BVI News

Hire consultants to fight unfair insurers, banks – Fahie

Leader of Opposition Andrew Fahie

As more residents continue to complain about being cheated by insurance companies and banks, Opposition Leader Andrew Fahie is calling on Government to hire consultants to lobby on behalf of persons.

Fahie called for government to hire an insurance adjuster and a financial consultant to tackle unfair insurance companies and banks.

He said residents would be able to submit complaints to these consultants.

As an example, Fahie explained that if an insurance policyholder was given considerably less money than is required to repair or replace his/her property, the government’s insurance adjuster would try to win more funds for that person.

“The government [also] has to pass some laws and policy to make sure that when the government pays that money to the adjuster on behalf of the people, the insurance company who is at fault will also have to repay the government. And that will help them to move more honestly from the onset,” Fahie said.

He added that a similar system would apply for the government-sanctioned financial consultant.

“If our people do not get the representation that they need to help them and the moratorium that the banks are giving is over; February and March is when we’re really going to see the problems in this territory because the Government did not intervene with true leadership to help them beforehand,” said Fahie, adding that the Financial Services Commission has limited powers to protect residents from the reported tyranny of these institutions.

“We have not seen nothing as yet with this problem like what we going to see come February or March into April, and this is something that concerns me [because it can] add to the number of unemployment that we already have in this territory.”

The Opposition Leader said he has already held talks with Premier and Minister of Finance Dr D Orlando Smith about the idea.

“If it was the financial services – and no offence to it because we need it, we like it, and it has done well for us – but if there was a situation with it, the laws would have already been passed to remedy it… [But] Every time something comes that is a problem for the people whether the consumer protection, whether it’s dealing with the insurance companies or dealing with the banks, we can get no justice by this government to deal with things that’s affecting the people on the ground.”

Resident wants blood

Since the hurricanes, persons have complained about being taken advantage of by banks and insurances companies.

The latest complaints came during a community meeting in the First Electoral District yesterday. One homeowner said he has been paying his mortgage and home insurance through a local bank for years.

He said when he went to claim the insurance on his hurricane-damaged home, he was told that the bank had not been making his insurance payments so he did not qualify for coverage.

Another resident said his motor vehicle was damaged during the hurricane, but the insurance company has been giving him the run-around.

The fed-up motor vehicle owner said he visited the insurance company more than 10 times and is now threating violence.

“I am going through hell to deal with it. So on Friday, God spare life, he (the insurance provider) told me to come in and I get the money – about $7,800. I told him if I come there and they ain’t there, I don’t want it again. I want blood. And I am serious. I’m really serious. I seeing too many people who these insurance push around and I’m not one of them… I’ve had enough,” the motor vehicle owner said during yesterday’s meeting.

“Somebody got to set an example” he added.

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