Gary Warne | Manager: Legal Services Division

Most, if not all of us, have short term insurance cover in place in order to protect us from loss or damage to our personal assets such as homes and motor vehicles.

With the recent spate of civil unrest which plagued parts of the country many people and companies suffered significant loss and/or damage to property.

Included in many policies is a particular type of insurance cover known as SASRIA cover. SASRIA stands for the South African Special Risks Insurance Agency and was created by the government following the civil uprisings of 1976.


SASRIA cover is insurance cover against special risks which risks are usually specifically excluded from normal short term insurance policies.

Special risks include damages/loss due to civil commotion, riots, strikes, lockouts, public disorder, revolution, terrorism and rebellion.



To be insured against special risks in terms of SASRIA, you must have an underlying policy contract in force which includes SASRIA cover at the time that the event leading to the loss/damage occurs.

SASRIA cover cannot be taken without an underlying policy issued by an insurance company.

The period of cover in terms of SASRIA is the same as the underlying policy to which it is linked and is renewable on an annual basis. If not renewed then you will not be able to claim under SASRIA for loss/damage to property.

Before a claim will be entertained you must ensure that:

  1. The underlying policy was valid and active on the date of the insured event in terms of which your claim is based;
  2. The SASRIA premium payments were up to date; and
  3. You comply with the terms of the SASRIA as well underlying policy.


In the event of a valid claim SASRIA reserves the right to effect compensation in respect of the lost or destroyed property by way of payment of a lumpsum, repairing the asset or replacing it.

Compensation is effected to you as policyholder EXCEPT if the lost or damaged property is subject to a finance transaction with a credit provider/financial institution, in which event payment shall first be made to such credit provider/financial institution (up to the limit of their interest in the lost/damaged property). 

The limit of cover, as with the underlying policy, is stipulated in the SASRIA policy wording.


It is important to note that strict time periods are imposed for the reporting of an insured event/ loss as well as submitting a claim in terms of SASRIA, namely:

  • 24 hours to report to SAPS; and
  • 30 days to submit a claim.

Should the claim not be submitted to the broker/insurer within 30 (thirty) days from the date of loss the claim shall not be entertained and will be rejected by SASRIA.

Any claim in terms of SASRIA can be addressed directly to your insurance broker who will administer the process on your behalf.