Guidelines on submitting your SASRIA insurance claim

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If your business has been affected by public disorder,  the recent looting and rioting in South Africa here is a guide on how to submit your SASRIA Claim.  If you have been directly affected, you may be unsure of what your next steps should be, particularly in respect of initiating your insurance claim for the damages you may have suffered.

The South African Special Risks Insurance Association – SASRIA – is a state-owned company, established specifically and uniquely to provide cover against special risks, specifically in respect of the public disorder that has recently gripped parts of South Africa.

SASRIA Cover is not an automatic cover, and it is only attached to your underlying insurance policy if you have chosen to include it. If you have SASRIA cover then:

Step 1:
Confirm that your premium payments are up-to-date, and that your insurance cover included SASRIA, and that it was in place and active on the date of the incident;

Step 2:
Report the incident to the police and obtain a case number;

Step 3:
Immediately make contact with your Insurance Broker or Insurer, to lodge, or at least notify SASRIA of your intention to lodge, your claim, within 30 days of the incident;

Step 4:
Try and obtain video footage or photographic evidence of the incident, including media or news reports of the incident – CCTV footage is seldom stored for more than a few days, so get hold of a copy immediately, if available;

Step 5:
Take photos or video footage of the damages suffered from various angles, internally and externally, in order to assist in the claim validation process;

Step 6:
Prepare and submit your valid claim via and with the assistance of your Broker or Insurer, by:

  • completing a claim form,
  • providing a copy of your SASRIA Policy or Coupon, which should form part of your underlying insurance policy,
  • providing a copy of your underlying policy schedule, including proof of premium payments,
  • attaching quotes and/or invoices or other documents in support of the quantum of your claim – in respect of commercial claims, ensure you have available stock records of your purchases and sales or any other supporting evidence to validate your claims;

Step 7:
As a general rule, your Insurer will appoint an assessor for all claims exceeding R10 000 and a loss adjustor where the claim exceeds R250 000 in order to quantify your loss to SASRIA. For all claims exceeding R1 million, SASRIA will appoint an independent loss adjustor;

Step 8:
In the event that there is any salvage, it will belong to SASRIA, but you remain responsible for the damaged property until SASRIA has taken possession of it;

Step 9:
SASRIA will validate and/or conduct further investigations and will communicate with your Insurer. Given the volume of claims that SASRIA will face in the current circumstances, it is unclear how quickly your claim will be processed, but once finalized and authorised, compensation or payment should follow within 3 to 4 days.

SASRIA only covers looting (the stealing of goods) triggered by civil commotion incidents. Any other theft deemed criminal without a civil commotion trigger will fall under your general insurance policy, not SASRIA.

SASRIA Business Interruption insurance will cover you for consequential or indirect financial losses suffered as a result of the looting and property damages, such as fire or vandalism, occurring during public disorder or civil commotion incidents, such as those recently experienced, provided that you have business interruption insurance on your underlying insurance policy.

Loss of rental income is only covered by SASRIA if your underlying policy specifically insures it.

Once your claim has been validated and approved, the SASRIA compensation may include a monetary payment, or may constitute the repair, replacement or reinstatement of the damaged property. If the lost or damaged property is still under finance, SASRIA will pay the financial institution first, and if any part of your claim relates to purchased stock in which a supplier still has an insurable interest, you may request SASRIA to compensate the seller proportionally to what remains owing to them in respect of the stock being claimed for.

This process may seem daunting and overwhelming, and in this regard, we encourage you to rely on the support and advice of your broker and insurer, and we further advise to submit your claim as soon as possible.

We further refer you to a very useful article written by Ms Yolande van Niekerk of ibiliti. What is SASRIA and more information can also be found on SASRIA

 

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