Insurers across the Virgin Islands met with the government’s Recovery Task Force as claim assessments continue following the devastating flooding earlier this month.

 

Brian Jermyn, managing director of Caribbean Insurers LTD, told the Beacon that the majority of claims filed with his company were business-related.

“We had lots of commercial buildings in Road Town,” he said. “[The storm] didn’t damage the buildings themselves but the contents inside.”

Adjusters are still evaluating claims and most should be settled within a few weeks, said Mr. Jermyn, adding that the company’s clients had not yet filed any claim disputes.

In addition to private insurance, the Department of Disaster Management is able to provide limited storm relief via the National Relief and Recovery Assistance Fund, which was established to support citizens who are otherwise unable to recover rapidly from a major emergency. Residents who applied for assistance were reviewed on a case-by-case basis to qualify them for receiving essential items such as food vouchers, clothing, refrigerators and mattresses, according to government.

“It depends if the homeowners have children or an elderly person living at home,” said DDM Director Sharleen DaBreo.

Small businesses without insurance coverage were also invited to file claims, albeit for limited resources, but Ms. DaBreo said that few were filed.

“If there’s any unique circumstances, we may help,” she said.

Last Thursday representatives of eight insurance providers assembled in the DDM with members of the Recovery Task Force, led by Permanent Secretary Broderick Penn, to discuss damage coverage related to the storm.

The tropical wave was not categorised as a catastrophic event by insurers under the definitions they use in spite of the extensive damages suffered by homes and businesses in Road Town and the surrounding area, according to DDM.

The meeting was called for the purpose of clarifying the process insurers use to assess and support claims.

“Individuals need to be better informed about the different types of insurance options, as well as the incentives that are available to them for implementing disaster risk reduction measures within their homes and businesses,” Mr. Penn said.

Future discussions pertaining to the continual maintenance of infrastructure in the territory are planned, according to DDM.