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COMMENTARY: National Property Insurance can rescue BVI from insurers

Alred Frett

By Alred Frett, Contributor

A brand-new year but the old wounds linger. With no New Year fireworks in the Road Harbour, our national hero, Noel Lloyd, lying broken and prostrate in a desolate and powerless park and so many signs that our people still need all the help they can get, it is a glimmer of positivity to be told that some of the easements we said would aid in the recovery of our territory have finally been granted.

If true, this is a good step in the right direction and the efforts of Government would be appreciated. At the same time, with hurricane season merely six months away we should not lose sight of harsh realities we are still experiencing and although the Righteous claim these Hurricanes were sent by God to whip, warn and change us from bad to good, this is proving less and less likely with each passing day.

Hurricanes are really high winds and rain and as mother said: ‘If wind don’t blow you won’t see fowl petticoat which should always be clean in case of emergency’. Please ask them not to invite more storms for instead of kindness, help and compassion we see a heightened degree of evil, greed and even stupidity that fails to reason that we are all in this together and your failure becomes my failure.

Pretending to Help but abusing the Helpless

These winds exposed a magnitude of wickedness that pervades race, nationality, creed and gender – black and white, local and foreign, Christian and Jew, de-devil and she-devil, everyone and anyone, some were always bad and some who changed seem anxious to harm rather than help – contractors grab more jobs than they can handle; effectively tying up your progress of recovery and jacking up the cost.

The uninsured cower in despair as they see no way forward and persons surviving from paycheque to paycheque are buried in dismay as jobs are lost. After four months, many of those insured still have not received their insurance monies and are forced to endure repetitious excuses of delays and the frustration of being cheated out of funds they feel entitled to base on the premiums they paid.

At the same time, counterclaims are that some have received their Insurance monies but pretend not to so they can use this to indulge in personal gratification or embark on different projects rather for than the intended use. Meanwhile, tenants are victimized when landlords become social vampires and use this tragedy to overcharge, abuse and terrorize tenants they feel have nowhere else to go.

Just like in slavery, the rich and powerful are bent on conditioning us into accepting excuses for abuses and they hope we will never reason that every problem has its solution and oppression only succeeds when we fail to realize we deserve better… I am no different from you except that I refuse to subscribe to a hopeless and helpless mentality and totally believe our direction must be forward and not backward.

Why Fight when we can Rescue?

These storms have created a new and crucial beginning where no living person ever saw the BVI in greater need of solutions as our People lose hope and even die from the effects. Lack of leadership has been exposed and faith in insurance companies destroyed so, rather than penalize a suffering people, government should be ensuring that insurance carriers and landlords meet their obligations.

We know this is possible because greed is self-made and while it is no secret that I conceptualized NHI and they altered it, we have still seen it survive in this time of need. Subsequently, I am again proposing another solution that can help BVI property holders with a quick, practical, affordable and reliable Insurance system that can provide rapid response disaster coverage for all our structures.

This ‘BVI National Property Insurance’ (NPI) can be financed by reasonably adjusting existing property taxes to a prepaid status and structured level capable of providing insurance coverage for all our buildings. As a high-volume purchaser, government will have leverage and access to International re-insurers thereby securing affordable comprehensive Insurance for BVI homes and businesses.

Yes, we are still traumatized but such disasters are few and far between so in addition to providing coverage for a speedy recovery in the event of catastrophes, proper management can develop this System into a reliable source of local funds to be borrowed against for socially beneficial projects.

All required is for our leaders to stop fighting long enough to see the solution in this BVI-NPI vision.

Copyright 2018 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

12 Comments

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  1. Hmmm says:

    Sir you are one who is benefiting from The NHI that’s draining the country so I am not shocked that you will come on here speaking about a national Property Insurance.

    The NHI is either going to fail or they will turn it over to a major insurance company like they did with united insurance for overseas guest.

    The BVI cannot afford NHI nor can they afford NPI. We have people who are not been flown overseas to proper facilities because NHI cannot afford it allegedly.

    Stop hiding behind the curtain yes we do need to fight why let them take our money and ride off into the sunset laughing why our people go down financially.

    Instead of uniting to bring legislation to fight these evil organizations including banks the politicians are bickering and fighting each other.




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  2. Oh says:

    Who will underwrite it? These people need to understabd things before they speak and mislead people.




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    • Albion says:

      It is an intriguing idea, although the problems are formidable.

      Property insurance is very expensive: as a rough rule of thumb, post Irma you can expect to pay about $700-800 a year for each $100,000 your house is worth. People already wail about paying property tax – can you imagine the angst if people had to pay 100 times that as a mandatory levy for National Property Insurance?

      Then there is the other side of the coin – Government would either have entirely reinsure the risk, or maintain substantial reserves for an Irma type event.

      Lastly there is there is the claims process. The insurance companies on Tortola were overwhelmed dealing with claims. Government was overwhelmed dealing with everything. Pushing everything onto Government sounds like a recipe for a very, very slow claims handling process.

      Then of course you have the political side of it. Suppose people have not paid their NPI premiums and then try to claim. Is Government going to have the guts to say ‘no’ to voters. Will Government have the guts to say ‘no’ to contractors who submit inflated estimates? I doubt it.

      Relying on private companies and free market forces is not always the best route. But in terms of hurricane insurance, I think what we have now is still probably better than a central state controlled insurer.




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      • Thank You says:

        Thank you for speaking something with sense.




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      • Reply says:

        “I think what we have now is still probably better than a central state controlled insurer.”

        Agreed.

        Government run anything imo is a recipe for disaster with unnecessary bureaucratic red tape that no one needs. Furthermore, the government has proven to be inefficient at most things they touch.

        I think the governments’ role should just be limited to regulating the industry, and letting the private sector take care of such matters.

        I would add that it’s clear a formal arbitration process is needed to deal with disputes based on the many complaints against the insurance companies post Irma.




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  3. Janice says:

    From the frying pan to the fire.




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  4. Insurance says:

    This guy needs to get a life. Seriously??? Another tax on the workers, jeez man! He does not understand how insurance works at all. Even NHI having its issues and soon Gov’t will not be able to pay premiums for the Government workers and retirees, wait and see.




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    • Reply says:

      Can you not present your counter argument against what Mr. Frett is proposing without attempting to dismiss him? Thats unbecoming and takes away from your post.

      If you believe that Mr. Frett does not understand how insurance work, you just missed completely an opportunity to demonstrate how brilliant you are and your superior knowledge of the workings of the insurance industry.

      May I kindly suggest to you for your consideration going forward that if you disagree with someone on a point thats its best to do so point by point as oppose to being dismissive or name calling as is so frequently done by others on this forum.

      When you approach an argument that way, no one takes you seriously and judge you accordingly. Just a thought for consideration, and yes, I do have a life, a wonderful one I might add, just in case you wish me to get a life too. I just save you the effort of writing it.

      Mr. Frett is entitled to his opinion as you are, but your response could do without the dismissive tone. This is a serious matter. Lets discuss it civilly.




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  5. The real Boo says:

    ^^Comic relief this morning. Will eat popcorn and read these blogs




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  6. Watcher says:

    Almost nothing run by governments works efficiently or even at all. Look at BVI utilities and the Government departments. The last thing we want is more government control.




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  7. E. Leonard says:

    Basically, Insurance is the pooling of resources to cover losses from covered perils, ie, fire, wind, earthquakes, storm surges……..etc. The loss of a few is covered by the many in a group; the larger the group the less the cost covered by each member/insured. The VI has a small population (30,000) so the premiums will trend higher than in locales with larger populations and larger insureds.

    However, dispersing the risks over a larger geographical area typically reduces the premiums paid by insureds in a group. Perhaps, other regional countries——-Leeward and Windward Islands——should be approached about pooling insurance resources with the BVI to create a larger pool to lower overall premiums for all insureds in the group. The NPI?

    Alred’s NPI proposal should be evaluated. From my quick analysis, property taxes will have to be adjusted, government will have to underwrite the risks, and government will have to indemnify insureds for losses. Will the property tax adjustments be high enough to cover losses, especially catastrophic losses? Will government be in the property insurance business? Government provides social insurance,i.e., social security, NHI…..etc. Thus, so can taxpayers afford to be in the property insurance business? Will government be in competition with the private sector?

    Moreover, until Alred’s proposal and other options are explored, government must put policies in place to ensure insurance claims are processed promptly and fairly. Insureds should be made whole as quickly as possible on claims.




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