With the advent of another hurricane season and a slow recovery from two of the worst back-to-back category 5 hurricanes in 2017, one local insurer is sounding an early warning of preparedness to residents of the BVI once again.
Managing Director of NAGICO Insurances, Shan Mohamed, sounded the warning while insisting that insurance is a necessary cost in business and life.
He explained in a recent interview on ZBVI that following the hurricanes of 2017, it was discovered that there is a great need for education on the topic of what coverage persons get when they purchase an insurance policy.
Mohamed said he also learnt that persons were under the impression that everything, including outdoor fixtures – a typical exclusion under hurricane policy – was covered under their insurance.
He further reminded persons that they needed to insure items for their full value, consider the implications of under-insurance and, also be mindful of the importance of renewing their insurance policies.
“Insurance is an important part of our lives – it’s a cost – a necessary cost. Don’t see insurance as a luxury, don’t think that the choice of buying insurance is an option, it’s not an option – especially for businesses,” Mohammed said.
He also urged persons to take the time read their policies and understand what is covered.
“Nobody is going to come to our rescue if we don’t have an insurance policy,” Mohamed said while reminding persons of the financial constraints faced by governments around the world amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Readiness and togetherness emphasised
Governor John Rankin in his hurricane season message encouraged the people of the BVI to ‘Work Together to Be Ready and Stay Ready’ for storms and other hazards.
“As Governor,” he said, “my primary concern is to maintain the safety and security of our territory, and this remains especially true during the Atlantic Hurricane Season. Preparedness efforts have been underway for some time among the members of the National Security Council. In addition to updating their emergency operations plans and ensuring that the Territory’s security assets remain safeguarded; the Territory’s police and fire officers in particular are standing by to respond rapidly if needed.”
He added that plans must be made for the possibility of a disaster that we could not face on our own.
“Like other Caribbean territories, the Virgin Islands stand to benefit from the support of the United Kingdom in the form of two naval support ships this hurricane season. One is in Caribbean waters year-round, and the other is here for the hurricane season. Both ships stand ready to provide humanitarian aid and disaster relief should we see a major impact such as a hurricane, earthquake or flood.”
Meanwhile, Deputy Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley, in his hurricane season message echoed a similar sentiment of readiness and togetherness in preparation for the hurricane season and said it is important that persons do what they can to be a strong support to their family and community.
“Review and update your emergency plans and emergency supply kits as necessary; take steps to protect your property by ensuring that you have adequate structural protection and that there are no unnecessary hazards around your home or business,” he advised.
Dr Wheatley further suggested that those who are able should reach out to the vulnerable members of their extended family or village to see what assistance may be needed.
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