BVI News

Audit them! Fahie promises to probe post-hurricane insurance ‘scams’

The so-called questionable insurance payouts local insurers gave to property owners after the September 2017 hurricanes are to be assessed if the Virgin Islands Party (VIP) becomes the next government, party chairman Andrew Fahie has said.

While speaking at a VIP political event in Capoons Bay on Saturday, Fahie said: “We will provide the avenue to audit all insurance settlements relating to the devastation caused by Irma and Maria; paying particular attention to the scam word ‘underinsured’.”

Underinsurance is a term used when a person is said to have inadequate insurance. Insurance providers are accused of using the term as a ploy to give small-percentage payouts to their clients whose properties were damaged or destroyed during the disasters.

Fahie said he will ensure such reported practices are not repeated once his party is made to become government.

“If a next disaster hits, insurance companies will pay people their money,” he said.

As for outstanding claims leveraged against the territory over the years, Fahie said: “[A VIP administration] will bring amicable settlement to the millions of dollars of claims against the government. Government must learn to act responsibly.”

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  1. Biggee says:

    Thank you Hon Fahie.

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    • Anonymous says:

      And N——- the main advertiser of BVINews is the worst offender. Let’s see if this news service posts this comment or will censor this post as it has done in anything that criticizes their bread and butter advertiser.

  2. Penelope Pitstop says:

    Buyers beware! Some will say anything to get elected. Demagogue much?

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    • Blah says:

      You sure are right. I can let you see the 2 manifestos from 2011 and 2015 where over 80% of NDP’s agenda was ignored and never completed.

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    • Not2Sure says:

      The more he uses the word, the more I wonder if Hon Fahie really understands what the word “audit” means. I think he means to say “investigate”, which is something quite different.

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      • Huh? says:

        Even if it’s is audit or investigate, can the government mandate a statutory body to do something or will Fahie take over FSC?

  3. Farmer Brown says:

    Having been a farmer who raises cattle, I recognize what Honorable Fahie is saying. Yes sir, I see that everyday in the pasture where the bull is kept. Bull weighs 750 lbs. The Minister out produces by a factor of 4-1.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    This and other critical “survival” legislation should be on every candidate and every party manifesto.

    More clearly, items such as these should be standard in our political laws, and therefore could not be selective items used as promise tools to get elected. They should be on the books as tools of governance.

    Insurance companies making millions, but refusing to pay, or pay very little. No one says they can’t make a profit. We are saying, be fair!! And they never are!

    Businesses making millions and continue to raise their prices weekly for services and goods are ongoing problems. One loaf of bread is now on average $5.50, for example. A mother and child can not survive on less than $450.00 a week. Those are misery figures.

    Citizens working for decades without ever seeing a cost of living increase, while businesses are reaping surpluses from their labour. That is Godly wrong!

    The people and country are continuously being robbed. Mechanisms such as these should have been in place to avert exploitation of the people long ago, and the VIP, since 1960, should have been at the forefront of such legislation long, long age given its longevity as a ruling party over so many years.

    Indeed, it is the VIP who is largely responsible for the economic divide in our country today. It the VIP who has created the top rich percent and the bottom poor percent.

    No statistics to share at the moment. For the entire political history of the VIP, not one business was made to give their employees a pay raise.

    And so, for almost sixty years, BVI workers were making an exploitative $2.00 and hour wage.

    That misery index continue today at $4-6/hour.

    Therefore, the BVI and its people need honest politicians who are serious about bringing serious economic change to their lives.

    Sadly, none at present appear of of such ideals and motivation.

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  5. vip heckler says:

    Why he didn’t do it while he was the leader of the opposition?

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    • @vip heckler says:

      What nonsense. The Government through the Ministries is the one with the funds & responsibility to do these things so what folly you are here talking about.

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  6. sam the man says:

    We are well into silly season when ministers desperate to get themselves or their party elected will say/promise anything! Sure insurers have a legal responsibility to honour their policies with their customers but many I know don’t even insure never mind adequately insure just to save a few bucks then moan/complain afterwards – this isn’t something the government should be interfering with. N****o for example has paid out many millions of dollars and this would be seen as an insult to them….

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    • @Sam the Man says:

      N****o They also saved themselves quite a bit from not settling adequately. Ask the Tribunal how many cases were brought against them or how many cases they settled because they did not want to be taken to court.

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      • Facts says:

        And how exactly is Fahie going to change that? Either the insurance companies are doing something legal or they are not. Same with the Claimants. Is he really going to say to an insurance company they must give X more money or say to a claimant they must give money back? He would become an arbitrary adjuster. If he does that nobody will be able to insure anything. This kind of dog whistle politics makes people feel good but really it’s not possible to enact without leaving the people worse off.
        A 14 year old could see this is a non-starter.

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  7. LOL says:

    Pure pandering and nonsense. Audit what? Based on what? The FSC has an Insurance Division through which all of this should be handled. Fahie is just blowing hot air as usual.

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  8. Devon says:

    The fact is a lot (not all) were under insured to save themselves monies on the premiums… then expect full payout from insurance companies and then bawling their eyes out about it… Even the Premier was under insured ! But I believe he got a full payout, who’d have thought.

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    • Fair is Fair says:

      @Devon, While that assumption might have some merit, here is how it happened. Lets say you own a building that cost $450,000. You have been faithfully paying down your mortgage over the past 15 years until its down to $200,000. You sit with your insurer discussing your property insurance; and since you balance at the bank is now at $200,000, you insure to cover what you owe to the bank. Meanwhile, your Deductible would be something like 2% of sum insured; which in this case would be $4,000. During the massive hurricane, your damages amounts to $300,000. You are now responsible for the $4,000 + the extra $100,000 worth of damage. The insurer is not obliged to pay you more than $196,000 since you would have been under insured. The problem arises when you insurer does not relay that information to you; letting you walk away feeling you are well covered.

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  9. Financial Services Commission says:

    Surely complaints should be taken to the BVI FSC Insurance Division – or whats the point of having a regulator?

  10. To me says:

    Fahie is on the right track.

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  11. A Must says:

    Hon. Fahie this promise is an absolute MUST. I know this is election season and you will say things that you would like to get done, but this one must be addressed.

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    • Youth says:

      Addressing a problem is not the same as solving it. Everyone knows that both Insurers and Claimants tried to get away with things. It’s not up to the Government to decide who is right. It is up to the Courts.

  12. Upset says:

    N…..O doubled my insurance premium post Irma. What angers me is I didn’t receive any damage to my property, hence did not make any claims. Tell me, was it right for N…..O to do this? How in the world could this be fair? How could any government allow this to happen?

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  13. Justice says:

    And what about the triple premium now being paid! No claims for donkey years, as the old people would say and now we getting nailed to the cross. Seems like they want to make back all their money in a year and that is NOT RIGHT for the consumer. We did not tell a category 5 hurricane to almost destroy our country, why must we now suffer at the hands of insurance companies?

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    • Reality says:

      @justice – Insurance firms are businesses and cover home owners risks for them. If you don’t like the premiums needed for them to run a viable business then don’t pay them rather than bleat on about it! Be thankful someone ready to cover your loss – Irma cost the insurance industry dearly and of course they need to raise premiums – lucky they haven’t risen more but they will do if more and more people aren’t responsibly insuring their assets responsibly!

  14. BuzzBvi says:

    A good start would be to stop the insurance advertising on this site. T—- companies have held up the recovery with their practices. Investigation necessary. Fast, fair and ha ha ha ha ha.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    The greedy heartless sons of a b*****s going to hell with big belly full of worms and them eyes staring wide open.

    • Banjo Banga says:

      That doesn’t sound very pleasant. Are you referring to anyone in particular or just venting? What are the missing letters from “b*****s”? I’ve tried all the swear words I can think of but none of them fit. It’s bugging me- like not being able to do Sudoku.
      It’s tricky because it’s obviously not a plural because you have an “a” before it yet it ends in an “S”.
      Help me out, dude!

  16. E. Leonard says:

    Most property owners cannot afford to be self-insured so property and other insurance provide a vehicle to protect their assets, protect against liability……..etc. In regards to property insurance, the consumer/insured typically has two primary choices, ie, a)replacement cost or b)under-insurance. Under-insurance? Generally, in property insurance, if an insured insures his/her property for at least 80% of replacement cost, a partial lost up to the policy limit will be covered at a 100%.

    For example, if the replacement cost of a house is $500K, and the owner insures it for $400K, which is 80% of replacement cost, and suffers $450K structural damage lost from a hurricane, only $400K will be covered. Further, if the house owner had insured the house for less than $400K, the $450K incurred damages/loss would have reimbursed at less than $400K. Additionally, if the insured had incurred a $300K lost, the insured would be reimbursed the full $300K (100% of partial lost). Insurance companies should be explaining to insureds the particulars of the policies they are buying and if no they should.

    Furthermore, government must put policies in place and enforced them to protect the public. Government should be auditing insurance companies to insure they are following the insurance regulations and agreements with insured. If they are not, steps should be taken to make the insureds whole.

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