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SMEs are more risk aware - increase in demand for “looting insurance” and business interruption cover is noted

06 July 2022 Auto & General

Last year’s civil unrest that left almost two million jobless and cost the country over R50 billion, horrified South Africans. Before the unthinkable occurred, including Sasria cover on policies was met with some hesitation. Despite its nominal fee, South Africans questioned its value and importance.

“That’s no longer the case,” says Alex Terblanché, Head of Auto & General Business Insurance. “Following the July 2021 riots, Sasria cover is being added to more business insurance policies than ever before and Sasria, or “looting insurance” as it is often referred to, is one of the first queries we receive from business owners.”

Sasria is the only non-life insurer that provides cover for loss or damage to insured property caused by special risks such as political, social or economic motivated malicious acts, riots, strikes, terrorism and public disorders. While the cover is always offered, it’s up to the business owner whether they would like to include it, or not.

Terblanché notes that damage-based Business Interruption cover is also increasing in popularity and since June 2020, more small businesses are requesting it, and are adding it to their insurance portfolio. Business Interruption cover is designed to protect business owners against the loss of turnover, sales, revenue or income as a result of loss of or damage to their business assets.

“While Covid-19 put a spotlight on Business Interruption cover, most insurers now exclude infectious contagious disease pandemics as an insured peril. That said, the benefits of Business Interruption cover stretches well beyond COVID-19, and the recent floods in Kwa-Zulu Natal makes it a non-negotiable,” says Terblanché.

Traditionally, insurance has been seen as a grudge purchase, but this false perception is starting to change. “SMEs are becoming more risk-aware – risks that were previously deemed to be ‘impossible’ or ‘highly unlikely’. What’s clear is that it’s no longer just about protection against damage and theft, but against financial losses that could temporarily or permanently stop the business from operating too,” concludes Terblanché.

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