News Room

Will Insurers Cover Hout Bay Riot Damage?

Author: Melissa Cohen
Date: 2017-07-04
Your insurer might not cover instances of public disorder and riots! After the riots in Hout Bay, you might need to re-check your policy!
People have reached their breaking point this week as a riot has erupted with the residents of Imizamo Yethu township near Hout Bay at the helm. March had seen a fire rip through the township, not only destroying hundreds of homes but taking lives too. Residents had been promised the rebuilding of all shacks that were destroyed. Nothing, however, has been done to assist the community in the rebuilding of the homes since the incident. Residents have, therefore, found themselves sleeping in cold, damp conditions on the rugby field. The situation ignited over the weekend with residents turning their anger into a violent cry for help. Shops were looted and burnt and cars were overturned. During times such as these, many innocent people have had their property vandalised and destroyed. With this happening right on our doorstep, there is a chance that you might be caught in the middle. So ask yourself this question: will I lose my possessions forever or can I claim for them? Yes. You can, however, you are probably currently NOT covered in times of a riot. 
Our advice? Check your policy to make sure it is linked to Sasria today!

What Is South African Special Risks Insurance Association (Sasria)?

Sasria is the only short term insurer who insures businesses and independents after experiencing loss or damage due to special risks. The risks that fall under this company are civil commotion, public disorder, strikes, riots and terrorism. This means that if you are caught amongst a riot, such as the one taking place in Hout Bay, you will be covered in the event of destruction to property.

General Exclusions Don't Include Cover For Riots! 

You just have to ensure that your insurance company is affiliated with the South African Special Risks Insurance Association (Sasria) and that your policy states that you have access to Sasria benefits. According to Dial Direct spokeswoman, Bianca De Beer, these incidents are unpredictable and can happen at any time so it is important to ensure that you are aware of the Sasria policy.
“Sasria is automatically included in your car insurance policy if your vehicle is financed; after the car has been paid off, your Sasria cover will continue as long as your insurance policy does,” explains De Beer.
You might not know this, but all policies have a general exclusion clause which could leave you out of pocket in situations that could happen at any time! Events such as the following are NOT covered under this clause!
  • Riots;
  • Wars;
  • Political acts;
  • Public disorder;
  • Terrorism or any attempted acts of this kind.
Considering that public disorder and riots are now commonplace in South Africa, insurance companies are certainly getting away with not paying out claims should you be caught in the middle of one. According to Insurance Specialist, Graeme Jones, insurance companies don’t tell their clients that they are not covered for these incidents, however, almost all insurance companies include Sasria into their policy.
It is really cheap at only R2.00 a month extra which is added to your insurance premium. It is very important that the insured checks their policy to ensure that Sasria is included,” expresses Jones.
So, before you sign on the dotted line, ensure that you check for these clauses in your policy.

Safety Tips In Case You Are Caught In A Riot

So now that you know that your property is secure during a riot, here are five tips to ensure that you are safe if you find yourself caught in the midst of a brawl.
  1. Keep Calm- And don’t get involved in the action;
  2. Blend in with the crowd and don’t make a scene. Ensure that you don’t shout or scream as this could attract more attention and could cause more pandemonium;
  3. Hide and hope no one finds you. Find a safe and secure place to hide if you are caught in the middle of a riot;
  4. Avoid the police to ensure minimal risk damage. Police are on high alert during this time so trying to have any interaction with them might mean give them the wrong idea. It is best to stay clear of them at this time;
  5. Step away from your vehicle. Although you might think it the safest place, try and not confine yourself in small spaces. This is an easier opportunity for you to be brought into the action and get hurt;
  6. Do not take photos or videos of the action. This could be dangerous. Law enforcement and police could see this as a threat and may confiscate your device. You may also get hurt.
  So if this happens to you, you know what to do.
Just make sure to read the fine print of your policy to avoid disappointment.

Sign up to our Newsletter now, and don’t miss a beat.

Email Address
Sign Up