Sasria says riot relief on track; R12.6bn paid out of R32bn claimed

Sasria media statement:

The South African Special Risks Insurance Association (Sasria SOC Ltd) has so far received 100% of the 14,051 claims, valued at R32bn.

Out of all the received claims, R12.6bn has been paid out by Monday, 15 November, with a target of settling eighty percent of claims up to R60m by March 2022. Sasria reiterates its commitment to ensuring that all clients are fully back in business. The company’s target of processing all valid claims between six to eighteen months is on track, thus ensuring that an ideal outcome for all claims is reached within a reasonable period.

Sasria would like to extend its gratitude to the National Treasury for the additional R11bn allocation as this would significantly contribute towards honouring clients’ claims and recapitalising the organisation. The company also extends its appreciation to the insurance industry for their overwhelming support. Many clients that suffered great loss were assisted to maintain their business operations and minimise the loss effect.

In terms of all claims received, the most in number and rand value came in the following order: fire commercial, heavy commercial vehicles, light commercial vehicles, and business interruption. Most claims were received in the under R1m band, standing at 12,050, with a total claim value of just over R2.259bn. Cedric Masondo, Sasria’s Managing Director, said: “On these claims, our Agent Companies have been engaged and mandated to facilitate the claims. The Agent Companies have been given a float of over R2.6bn to settle claims within their mandate and to date have paid over R1.8bn and are on track to settle the remaining claims by the end of December.” He emphasised that the company would also endeavour to settle eighty percent of all claims by the end of the year.

While there has been commendable progress, Sasria acknowledges the challenges related to its capacity in the market, such as the internal capacity to manage large losses, overstretched Loss Adjusters, clients’ struggle with the formulation of claims, resulting in delays and policy interpretation.

In this regard, Sasria has curated solutions such as increasing mandates of some agent companies. “We have also increased our staff complement, and our broker network is helping clients with claims formulation supported by our internal Underwriting and Legal team that have been hard at work with giving guidance and attending to policy interpretation matters,” said Masondo.

“Given significant shifts made by Sasria since July’s events, there have also been incidents of fraud and the inflation of claims. Therefore, we have made our Loss Adjusters the first gatekeepers, ensuring that claims reach Sasria and an internal team makes further rigorous assessments, in line with our standard quality control processes. There are also complementary controls led by reputable independent forensic auditors and an independent building moderation team,” he said.

Masondo reiterated that the company remains committed to building financial reserves, to fast-track its path to sustainability. “As we seek to future-proof Sasria against similar future incidents, we also aim to be a credible and trusted industry player,” he said, adding that “Our drive is to have social impact, be efficient and ethical. We are also an insurer that wants to be modern, thus consistently evolve with technology,” Masondo concludes.

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