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Protection for cross-fire unrest damagesProtection for 'cross-fire' unrest damages
Lizette Erasmus, IntegriSure
The recent surge in civil unrest, often occurring in the form of violent protests such as the recent ones in Randfontein, has caused many South African citizens great concern.
Recent reports by Multilevel Government Initiative at the Community Law Centre suggest that violent protests in the country reached a crest in 2014, increasing in that period to 218, from the 204 recorded in 2009. While 2012 was the most expensive year due to unrest from an insurance claims perspective according to Sasria, the state-owned insurance provider specialising in political and national risk, this upward trend is set to continue into 2015.
According to Lizette Erasmus, head of insurance expertise at IntegriSure, the violent nature that civil unrest often takes is alarming, and unfortunately many innocent bystanders are at risk of getting caught up in the ‘cross-fire’, sustaining damages to their properties, cars and personal belongings. “As up to 80 percent of protests which have taken place in South Africa over the last decade were unfortunately associated with violence, we have seen many cases where innocent civilians and businesses in areas where protests are common experience personal injury as well as damage to their private property.”
Thokozile Ntshiqa, Executive Manager at Sasria’s Stakeholder Management Division, explains that many consumers do not realise that Sasria is the only insurer in South Africa that provides cover for these kinds of incidents. “It is therefore imperative for those with short-term insurance to verify with their brokers and insurers that Sasria cover is included in their underlying policy,” she says. “Sasria cover is applicable to personal property such as vehicles, homes and household contents, as well as commercial and government property.”
Erasmus continues to explain the importance of Sasria cover, noting, “Especially considering the increase in events of this nature, it is of the utmost importance that you consult your insurance provider to determine whether or not civil unrest protection is included in your insurance coverage. This is crucial for those who are required to be in high risk protest areas, and we strongly recommend that consumers ensure that insurance provisions are correctly structured, in order to avoid financial damages.”