Political and Violence Terrorism Insurance – do you need it?

Political Violence & Terrorism (PV&T) coverage has been excluded from Kenyan insurance policies for many years. If someone requires this coverage, they must purchase it separately. Interestingly, unlike the UK and other countries, this exclusion also includes Political Violence, whereas it is typically only Terrorism coverage that is excluded.

What is the difference between Political Violence and Terrorism? It’s not absolutely clear, but I’ll try to provide a simple explanation.

A Terrorism attack is relatively straightforward to categorize, such as the incidents at Westgate, Garissa, Dusit, etc. A classified terrorist group or organization takes responsibility, or it is clear that the act was perpetrated by such an organization. In this instance, the policyholder would need Terrorism coverage to make a claim.

Political Violence, on the other hand, is more subjective. Consider a situation where a group of people decides to have a few drinks and then rampages through a high street, smashing windows, daubing graffiti, breaking doors, etc. This would be covered under the standard insured peril of riot, civil commotion, or malicious damage. However, if the same group carries political placards, flags, or other paraphernalia, does it become politically motivated and therefore fall under the Political Violence part of PV&T? I think the answer is ‘yes,’ but I cannot be absolutely sure.

In some situations, it may depend on how the incident is reported in the media. For example, the current unpleasant situation in Kenya is very much politically motivated. However, one could argue that some people involved in causing damage, including looting, might just be opportunists hanging out at the back of a political rally or uprising. Are they involved in or interested in the political side, or are they simply out to loot premises and businesses?

As such, I cannot provide a definitive answer. My advice, if you are concerned, is not to take any chances and to purchase the coverage if you haven’t already. Call us if you would like any further information.

If you have any questions on the above, please do get in touch: Email:talk2us@jwseagon.com or Tel: + 254 (0) 709 455 000.