What’s SASRIA? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Rock falling through roof


SASRIA is insurance, but it's a little different to your personal, household and Business Insurance. It should definitely be part of your insurance cover, though. Here's why...


Line-item readers are tricky people. We like to know exactly what we're paying for, and how much each element is costing us. Itemised billing gives us the cheapest but most thrilling of thrills. It's why we notice things like SASRIA fees on our insurance policies. It's why we want to know what that is, and why we're paying for it.

What is SASRIA?

The South African Special Risks Insurance Association (SASRIA) is a short-term insurer that provides cover to any government department, business or individual who owns property within South Africa's borders —and which pays SASRIA premiums as part of their insurance policy — for damage to property caused by special risks. What, you may ask, is a "special risk"? We're talking about things like civil commotion, public disorder, strikes, riots and terrorism.

This kind of cover is rare, and South Africa is one of only a handful of countries that have a body to insure against these events. What makes it even rarer are the affordable premiums, which range from R50 to R200 per year.

Why insure my property and assets then?

You might be wondering why you shouldn't just cancel all your other policies and go all-in on SASRIA. Here's why: SASRIA doesn't cover individuals or businesses against losses resulting from other events. Let's take businesses for example — and they're a good example indeed because they're more likely to suffer losses during riots or civil unrest than homeowners are, as the events of July 2021 demonstrated.

So, what exactly does SASRIA cover?

SASRIA safeguards assets against unforeseen business interruption, with special risk insurance and is an addition to a Business Insurance policy. It provides various types of insurance cover that protect a business against financial loss due to uncontrollable factors, at values of up to R500 million, depending on the level of cover and resulting premium.

So that's what it does. Here's what it does not do.

SASRIA does not cover a business for loss or damage linked to:

• looting and theft (outside of the specifics like civil unrest, etc)
• property being dispossessed or confiscated by a lawfully established authority
• the stopping or deliberate slowing down of work (strike action)
• any act of terrorism involving the threat of or actual use of any nuclear weapon or device and/or the threat of or actual use or release of any chemical or biological agent

Not many Business Insurance policies have a Nuclear Holocaust clause, but still... The SASRIA cover is highly specific to public disorder events and the like. You'll need a Business Insurance policy to cover you for other things.


Let's put it this way...


Who you gonna call?

If your business has had its shops or factories run over by looters, call SASRIA. If you have a fender bender in your delivery vehicle, call your insurance company.

In the event of looting and suchlike, there are seven emergency tasks to tick off to effectively call in SASRIA:

1. SASRIA must receive a claim in writing within 30 days of the date of the event.
2. The company's insurance broker may submit the claim on the business' behalf, or the business may submit it directly to SASRIA. (It may also be easier to process through the business' broker.)
3. SASRIA will require documentation from the business, including proof of payment of the premiums
4. Additional documentation must be sent to [email protected] using the claim reference number supplied at the start of the application process
5. The claim will be assessed by a loss adjustor, who will also manage any salvage
6. Any repairs must first be approved by SASRIA, who will issue a clearance certificate
7. An agreement of loss must then be concluded between SASRIA and the insured

Be smart. Compare a host of Business Insurance quotes in one place. And then check for that SASRIA line item on your policy schedule to make sure all your insurance bases are covered.

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal or medical advice.

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