COVID-19: Riots, Social Unrest and Disorder. Are you covered?

Don’t have regrets, check your policy schedule today and make sure you have the appropriate cover in place especially if you are a business owner.

Michelle Wolmarans

Michelle Wolmarans

Managing Director - NFB Insurance Brokers

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COVID-19: Riots, Social Unrest and Disorder. Are you covered?

As we follow the journey of the COVID-19 Pandemic across the UK and Europe it is alarming to see how the impact of the virus is manifesting in social unrest and disorder in places. In Italy, in particular, there has been a sharp rise in rioting, theft and looting across certain regions of the country as cash reserves of families dwindle and panic for basic supplies and essential goods takes hold.

The risk is that we may see similar trends in South Africa if the Pandemic continues to spread and in the event that the national lockdown gets extended. Whilst there are significant efforts in train to ensure that daily necessities are in supply and accessible to the market over coming weeks, there may be parts of our society that cannot afford nor access basic food, water and medical supplies. The concern is how that scenario may play out amongst the economically challenged and most vulnerable in our society.

So what does this risk mean for you and your insurance cover?

  • In South Africa insurance cover for loss or damage to property caused by “public disorder” and “civil commotion” is covered by a Company called SASRIA Limited (“Sasria”).

What is Sasria?

  • “Sasria” refers to the South African Special Risks Insurance Association.
  • Sasria is a state-owned company and the only short-term insurer that provides cover to all the people and businesses that have assets in South Africa, as well as to government entities, against special risks such as civil commotion, public disorder, strikes, riots and terrorism.
  • For more information see:

What does Sasria cover and how does it work?

  • Since its formation in 1979 Sasria has been covering politically motivated riots.
  • Over the years, this mandate has been extended to cover damage caused by non-political riot, public disorder (including labour disturbances, civil unrest, strikes and lockouts) and loss in respect of mortgage loans as well as terrorism.

I already have insurance – does this mean I need to purchase additional “Sasria” cover?

  • Sasria does not do direct business with the public.
  • Sasria works through a network of agent companies and brokers who distribute their coupons on their behalf (most insurance providers and brokers are aligned with Sasria).
  • The likelihood is that Sasria cover for certain risks is already included in your existing insurance cover, whether it’s home or business insurance.
  • Refer to your Coversheet if you are unsure as to whether you are covered or not.
  • Sasria provides short-term insurance solutions for corporates and individuals.
  • In short, SASRIA cover is designed to augment the insurance that is offered by insurers, but that is excluded on the basis of it being caused by extraordinary circumstances that the insurance companies are not prepared to assume risk for.

What you need to know in terms of your existing insurance cover:

Personal policies

  • Sasria cover should automatically be included on your existing Insurance Policy.
  • The Sasria sum insured for your buildings and contents will be the same as your existing(underlying) insurance policy.
  • In respect of your motor vehicles insured on the underlying policy Sasria will pay the current retail value in the event of a total loss.
  • Please note that Sasria does not provide third party liability cover.

Business policies - Cover for your assets (buildings, contents and stock)

  • The Sasria cover in place will follow your underlying Insurance Policy.
  • Sasria incorporates the underlying Policy terms, conditions, warranties, exclusions and exceptions, but not extensions. The Sasria sums insured will be the same as those reflected under the Fire, Buildings Combined and Office Contents sections of your Policy.Sasria cover for your assets is automatically included on the majority of commercial policies and will reflect on your policy schedule.
  • If you are unsure as to whether you have the cover please contact us.

Business Interruption cover (Loss of income)

  • This cover is NOT automatically included and must be  specifically requested by a client.
  • It is important to note that there must be a Sasria Material Damage Coupon in force covering the same interest and period.
  • There are 4 different methods of arranging this cover:

1. Standing charges – client must provide a list of their standing charges
2. Working expenses – The formula used to determine the sum insured is: Gross Profit less Net Profit = Working Expenses.  The list of uninsured working expenses must be provided.
3. Net Profit – the net profit can be insured on its own or with the Standing charges or Working expenses policy
4. Gross Profit – insurance gross profit is defined as Turnover less purchases, bad debts and any other expense deemed variable.

  • If you want to add to this cover to your policy or you are unsure if you have the cover in place please contact us.


  • Sasria cover will be in place for all motor vehicles insured on the underlying Policy.
  • Sasria cover does not, however, include any third-party liability cover.
  • In respect of mobile plant only plant registered for road use and are utilized on public roads can be insured under a motor Sasria coupon.
  • If Plant is not registered for road use it must be insured on a Plant All Risk Sasria Coupon.


  • Sasria cover is also available for Money, Goods in Transit and Construction sites but must be specifically requested and arranged.

If you are uncertain about what Sasria cover you currently have please contact us. Sasria cover is non refusable and non-cancellable. 

This means that the insurer cannot refuse to underwrite a risk because they deem it to be high risk,  similarly they cannot cancel a policy because there have been numerous claims. 

Sasria cover is therefore available to everyone and it is affordable.     

Don’t have regrets, check your policy schedule today and make sure you have the appropriate cover in place especially if you are a business owner.  Please direct any queries to us to ensure you have peace of mind. 

The above is given as general guidance. It is not specific to individual, personal or business circumstances which will vary from case to case. For advice specific to your needs and circumstances, please consult with one of our Insurance Brokers. They will be able to guide you based on your unique risk profile and specific insurance needs and in relation to the cover you may already have in place.

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