The Association of TT Insurance Companies (ATTIC) is calling on people to ensure their properties have adequate insurance coverage in light of an extremely active Hurricane Season and the potential that the frequency of monster storms can become the norm in the Caribbean.
ATTIC in a press release stated that the current hurricane season has been the third most active on record with more than eight weeks still to go before the official end of the season.
Projected insured losses within the Caribbean for the season thus far are estimated, on the lower range, to be in excess of US$50 billion.
Losses of that magnitude are expected to wipe-out more than 15 to 20 years of profits of reinsurers and insurers, who do business within affected islands.
There is also an expectation that for some regional insurers the losses will result in a capital event.
Based on initial regional feedback a high percent of policyholders’ property and valuable assets in islands devastated by hurricanes were “underinsured” and therefore will be subjected to “average”, ATTIC noted.
Policyholders are reminded that they should have a valuation of their property and assets performed regularly to ensure that sums insured are adequate.
While it may be felt that Trinidad is outside of the hurricane path, we are certainly not totally immune to the effects of those weather systems, as well as other natural disasters, ATTIC said.
In fact, the UWI Seismic Research Centre has recorded for the period January 6 to August 31, 18 earthquakes ranging from magnitude of 3.7 to 4.9 on the Richter scale, off the coasts of Trinidad and Tobago.
These events are a clarion call for citizens to ensure that they are fully covered to meet the perils associated with these calamitous events and for government to consider placing insurance as one of the key pillars of national disaster recovery management, particularly as it concerns our nation’s key infrastructure, ATTIC advised.
Reinsurers who do business within the Caribbean have been issuing advisories to the regional insurance industry to plan for much higher rates during the upcoming renewal of their reinsurance programs.
One major reinsurance provider within the market indicated within their advisory that in light of the current and more recent events that have devastated the Caribbean that insurance premiums across the region will increase and have advised that this increase could range from 20 per cent to more than 200 per cent.