General: Pay 30% now, settle claims later, Sasria told

Insurance Claims Africa (ICA), the public loss adjuster spearheading the fight to get Covid19-related business interruption claims settled, is turning its attention to the SA Special Risks Insurance Association (Sasria), says a Business Day report. ICA said Sasria must ‘urgently’ make upfront payments to claimants affected by the July unrest that amounts to 30% of their total insured amounts. The loss adjuster said this is needed to avoid looming retrenchments at cash-strapped businesses affected by the violence and looting. ICA said it is representing claimants that together constitute the largest volume of claims submitted to Sasria in the wake of the July unrest.

‘We know from our experience with the Covid-19 business interruption claims that these interim payments made by insurers were a lifesaver for many businesses while they waited for the complex and lengthy claims settlement business to proceed. It’s going to be the same for these riot-related claims,’ said ICA chair Mike Gaines. Sasria expects claims from the unrest to total R20bn to R25bn and has been in discussion with the Treasury about getting a capital injection over and above the R3.9bn already committed by government. Gaines said funding from the Treasury would take time to finalize, which underscores the need for Sasria to pay claimants 30% of the insured sum as an interim payment. ‘Sasria is a good, well-managed business in which we have great trust, but they have never had to deal with claims on this scale and complexity before. The settlement of claims is going to take time, so interim payments are going to be critical,’ Gaines said.

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