Home Car Insurance Advice How does car insurance work when it comes to riots?

How does car insurance work when it comes to riots?

by jonckie@arrivealive.co.za

South Africa has recently gone through a challenging period concerning protests in 2019. Some riots may have caused severe damage to motorists’ vehicles.

When this happens, the first thing we think to check is if we are covered by our insurance providers in these incidents. It’s very unsettling to sit with this question in one’s mind and wishing you had read all that fine print in your insurance policy document.

Riots and strike actions often happen in South Africa and individuals should prepare themselves for such unfortunate incidents. Hopefully, motorists don’t have to experience something like a riot.


Please note that the information in this article is for illustrative informational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. Please seek advice from a certified financial planner before you purchase car insurance or do any other insurance-related activity.

Will my insurer cover me and my car from riots?1

Protests could be unpredictable and may happen at any time and anywhere. This predicament makes it easy for a motorist to drive into this situation without warning. When motorists are stuck in these situations, unfortunately, their vehicles get damaged by protesters, even to the point where a car can be written off.

Insurance companies are not liable to cover you for damages caused to your private property during the protest action. Insurance companies advise that you get cover for riot damage through a company called SASRIA. SASRIA is a state-owned company. Fortunately, any insurance policy will automatically include this cover that is provided by SASRIA. However, always remember to confirm this with your insurance provider that it is included in your car insurance plan.

Who is SASRIA?1,2

SASRIA is the South African Special Risks Insurance Association. They are a short-term insurance company which was established in 1979, during a time in which insurance companies were not willing to provide cover for riot damage. SASRIA will cover you and your private property for public disorder, civil commotion, strikes, riots and terrorism. SASRIA will also cover any material damage or loss, disruption of businesses, car and construction risk and for any goods that are damaged during transit.

How do I claim from SASRIA?1

When it comes to claiming from SASRIA for riot damage to your property, you will submit your claim directly with your car insurance provider. They will then approach SASRIA with your claim and handle the request until it is resolved.

Motorists must also remember that SASRIA will only cover riot damage that occurs within South Africa. You will be held responsible for any riot damage that has happened outside the borders of South Africa in neighbouring countries. If you are to travel in these neighbouring countries, always ensure you receive riot damage cover from these countries.

How many claims have been paid out by SASRIA? 3

At the end of March 2018, SASRIA had paid out R663 million in claims, which is a 13.5% decrease in insurance claims compared to 2017.

It is comforting to know that SASRIA will cover damage to your private property, including your car due to riot or protest action. This especially reassures motorists if they must travel in areas that are struggling daily with protest and riot action.

Insurance cover can provide peace of mind. Do you have car insurance? Are you perhaps looking for affordable car insurance?


This article was prepared by Eric Sandmann in his personal capacity. The views and opinions in the article should not be attributed to anyone but the author unless expressly stated. Nothing in this article should be relied upon as advice, this publication is presented for informational purposes only. No person should act or refrain from acting in reliance on any information found in this article, without first obtaining proper financial advice from the appropriate professional. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, or completeness, of any information linked from, referred to, or contained in this article. The author reserves the right, to edit and change the content of this article.


1 https://www.fanews.co.za/article/short-term-insurance/15/general/1217/insurance-implications-of-damage-caused-by-civil-unrest/19105

2 https://www.iol.co.za/motoring/industry-news/are-sure-your-car-is-insured-for-riots-2037685

3 http://www.sasria.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Sasria-IR-2018.pdf


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