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About 20% of unrest claims still outstanding

The South African Special Risk Insurance Association (Sasria) has paid out R24 billion in claims relating to last year’s unrest.

In a statement this week, Sasria said the pay-out represented 80% of the 21 000 claims lodged with the state-owned insurance company since the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng.

It said there were 6 800 outstanding claims with a total value of R7bn.

Earlier, Business Maverick quoted Sasria’s executive manager for stakeholder management, Muzi Dladla, as saying that the outstanding claims were due to the long rebuilding process.

“We pay as the buildings are being rebuilt. A small portion of that [unpaid amount] is due to clients not providing required information and claims where an agreement of loss has been issued, but clients are not signing the documents,” he said.

Dladla said there was no cut-off date for unrest claims to be settled.

In June, Sasria issued a statement to assure stakeholders that it has “every intention” of honouring lodged claims. The clarification was necessary because a statement issued earlier created confusion and consternation among insurers and claimants. In that statement, Sasria set a 10-day deadline for the submission of unrest-related claims.

Read: Sasria sets 10-day deadline for unrest claims

Sasria said the initial circular concerned two types of claims that were not moving:

  • Claims that have been reported and where liability has been acknowledged, but Sasria was waiting for clients to provide accurate information so that the claims could be quantified.
  • Claims where the quantum has been established and an offer has been made based on the policy’s terms and conditions, but the client has not responded.

Sasria believed enough time has been allocated to finalise these claims, and it would no longer actively pursue them.

However, Dladla said: “We are not saying we are repudiating or denying covering these claims. We are not removing ourselves from these claims. Rather, we want to see the industry being able to recover and individuals back in business.”

He emphasised that although the circular put claimants on terms to close the files, Sasria would not deny accepted liability.

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