The Bahamas Insurance Association (BIA) Chairman, Emmanual Komolafe, has called for expansion of a national risk management framework after he said the Hurricane Matthew aftermath saw a $250-$300 million foreign currency inflow associated with reinsurance – making up nearly three-quarters of the Bahamas’ total $409 million post-event claims to date.
“There are many lessons to be learned from Hurricane Matthew,” Komolafe told the Tribune Business, adding that improved post-disaster response would “enhance the resilience of the Bahamas to natural disasters.”
He said; “The recent hurricanes – Joaquin and Matthew – highlighted vulnerabilities that we have been aware of as a nation, and showed how the country’s fiscal condition, economic development plans and macroeconomic indicators could be negatively impacted by natural disasters.”
Latest BIA statistics show property claims accounted for $401 million or 98.1 %; motor $4.2 million or 1%; and marine $2.4 million or 0.6% of total post Hurricane disaster claims.
The BIA chairman said one of the few, positives flowing from Hurricane Matthew were the $250-$300 million foreign currency inflows associated with reinsurance monies coming into the Bahamas to help payout insurance claims.
According to the Business Tribune, Komolafe said these reinsurance inflows would not only boost reconstruction efforts but also improve the Bahamas’ external currency reserves.
“The importance of the insurance industry as a risk transfer mechanism is apparent based on the fact that the speed and value of insurance payments have been instrumental in the recovery process,” Komolafe told the Business Tribune.
More than $267 million out of the $401 million total gross insurance claims have been submitted by businesses and residents in the Grand Bahama; “From a review of returns made to the BIA to date, Grand Bahama accounted for 65 per cent of the total claims incurred, while New Providence accounted for 31 per cent of the total,” said Komolafe.
Over 99% of these Grand Bahama claims were for property insurance, with the remaining claims divided between $1 million for motor vehicles, $674,000 in marine insurance claims; and $533,000 in engineering-related claims.