April 8, 2020
Riots are quite commonplace in South Africa. There have been several riots or demonstrations in South Africa so far in 2020 for various reasons. Whether you can justify riots or not, the damage is often done to property as a result.
Damage to parked vehicles or cars that accidentally stray into ongoing riots can happen. Cars could be set alight, damaged as a result of projectiles like rocks and other makeshift weapons. Vehicles could even be written off if rioters severely damage them. Riots can occur quickly in violent in some cases with little or no warning.
Motorists may not initially find themselves driving in the proximity of a riot. It just takes a wrong turn and not being aware of a specific disturbance to find yourself in a potentially dangerous situation. Police should be monitoring all riots and should divert traffic away from them too. Whatever happens, please be safe and consider your wellbeing as the highest priority should you be confronted with an ongoing riot.
It comes as no surprise that many South African motorists try avoiding riots and may be concerned about what may happen if their cars are damaged due to a riot.
Please don’t consider any information in this article as financial advice. Please seek advice from a certified financial advisor before you decide to buy car insurance.
Technically-speaking, your car insurance provider facilitates riot-related damage cover and does not cover it. What does that mean? SASRIA (South African Special Risks Insurance Association), the state-owned organisation, covers vehicles for riot damage, which are signed up to it. Your insurer may automatically include cover from SASRIA within your existing car insurance policy. It may be best to confirm this with your insurance company.
Assuming that your car insurance policy includes cover from SASRIA, then your insurance company will facilitate the process of claiming for compensation from SASRIA should your car be damaged or written off as a result of a riot.
SASRIA was founded in 1979 and has been paying out millions of Rands in claims ever since. SASRIA definitely provides added peace of mind for motorists with their cover. Why does SASRIA exist? At the time, insurance companies were not willing to cover riot-related damages in their insurance products.
What exactly does SASRIA cover? In relation to motorists, SASRIA covers motorists and their vehicles for damages that result from riots, terrorism and other public disorder-related activities.
SASRIA covers motorists in South Africa. You should notify your insurer and vehicle finance institute if your car is being financed. Also, ask your insurer for advice about cover for using your vehicle in other countries before you leave.
Prevention is better than cure, as the famous proverb goes. Try to avoid riots if possible. Listen to the news every day to avoid areas where disturbances may occur. Avoid hotspots, areas known for sporadic riots. Try to always park your car in secure locations such as dedicated parking garages and parking shopping malls. Parking your vehicle in the street may make it vulnerable to damage from rioters. Don’t engage with or provoke rioters, even if it is irritating that your day has been disrupted by unplanned traffic or the need to move your parked vehicle to a more secure location.
Don’t panic if you see a riot ahead of you on the road. Look out for police redirecting traffic and obey all the traffic laws.
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