Local insurance companies are reliant on the international market for reinsurance. With the huge amount that will be needed to satisfy claims associated with Hurricane Ian and other natural disasters abroad, Grand Bahama insurance providers and professionals are foreshadowing a rate increase in property coverage.
Vice President of Freeport Insurance Agents and Brokers, Donald Ward told ZNS News, “we as brokers, we sell a product for the insurer, who then reinsures with the reinsurers which are all abroad in this case. Everybody needs to make money, beginning with the reinsurers. When they, you might say, buy or underwrite our product or they support our product by letting us buy support from them, they need to make money. So when there is more being paid out than is being taken in, the chances are there will be an increase in the rates to the normal consumer.”
Mr. Ward went on to explain the minimal rate increase which occurred after Hurricane Dorian stating, “the reason for that was that insurers throughout The Bahamas, especially Bahamas First, prepared prior to Dorian for that eventuality. Now they are only, they are subject to someone else.”
The importance of homeowner insurance was stressed by President of the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce, James Carey who said, “homeowners insurance presently is not inexpensive, by any means, but its like with everything else, its financial planning.” For his part, Mr. Ward says, “clients must look at protecting themselves to the point where they can restore their property if something happens, especially something as devastating as Dorian and Ian.”
Carey says Grand Bahama residents should not to be alarmed because of the competition insurance industry, anyone charging excessively will be left out.