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Jul 14, 2021 | Insurance

Make sure you have Sasria Cover for Civil Unrest


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State’s risk insurer Sasria braces for largest riot claims since 1994. An estimate of R10bn in claims expected.

With this in mind, has your car, business or property been damaged by recent civil unrest? Will my insurance policy cover me for this?

Most policies includes Sasria cover, which you can claim against however not all policies have this cover in them. Make sure this is included in your policy or you will have no cover.

While traditional short and commercial insurance policies specifically excludes damage to your assets because of war, riots, and terrorism, Sasria is the only insurer in South Africa that was created to insure some of these types of risks. 

Let’s talk about Sasria – (South African Risks Insurance Association)

What is Sasria?

Sasria is a non-life 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 listed enterprise and is wholly owned by the State, reporting 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 automatically included in my policy and is it compulsory?

Sasria cover is not compulsory. The policyholder/client has an option not to purchase Sasria cover. Most insurers do include Sasria cover when quoting on motor insurance, but this may not be a standard practice by all.

How do I get Sasria cover?

Sasria cover is bought through insurance 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.

Can anyone get 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 because of a pandemic.

Does Sasria cover me if I get injured in a strike or protest?

Sasria is not licensed to cover personal injuries or loss of life, therefore it is excluded.

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

No, natural disasters are excluded under the Sasria cover. Traditional short term and commercial policies cover these acts of nature.

Who may issue Sasria cover?

Sasria policies may only be issued by insurance companies who have the authority from Sasria to do so in terms of their outsourced and intermediary agreement between them.

Does Sasria provide any liability cover?

No, Sasria does not provide liability cover.

As a government employee, is my property automatically covered for Sasria since Sasria is owned by the State?

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

Does Sasria charge an excess at the time of loss?

Sasria does not charge an excess at claims stage except in a 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 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/risks as defined in 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. Will this theft 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 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, Bl cover is a standalone cover and does not follow the underlying policy. Bl following a non-material damage, in this case COVID-19 or lockdown cannot be a claim in terms of Sasria.

Is it a Sasria condition that, I the Insured must prove that material damage caused to my 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 able to make a proper decision on liability.

How will Sasria ensure financial soundness to continue paying claims even when there is 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 benefit any business in these uncertain times, to construct a sustainability and recovery plan due to the expected drop in premium.

In what circumstance will looting 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. (i.e. the incident must meet the definition of the risk and Sasria must accept the claim)

Will Sasria investigate 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, thus they are not licensed 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 unwilling to offering this cover.

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

Any exclusion pertaining to duty of care and or non-compliance to the law may be considered when the claim is being validated. However, Sasria treats each claim based on its own unique circumstances and merits.


A word of note, as civil unrest continues to put our country under pressure, the spreading of fake news does not help us at all. First try to verify the source, critically appraise the information, check who else is reporting the story, etc this will help us stop the spread of fake news.

With the extraordinary number of claims to be submitted, and an estimate of about R10bn, it remains to be seen if Sasria will have the capacity to support all these claims and ensure timeous payments. Our hope as South Africans is that this type of event will not be repeated ever again and that we proactively start solving some of our key problems that people are facing in our nation.

Call us now if you have any questions, on

086 162 0000.


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