Everyone watched their TV screens in horror and empathised with the business-owners in the UK whose properties were vandalised and in some cases destroyed during the recent riots.
It also begged the question, if riots, like those seen in the UK, had to occur in South Africa, where would it leave local businesses?
Auto & General Insurance’s spokesperson, Angelo Haggiyannes says companies are able to make a claim with the South African Special Risk Insurance Association (SASRIA).
“Business-owners can’t claim from their usual business insurance policy for any loss, damage, death, injury, loss of productivity or liability that results from riots, political acts and public disorder. However, they can call on SASRIA for assistance.
“SASRIA supplements insurance that is offered by insurers, providing cover for damages occurring in extraordinary circumstances like riots and strikes. Essentially, SASRIA provides ‘last resort’ insurance. So, SASRIA will cover you for both accidental and intentional damage to your property caused by people taking part in a riot, strike, lock-out, public disorder or civil commotion,” he says.
SASRIA cover includes:
Haggiyannes explains however that not just anyone can claim from SASRIA.
“To be able to benefit from SASRIA, you have to have conventional business insurance. SASRIA then provides add-on benefits to that insurance product. The SASRIA premium is a small percentage of your insurance instalment that is automatically added onto the amount you pay every month,” he says.
If your business happens to be in the thick of things during a protest and property is damaged, your insurance provider will process the claim with SASRIA. Auto & General, like all business insurers, has the SASRIA master policy which is available on request.
According to Haggiyannes, companies can only claim from SASRIA for damages resulting from events occurring in South Africa.
“SASRIA for instance would not be able to cover South African-owned companies that incurred losses at their London-based offices during the recent riots.”
When it comes to looting, Haggiyannes says companies would be able to claim against their business insurance policy for losses. That said, the policyholder should always take adequate precautions to protect their business and property.
“Even with comprehensive business insurance, you have to take additional precautions to protect your property, assets and employees. That means investing in the best security you can afford such as robust perimeter walls, burglar proofing, alarms and armed response.
“Without these buffers, your business is extremely vulnerable to hordes of rioters or strikers. During the recent strikes in July, we heard numerous stories of strikers toppling walls, smashing windows and other acts of malicious damage at companies.
“You can’t predict the future and that is why insurance is an absolute necessity,” concludes Haggiyannes.