Members of the Recovery Task Force met with representatives from insurance companies and agents operating in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to discuss insurance coverage related to the flood event of August 7-8, 2017.
The meeting was held on Thursday, August 24 at the Department of Disaster Management’s (DDM) conference room and attended by insurers from eight entities.
Head of the Recovery Task Force, Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office, Mr. Brodrick Penn said the discussions provided an opportunity to allow for better understanding of the process being used by insurance companies and agents in determining the types of coverage that can be applied for this particular type of flood, considering that it was not classified as a catastrophic event which normally determines the amount of deductible to be applied.
The meeting was useful in providing greater awareness of the process used by insurers in assessing and supporting claims for the flooding that occurred earlier this month.
He said, “Individuals need to be better informed about the different types of insurance options as well as the incentives that are available to them for implementing disaster risk reduction measures within their homes and businesses.”
The Head of the Recovery Task Force further stated, “Data sharing is important to eliminate duplication in the claims process.” Adding, “I was pleased that the insurance providers were eager to partner with the DDM to offer historical and current data to support the recovery process and determine the true cost of the economic impact from this flood event.”
Mr. Penn said initiatives which can potentially be implemented in the future were also discussed at the meeting. “There were discussions about the need for a micro-insurance scheme that targets low-income owners and small businesses, especially those in the agriculture and fisheries sector. We also spoke about home and property insurance and the options for including content coverage which would provide some level of compensation for persons who have experienced these types of losses,” he explained.
Mr. Penn added, “The Recovery Task Force is making a concerted effort to ensure that all partners are on board that can support individuals in reducing risks to their homes and property; which is an important aspect of the disaster management programme for the BVI.”
The discussions with the insurance providers will continue as the meeting brought out critical points for further collaboration, in particular to support public investment in infrastructure which is directly linked to the reinsurance risk for the BVI.
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