Bahamas First General Insurance Company recently facilitated its 2nd annual Hurricane Prep 101, a free public education event. The event took place at The University of The Bahamas and featured an information session and trade show. Event partners included the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and some if its national disaster consultative committee, Bahamas Power and Light Company and The Department of Social Services. The Bahamas Red Cross, Bahamian Contractors Association, We Buy, U Sell Group, and NUA Insurance Agents and Brokers also provided attendees with information and resources to effectively prepare for the hurricane season. The Hurricane Prep 101 Information Session was broadcast live on Guardian Radio and Star FM and streamed on Facebook. It was an interactive session with viewers and listeners posing questions to the panel of subject matter experts comprised of Captain Stephen M. Russell, Director, NEMA; Jerome Knowles, Managing Director, Confidence Insurance Bahamas Agency Limited; Patrick Ward, President, Bahamas First General Insurance Company; Leonard Sands, Former President, Bahamian Contractors Association; Caroline Turnquest, Director General, Bahamas Red Cross.
The importance of early preparation and following the advice of the authorities in the event of a hurricane threat was reinforced during the session. The knowledgeable panel shared valuable information and advice on how to maintain one’s home and property to prepare for the possibility of and recover from a storm. Stressing the importance of regular building maintenance, the panel encouraged property owners to conduct regular assessments, carry out repairs where needed and plan for more extensive projects, especially window and roof repairs. The insurance executives also spoke to underinsurance, encouraging persons to confirm that they are adequately insured, that is, for the actual replacement cost of their homes, especially considering the effects of the increase in VAT. This will best be positioned one to fully recover in the event of a loss. There was also advice provided for renters, who were encouraged to ensure their contents and consider coverage for alternate accommodation. Reflecting on lessons learned past hurricanes, president and CEO for the leading general insurer, Patrick Ward noted, “We want to do our part to ensure that our clients are in the best state possible to protect their families and homes and minimize their risk in the event of a hurricane. This forum brought together subject matter experts to create an opportunity for persons to get solutions to not only insurance issues but also advice on home maintenance, disaster relief, and social services. Following the success of last year’s Hurricane Prep 101, we thought it important to expand this event to ensure that our clients and the public have access to information, are well-informed, have adequate coverage and are best positioned to recover and move on with their lives in the unfortunate event of a loss.”
More images from the event below: