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State insurer uses SONA to highlight ‘special event’ cover

A state-owned insurance company on Tuesday appeared to use the possibility of unrest during the upcoming State of the Nation Address and the National Budget Speech to drum up business.

A media release from Sasria said “it is timely to consider recent events in our country and the way in which they impacted on individuals and businesses alike”.

 The statement quoted the recent #FeesMustFall protests as being “a reminder that we have a high level of exposure to special events such as these‚ and that we need to be insured against possible damage that may occur during these events”.

 “To date‚ Sasria has received over 100 claims to the value of R74m directly related to the #FeesMustFall protests. The question on everyone’s lips is this: are there more to come?”

This‚ however‚ appeared to be a huge jump from the “nearly 100 claims to the value of over R22-million resulting from the #FeesMustFall student protests” Sasria announced in a circular on January 20.

Tuesday’s statement reiterated that “few consumers realise is that this kind of cover is not automatically included in standard building‚ vehicle and valuables insurance policies”.

 It also said that “all insurance brokers are‚ however‚ obliged to advise consumers — whether businesses or individuals — that packaged insurance products do not automatically include Sasria cover‚ and to offer it as an optional extra”.

 The cover is avaliable‚ Sasria pointed out‚ if the consumers “have an insurance policy from any one of the retail providers such as Hollard‚ Santam and Outsurance because Sasria does not provide insurance directly to consumers”.

 “Insurance against special events is a vital aspect of any building or short-term insurance policy‚” said Keith Fick‚ Sasria executive for insurance operations.

 “This is especially true as Sasria has seen a 54% increase in claims related to events such as protests and strikes in the past year alone‚ as well as a 25% increase in the severity of these claims.

 “We received 1211 claims for the six-month period ending 31 September 2015. These originated from such events as service delivery protests‚ xenophobic attacks‚ the actions of disgruntled commuters and taxi industry violence.”

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