Insurer defends sector as PM cites slow Dorian claims process

BAF Financial and Insurance is defending the insurance industry following comments last month by Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis, that insurance companies had not yet completed assessing and compensating individuals following the passage of Hurricane Dorian, meaning the government could not move forward with moving buildings and debris on private property as part of reconstruction efforts on Abaco.

BAF Chief Operations Officer Sandy Morley said as an industry, every effort is being made to fast-track the claims adjudication process as quickly as possible.

“I saw the prime minister’s comments and I think the point was that the claims process was in some instances slowing down the cleanup process. Of course, there are service partners in the insurance industry, particularly on the property side; there are reinsurers and there are adjusters that are integral in the claims adjudication process,” he said.

“I think that as an industry, every effort is being made to fast-track the process as much as possible. Notwithstanding our efforts, these things sometimes take time. I think it is something that the industry as a whole is focused on and we are doing everything that we can to assist in speeding up the recovery and cleanup effort in Abaco.”

As for BAF, its Chief Financial Officer Julian Rolle said the company didn’t have significant claims because it is primarily a health and life insurer on the impacted islands.

“I think it should be noted that BAF and other life insurers have continued our presence on Abaco and all of the affected areas even at this time of rebuilding. We continue to have an agent presence there and even though our building was severely impacted, we are moving back into Abaco hopefully by the end of this month and re-establishing our operations. We believe we are doing all we can as a company and industry to help in the rebuilding effort,” Rolle said.

Morley said at the moment, BAF is more focused on assisting its clients that were impacted by the storm to maintain their insurance policies.

“Like all of the other companies in the industry, I think we are all reassessing our operations and service delivery and also the risk aspect of our business as a result of Dorian. The property and casualty insurers, of course, would have taken the brunt of that. As a life insurer, for us the impact is more on the lives of our clients in the most distressed areas. Our concern now is the ability for them to continue their policies,” he said.

“As a company, we continue to sort ways to continue to allow them to maintain their policies and to assist them through this challenging time. But as an industry as a whole, we are looking at ways to help the country at large during a time like this. I think the biggest challenge is that of underinsurance and we are now seeing it come to light more than ever now as we see the impact of Dorian.”

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Paige McCartney

Paige joined The Nassau Guardian in 2010 as a television news reporter and anchor. She has covered countless political and social events that have impacted the lives of Bahamians and changed the trajectory of The Bahamas. Paige started working as a business reporter in August 2016. Education: Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2006 with a BA in Radio and Television News

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