Make sure this option is checked on your car insurance policy as civil unrest escalates in South Africa


Civil unrest is on the rise in South Africa, putting personal property at risk.

Car owners should ensure that Sasria coverage is added to their insurance policies.

Sasria is a public entity that covers losses due to protests and civil unrest.

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With an average of 2.26 protests per day over seven years – for everything to do with labor issues, municipal services, corruption and governance – South Africans are no strangers to protests and riots.

While 62% of the protests are peaceful, recent protest actions in various parts of the country have erupted in violence and malicious property damage, with reports that an uninsured car dealership has lost 32 vehicles in a fire. TO Auto & General, we urge South Africans to be vigilant to protect themselves and their property, as well as to have adequate coverage against civil unrest.

Due to the unpredictable and often chaotic nature of these incidents, private and public property can suffer costly damage. For this reason, we encourage people to ensure that Sasria coverage is included in their insurance policies so that they are covered if the matter concerns them personally. If they are not properly covered, their insurance company may reject claims for damage or loss suffered during a strike, civil unrest or protest.

What is Sasria?

Sasria, which stands for “The South African Special Risks Insurance Association”, is a public entity that covers loss or damage to insured property due to civil unrest, including riots, strikes and public unrest. Sasria is the only insurer in South Africa that covers all damages caused by these types of incidents.

Some insurance institutions, such as At Auto & General, automatically include Sasria in their auto insurance policies. Car owners are advised to check with their insurance companies that Sasria coverage is included in their premiums, as this coverage is optional.

Auto & General provides the following tips to protect you, your loved ones and your property in times of civil unrest:

SOS on speed dial: Make sure you have the numbers for all emergency services – including community protection services – handy.

Protective layers: Make sure panic buttons, alarm systems, security doors, anti-theft bars, electric fences, CCTV systems, etc. are all in place and functioning. Strengthen your security measures if possible.

Emergency equipment: Make sure safety equipment like fire extinguishers are in place and working.

Plan: Have a contingency plan, including an evacuation route, in place when unrest spreads in your area, and make sure everyone close to you knows how to follow it.

Listening: Keep an eye on the news to stay informed about civil unrest hot spots and avoid them at all costs.

Taken on the road: If you are in your vehicle during the civil unrest, keep your car moving and try to avoid the crowds. If this is not possible and you see that your vehicle will be stuck in the trouble, park and lock it and escape to a safe place if you can. If you can’t, it’s best to stay in your car, lock it, stay calm, and not show any signs of hostility or anger. Never try to walk through a crowd of protesters. Alert the authorities as soon as possible.

As civil unrest continues to put pressure on the country, we encourage South Africans not to spread fake news. This adds unnecessary and additional pressure to systems already under pressure like the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Central Provident Fund (CPF).

Ricardo Coetzee is the head of auto and general insurance.

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