Insurance companies will work to help their clients get through their claims process with as little red tape as possible and will ensure that their payouts are fair and in line with their policies.
The Bahamas Insurance Association (BIA) held a press conference yesterday to assure clients that BIA members are committed to them in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.
The association added that credit rating agency A.M. Best has issued a review of some of the insurers in The Bahamas in the aftermath of the storm, but explained that it is routine.
“We wish to convey to our clients that there is no reason for concern,” BIA Chairman Warren Rolle said.
“This is the modus operandi for A.M Best following any major disaster, as they are required to provide objective commentary on any material development that may lead to a rating downgrade.
“In fact, even the largest insurance and reinsurance companies in the world are occasionally subject to this review status.”
Rolle said the country has robust reinsurance programs in place that are vetted by the Insurance Commission of The Bahamas to ensure that adequate protections are in place to cover the risks that local companies assume.
“We again wish to reassure our clients that the A.M. Best release in no way impedes or affects the industry’s financial wherewithal to pay claims which every effort will be made to settle fairly and expeditiously,” he said.
Managing Director of Summit Insurance Timothy Ingraham said the industry is committed to being very fair with clients during this time. He said no payments have been made as yet, but will be made very soon.
“This is no time to nickel and dime,” Ingraham said. “And I think whenever a catastrophe has passed, the vast majority of our people will tell you that our insurers have been fair with them and paid their claims within the policy terms.”
Family Guardian President Glen Ritchie, who represented the only life and health insurer, said the mass casualties caused by Dorian represent an “unprecedented event” for the company.
But he reiterated that Family Guardian is committed to making the claims process for the family members of lost loved ones as easy as possible.
“We have worked with our strategic partners, reinsurers, so we are here to deliver on the promise we have made to thousands of policyholders to be there especially during this time,” he said.
President and Chief Executive Officer of Bahamas First Holdings Ltd. Patrick Ward said the industry will effectively distribute claims payments to clients.
“Within the coming weeks there will be tens of millions of dollars coming into the country by way of reinsurers participating in the claims process,” Ward said.
“Part of our aim is to make sure that everything we can do as an industry is to ensure that those dollars reach the hands that need it, so that they can look after their personal affairs and be able to get back to some sense of normalcy as soon as possible, and that the whole country will be able to get back to some sense of normalcy as quickly as possible.”