Sasria cover is bought through insurance companies which administer the cover. When a loss is the result of some form of civil unrest, insurance companies act as intermediaries and hand over the claim to Sasria.
But some people are questioning the state-owned entity’s ability to settle the claims.
“I suspect Sasria will struggle to settle claims of this magnitude,” tweeted @Gianicos1. “They were struggling to process claims even before this.”
Responding, Masondo said Sasria had more than sufficient reserves to meet the claims.
“I understand the concern, given that we are a state-owned company,” he said. “I don’t take offence, but Sasria has a strong balance sheet and is well capitalised, backed by a strong reinsurance programme, and we are monitored by the Prudential Authority, just like all the other insurance companies.
“In fact we have three times the more than required minimum, so we are not worried about our ability to settle claims.”
Masondo acknowledged that Sasria had a recent history of “claims problems” — long delays in settling claims — but said the organisation had worked hard to beef up its claims handling capacity, including installing a new system last November.
“Our focus is on settling claims as quickly as possible,” he said.
Sasria sent a letter to “non-life” insurers and brokers on Monday, assuring them that the organisation had “centralised all the claims that stem from the recent events to a specialist team of experts who will facilitate the claim handling”.
“We are not going to expect the victims of looting to prove the merit of their claims,” he told TimesLIVE. “We want to resolve them as quickly as possible.”
All going well, Masondo said, that could be within a week in the case of smaller claims.
“But in the case of claims for buildings and the like, it will take longer.”
But if you’re putting in a claim, be prepared to supply some form of proof that you owned the stolen goods.
“There are always fraudulent claims ... so we have to investigate those claims to protect all our policyholders.”
No excess payments are due with Sasria claims, but the policy does not make provision for a month’s free car rental, in the case of stolen or damaged cars, as is the norm with “normal” motor claims.
“We don’t currently offer that, but we are looking into it,” Masondo said.
Added to an insurance policy, Sasria cover is extremely affordable — as little as R2 for a car and less than R50 a month for several cars and household contents.
Masondo’s advice to consumers who have insurance on their cars and/or their household contents is to check that their Sasria cover applies to both.
While most companies had Sasria cover, he said, the sad reality was that many individuals did not have any insurance cover at all.