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Many not insured – Penn calls for more options

Head of the Recovery Task Force Broderick Penn during a meeting with insurers. Photo Credit: DDM

The government’s Recovery Task Force established after widespread flooding this month has found it necessary to call for a micro-insurance scheme that targets low-income residents and small businesses.

It also proposed the option of including content coverage in relation to home and property insurance.

Head of the Task Force Broderick Penn made the proposals when he met with representatives of eight insurance entities at the Department of Disaster Management (DDM) last Thursday, August 24.

“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,” Penn continued.

“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.”

Penn, in the meantime, said the discussions provided an opportunity to better understand the process insurance companies and agents use in determining the types of coverage that are applicable.

He said the types of coverage are important in relation to the flood that happened recently, considering that the said flood was not classified as a catastrophic event that normally determines the amount of deductible to be applied.

“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,” added Penn.

“Data sharing is important to eliminate duplication in the claims process. 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,” said Penn, who also is Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Office.

The Government Information Service, in the meantime, said discussions with insurance providers will continue as the recent 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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