Insurance Company that provides coverage for damage to property caused by special risks such as politically motivated malicious acts, riots, strikes, terrorism and public disorders.

Who owns Sasria?

Sasria SOC Ltd is a public enterprise listed under Schedule 3B of the Public Finance Management Act No. 1 of 1999. Sasria is wholly owned by the State and reports directly to the National Treasury.

What does Sasria cover?

Sasria covers the following risks:

  • Terrorism
  • Public disorder
  • Strikes (e.g., labour unrests, etc.)
  • Riots
  • Political (e.g., service delivery protests, etc.)
  • Non-political (e.g., student riots, commuter agitation, etc.)

Is Sasria cover compulsory?

Sasria cover is not compulsory. The policyholder has an option not to purchase Sasria cover, provided that they understand what they are exposed to without Sasria cover.

How do I buy Sasria cover?

Sasria cover is bought through insurance companies (referred to as Agent companies) who are responsible for the administration of Sasria cover. Clients who have brokers can speak to their brokers to arrange Sasria cover for their assets, on their behalf.

Who qualifies to buy Sasria cover?

Sasria cover is available to individuals and businesses that have property situated within the borders of South Africa, as well as South African waters.

Does Sasria cover war?

No, war is an exclusion in terms of Sasria.

Does Sasria cover pandemics such as Covid 19?

No, Sasria does not cover pandemics or any financial loss as a result of a pandemic.

Am I covered by Sasria if I get injured in a strike or protest?

Sasria does not have a license to cover personal injuries or loss of life, therefore excluded.

Does Sasria cover natural disasters such as hail, floods, earthquakes?

No, natural disasters are excluded under the Sasria cover.

Who may issue Sasria cover?

Sasria Coupons and Policies may only be issued by Insurance Companies (referred to as Agent companies) who have received authority from Sasria and have signed outsourced and intermediary agreements.

Sasria cover attaches to the underlying policy, does this mean my property is covered for Sasria in the same territories as the underlying policy?

Sasria cover is restricted to property situated within South African borders and waters.

Does Sasria provide any liability cover?

No, Sasria does not cover liability.

As a government employee, is my property automatically covered for Sasria since it is a State-owned Company (SOC)?

Sasria cover is not automatic to any client or government employees. The cover must be bought, by way of premium through an underlying insurer.

Does Sasria have shareholders?

Sasria has a sole shareholder which is the South African government.

Does Sasria charge an excess at the time of loss?

Sasria does not charge an excess at the claims stage except in the case of Contract works claims.

Does Sasria provide car hire?

Sasria does not offer car hire cover.

Does Sasria cover Looting or any riot that occurs during a lockdown or due to COVID-19?

Sasria cover remains unchanged even during this period of lockdown. Clients who have Sasria cover on their policies will still enjoy the normal Sasria cover for Perils defined on the policy wording.

Sasria cover excludes theft. What happens if a riot breaks out and goods or stock are looted during the riot?

Looting is not a stand-alone Sasria peril and will only be covered if it occurs during an active Sasria peril for which Sasria accepts liability.

To avoid Looting, can the client appoint security guards if they have unrest in their area?

Security cost cover for imminent danger can only be activated if there is an active Sasria peril within a 10km radius of the insured premises.

Due to the lockdown, Liquor businesses are being burgled and alcohol is stolen from the premises due to the lockdown non-alcohol sale. Please advise if this will be covered under Sasria.

Sasria does not cover loss or damage due to burglaries or theft, this should be referred to the underlying insurance company on the cover. If you have any other information that suggests this incident may be Sasria-related, please liaise with the insurance company and they will follow the normal claims process. Sasria will treat such claims like any other Sasria claims by looking at the circumstances and merits to decide whether the claim is valid.

Does Sasria cover my business for loss of income during this COVID-19 epidemic or lockdown?

The general rule dictates that the Sasria Business Interruption (BI) cover must always follow the material damage of the property listed in the policy schedule. Secondly, our BI cover is a standalone cover and does not follow the underlying policy. In our view, this BI following nonmaterial damage in the case COVID-19 or lockdown cannot be a claim in terms of Sasria.

Is it a Sasria rule that the Insured must prove that material damage caused to insured property, is related to riots, strikes etc?

Should the insured suffer damage or loss that they suspect could be Sasria related, a claim should be submitted through the right channels, even when not sure Sasria would cover it. This will give Sasria an opportunity to investigate fully and be in a position to make a proper decision on liability.

How will Sasria ensure you remain financially sound to continue to pay claims even if there is a large outbreak in claims over the next year?

Sasria has a strong balance sheet and is well capitalised backed by a strong reinsurance programme. Sasria has also embarked, as it would behove any business in these uncertain times, to construct a sustainability and recovery plan due to the expected drop in premium.

Please clarify looting and when this will be a valid claim under Sasria?

Looting is not a stand-alone Sasria peril and will only be considered as a valid claim in terms of Sasria if it occurs during an active Sasria peril for which Sasria accepts liability.

Will Sasria look into offering cover or a product with regards to BI – infectious diseases in the future (as most insurers are busy excluding this as a general exclusion)?

The Saria Act limits Sasria cover to specific special risks and we are not licenced to cover infectious disease. This will require changing the act. It is also subject to finding adequate reinsurance to cover this risk and the reinsurance market is currently averse to offering this cover.

If a Sasria claim arises where a client has not abided by the national lockdown regulations – will the claim still be entertained?

Sasria cover follows but does not attach to underlying policies. Any exclusion pertaining to the duty of care and or non-compliance to the law may be considered when the claim is being validated. However, each claim is treated based on its own unique circumstances and merit and therefore we are only able to determine the liability on the investigation of the claim.

Speak to your Apio consultant to discuss your Sasria coverage and click here to read our article about the consequences of not having insurance.