The South African Special Risks Insurance Association (Sasria) expects claims related to the unrest in July to amount to R20 billion, with 10% of the amount to be paid out by the end of this week.
Following the riots, the insurance company says over 95% of all registered insurance claims are being attended to.
“Currently, there [have] been concerted efforts to settle all small claims, while interim payments for large claims are being made at the same time,” Sasria said in a statement.
“On small claims, Sasria’s agent companies have been hard at work, settling and paying claims up to R1 million.”
The group adds that once the process of quantifying claims and the finalisation of the work done by loss adjustors is complete, it is estimated that claims would reach between R19 billion and R20 billion.
According to Sasria MD Cedric Masondo: “By the end of the week, we would have paid R2 billion between us and agent companies.
“Our target is to settle all valid small- and medium sized claims in the next six weeks.”
As business owners work towards restoring what they have lost, Sasria said its clients have been using interim funds to remove debris and clean up where damage occurred. However, it noted that the rebuilding of damaged infrastructure for large companies is going to take a long time, and it therefore aims to “engage all clients on the journey of seeing their business recover”.
“The extent of damage and the destruction is big,” said Masondo. “We would like to thank our clients for their cooperation. We ask for patience and we can assure all our clients that we are working hard with our agent companies to settle claims as soon as possible, while working towards a meaningful contribution [to] the rebuilding of our economy.”
Masondo praised the response Sasria has received from reinsurers, noting their prompt response and upfront payment of reinsurance funds in certain instances, thus helping the government insurer to avoid any liquidity issues.
Read: Sasria gives mandate to insurers to settle smaller claims immediately
R100m fund for Gauteng SMMEs
Meanwhile, the Gauteng Provincial Government and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) have announced a R100 million fund aimed at supporting small businesses impacted by the pandemic and the unrest.
According to Gauteng MEC for Economic Development, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development Parks Tau: “The Gauteng Rebuilding Fund will benefit SMMEs [small, medium and micro-sized enterprises] that are uninsured to ensure that small enterprises are able to contribute to the economy of Gauteng without the burden of formal business loans.”
Read: Riots and looting add to the woes of black SMEs
Announcing the opening of applications on Tuesday (August 24), Saki Zamxaka, CEO of the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller (GEP), said qualifying enterprises from Gauteng can now apply for financial and non-financial support through the GEP online application system or through in-person applications at the GEP regional offices.
“We are now ready to accept applications from small businesses that have had a torrid time over the past two years. The funding, which will be offered as a 50/50 blend of loan and grant, will help small enterprises get back on their feet by covering for rebuilding costs, repairs, replacement of infrastructure, inventory, equipment and critical supplies,” said Zamxaka.
Qualifying businesses can download application forms here and follow the instructions stated on the website. Alternatively, interested business owners can visit their nearest regional office to get application assistance.