Insurance body says looting claims will run into billions, urges affected members to make contact

Extensive damage to shops in Alexandra, Johannesburg.
Extensive damage to shops in Alexandra, Johannesburg.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

The SA Insurance Association (Saia) has called on all policyholders who have suffered losses or damage to property or business operations during the violent protests  to contact their respective insurance companies or brokers  for assistance.

The organisation estimates the damage to run into billions of rand.

“We urge policyholders to ensure that all relevant information for claims registration is provided at the point of registering the claim with their insurer or financial intermediary,” said Saia on Wednesday. 

It said the SA Special Risks Insurance Association (Sasria), a state-owned enterprise, had given assurances to insurance agents and brokers that it was well capitalised and had adequate reinsurance programmes with “A” rated reinsurers.

The company, Saia said, had also given assurance that it would be able to provide for the expected  claims.

“The Sasria model has already proactively requested that loss adjusters and assessors be appointed within the mandates given to insurers, and has also appointed loss-adjusting companies to collate all necessary information to expedite the claims that run into billions of rand.

“The intention of having an insurance policy is to place you in the same financial position you were in before the incurrence of the said losses and therefore assures that you remain financially sustainable — whether it is from a personal or business perspective,” Saisa said.

The association condemned the acts of criminality and vandalism and welcomed the call by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his addresses to the nation on Sunday and Monday, to ensure perpetrators are brought to book.

It urged businesses, motorists and the public to exercise “extreme” caution and prioritise safety when travelling.

“Motorists are urged to study their routes before departure and factor in alternative routes if they are travelling into or around affected areas.

 “After a disaster, one wants to get back to normal as soon as possible, and there is nothing the insurance industry will want more than that. It is in this spirit that our member insurance companies and the broker fraternity, together with Sasria, will be working tirelessly to ensure that policyholders are assisted to get back on their feet as soon as possible.”