Categorized | National News

Three-Quarters of Hurricane Victims under Insured

Although there is a significant gap in coverage for insurance on the islands severely impacted by Hurricane Dorian, this will not prevent insurance companies paying out timely and fairly on claims.

Bahamas Insurance Association revealed that agents are already on the island of Grand Bahama assessing the damages and teams are waiting to be mobilized to Abaco.

President of Bahamas First Holdings Ltd. Patrick Ward said while there is a significant gap in coverage, the $500 million that insurance companies expect to payout only represents a fraction of the overall economic cost to these communities.

“We’re going to be for a very long time contending with these kind of losses in the future and so we’ve got to find some mechanism to effectively close that gap between those persons that have insurance and that people that elect, forever whatever reason, not to have insurance,” Mr. Ward said.

“I know a lot of it is driven by economic factors, but in this part of the world, given the fact that we’re going to be facing disasters on a relatively frequent basis, we have to find a way to close that gap because the insurance in flows that are a part of the process of recovery are an important aspect of economic recovery.”

Summit Insurance Company President Timothy Ingraham also revealed that 50 percent of those on the hard-hit islands are not insured while 75 percent of them are under insured.

He added too that although there is a technology challenge in Abaco and Grand Bahama, payouts to clients would have begun as soon as yesterday.

“When you get your homeowners insurance, there is a notice attached to it explaining that you should ensure that your home’s value is correct. It goes through the whole explanation of what happens when your home’s value is not correct,” Mr. Ingraham said.

“But people are always reluctant to, for whatever reason, it might be economic, but even people who can seemingly afford it seem reluctant to increase their sums insured.

“Even after a storm, so you had Matthew in 2016, a number of people were identified for being under insured for their properties, but they haven’t really done anything to increase their sums insured.”

For those who lost loved ones, even those who may not have had the body of their loved one recovered, Glen Ritchie, president of Family Guardian, explained that  some requirements, a normal part of the course of a death claim, will be revised.

“Let’s say they wait the seven year period and so forth, these are the ones where we ask our clients to come to the office, contact the broker so that at least we can then work it through and process your claims,” Mr. Ritchie said.

“We are cognizant of the fact that some of the papers and some of their identification documents would be lost, those are the avenues when we work with the reinsurers, we waive those and we find some other means to satisfy ourselves,  satisfy the reinsurers that these are legitimate claims.” 

Written by Jones Bahamas

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