As motorists, we understandably become concerned if we think of the serious protest actions taking place on our South African roads.
The immediate thoughts that come to mind are, “Do we have cover if the car is damaged in any way? I can’t remember what the small print of our car insurance policy has to say about any damage caused by a riot.” It is good to find out before we should find ourselves in such a situation, which, hopefully, will never happen.
Car insurance can be quite complex, and that’s why we ask readers to treat this article as only information. If you are considering to buy car insurance and require professional assistance, a certified, financial advisor is the one you should see.
Protest action and rioting is on the rise
It doesn’t take much effort to realise that civil unrest is on the rise in South Africa, as you hear almost daily of some protest action taking place somewhere in South Africa.
Car Insurance does not cover you and your car from riot damage
During any protest action, emotions can run high, making the whole environment unpredictable, and difficult to control. Cars can easily get damaged if they are in the way during such occasions. Sometimes, cars can get so badly damaged that they have to be written off completely.
According to FANews, insurance companies do not cover any damage incurred to private property through rioting action. They recommend that you obtain cover against riot damage from SASRIA, a State-owned company. It’s gratifying to know that any insurance policy will automatically include cover provided by SASRIA. However, it’s still best if you confirm that this vital cover is part of your policy.
What is SASRIA?
SASRIA is the acronym for South African Special Risks Insurance Association, and is a short-term insurance company. It was established in 1979 because insurance companies were not willing to provide cover for such risky situations. SASRIA covers you and your property for public disorder, civil commotion, strikes, riots and terrorism. Any material damage, disruption of business, car and construction risk, as well as damage to goods in transit are all covered by SASRIA.
Submitting claims as a result of rioting
According to FANews, claims resulting from damage caused by riots must be submitted directly to your own insurance company. The company will, in turn, take up the matter with SASRIA until it has been resolved.
SASRIA only covers you within South Africa
South African motorists must remember that SASRIA only covers them inside South Africa. If your car is damaged by riots in neighbouring countries, you will not be covered. It is thus your responsibility to ensure what kind of cover is offered by those countries in the event of any rioting there.
Ensure getting cover from a foreign company of good repute
Although having this kind of insurance cover in another country is not compulsory, it is actually most affordable and thus should not be overlooked. Motorists should confirm that a particular foreign insurance company does have a good track record when it comes to claim time.
Claims paid out by SASRIA
By March 2017, SASRIA had paid out claims totalling R766 million, an increase of 30.8% compared to that paid out in 2016. The number of claims rose by 22% and their severity by 29%.
So, SASRIA cover for your private property including your car is what any South African motorist needs to have in place in case of rioting. This particularly applies to those who commute daily through strife-torn areas.