The NDP government-sanctioned Insurance Tribunal has said the territory’s insurance laws need to be improved to offer greater protection to insured residents.
The tribunal made that assessment on Thursday; an entire year of conducting mediations between insurance companies and aggrieved insured residents.
“The insurance laws must be updated to cover a wider range of insurance issues. That is it in a nutshell. And when that is done, you can balance the insurance laws against the insurance policies which will give flexibility for the insurer and also the insurance company,” said tribunal member and retired banking and compliance officer, Icis Malone.
55 complaints mediated
The Dr D Orlando Smith-led administration implemented the tribunal after the September 2017 hurricanes to investigate reports of unfairness by local insurers, and to enable amicable settlements between those insurers and their insured clients. As at December 31 last year, the tribuanal mediated some 55 insurance complaints and more are still pouring in.
Forty-one of those complaints have been successfully mediated, six were dismissed/withdrawn, one was incomplete, six are pending, and one has been refered to arbitration.
Those claims ranged between $2,546 and $2.57 million.
Majority extremely please after mediation
Chairman of the tribunal, Jack Husbands, told members of the media that majority of the once-aggrieved insured residents were highly pleased with the mediation.
“People don’t get everything they want but we think that people have been generally happy. People have come back to commend us, some insured people whose claims we’ve settled have come back to thank us. I think we’ve received letters in some cases [and] we’ve even received flowers as well.”
The insurance companies involved in these disputes include Colonial Insurance which had two complaints against them, the Insurance Compnay of the West Indies which had one complaint, NAGICO which had the single largest number of complaints — 41, and Caribbean Insures Limited which had a total of 11 complaints against them.
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