Categorized | National News

Matthew Hikes House Insurance Claims

More than a week after Hurricane Matthew’s severe impact on hundreds of homes throughout the northwest Bahamas, insurance agencies are forced to produce hundreds of millions of dollars in house insurance claims.


Royal Star Assurance Claims Manager Cordell Bullard said that so far his company has seen an excess of 300 claims since last week Saturday; as that number is expected to double in the coming weeks.


Mr. Bullard said about 60 percent of those claims are from policy holders from New Providence, with the other 40 percent from Grand Bahama.


Although it is too early to determine the total amount which will be paid out in claims, the industry estimates it will cost approximately $400 million.


“For the most part what we’ve been seeing is damage resulting from wind; and so there is a lot of roof damage, lost of shingles, fencing, fallen trees, along with some localised flooding. That’s been pretty much consistent throughout,” he said.


The Bahama Journal also spoke with Colina Insurance Claims Manager Carlton Adderley, who said the company has seen a tremendous spike in claims since Hurricane Matthew.


So far, the company has gotten over 100 claims from policy holders in New Providence and in Grand Bahama.


Meantime, both insurance agencies said they are impressed by the level of patience and cooperation displayed by clients thus far.


“The traffic has been steady. Surprisingly, the process has been smooth. We haven’t had any hiccups. I think most of the players have been cooperative. They’ve come in with the relevant documents and have remained extremely calm. It’s certainly not the frenzy that we expected. It’s been a pleasant surprise up to this point,” Mr. Bullard said.


“We also want to continue to encourage the public, those persons who have claimed, to exercise patience with us as we are experiencing a high volume of claims. We ought to work together to get ourselves out of this. We may not sometimes get to you within the 48 hours, but generally following the storm, there’s always a large volume,” said Mr. Adderley.


According to Mr. Adderley, Colina has already settled a few claims last week, as the company anticipates all payouts to be done in the shortest time possible.


Meanwhile, Royal Star with a more definitive time line said it expects 70 to 80 percent of claims to be settled by the end of November.


Since Hurricane Joaquin’s devastation last year, insurance agents report a slight increase in home owners searching for coverage.


Homeowners are being urged to be safer rather than sorry.


“This experience reinforces the message of why it is important to get insurance; and to get total coverage rather than just getting home owners insurance without catastrophe. Some people may take that chance, but because we live in a hurricane zone, every year for six months, we’re exposed. So I encourage everybody to get hurricane coverage for their homes and properties and include marine coverage as well,” said Mr. Adderley.


“This should almost be mandatory. Insurance is a necessity, in times like this,” Mr. Bullard insisted.




Written by Jones Bahamas

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