Road Town, Tortola – Virgin Islands Premier, Hon Dr D. Orlando Smith, OBE today met with insurance agents and companies throughout the Virgin Islands to urge them to start the claims process for their clients, after Hurricane Irma’s Category 5 winds destroyed numerous homes and businesses in the Territory.
In his meeting, Premier Smith heard from representatives of Caribbean Insurance Limited, NAGICO Insurances, Creque’s Insurance Agency, Colonial Insurance, Mutual Insurance, Alphonso Warner Insurance Agency and the Insurance Company of the West Indies. While Caribbean Insurance Limited has already started the claims process for their clients, all other agents and companies agreed that no later than Monday, September 18 their offices and staff will be ready to serve the public.
Ruth Phillips, President of the Insurance Association of the British Virgin Islands (IABVI) said, “Collectively the insurance companies in the Virgin Islands are confident that we will be able to address claims and are working together to start the rebuild of the Virgin Islands. We commend the Premier for meeting with us and we are ready to do the work to support the rebuild of our community.”
The agents represented also shared with Premier Smith, that they have gotten confirmations from their reinsurers that they are also confident that they will be able to honour claims. Premier Smith affirmed to the agents that his Government will work with them to ensure their offices and staff will be ready to accept, and quickly work on claims. The companies agreed that the process for filing claims across the board will be:
- Completion of a claim form
- Provision of one detailed estimate from a reputable contractor inclusive of quantities and costs
- Provision of pictures
- And encouragement for property owners to do what is needed to preserve the value of their property
Understanding the level of damage caused to homes and properties, Premier Smith also spoke to insurance companies about working as best as they can with some clients that might have previously fallen on hard times. He confirmed, “I have also been able to get a commitment from the insurance companies to work within reason with persons who might have been a month or two behind on their insurance payments.”
Of the community, Premier Smith said, “I would like to encourage all property owners to work closely with their insurance agents and quickly file claims so we can restore the Virgin Islands to the pristine and scenic landscape we have all come to know and enjoy. I also ask that residents exercise some level of patience as well. Hurricane Irma has thrusted all of us into a new era in the Virgin Islands and we will need to be patient and supportive of one another as we work together to return our islands to normalcy.”
Premier Smith has also indicated that his government will be looking to provide some ease on taxes to local building and construction material suppliers on imports for the rebuilding process to support property owners as we rebuild our communities.
Sachkia Barnes, Communications Advisor,
Office of the Premier, Hurricane Irma Recovery and Response Team