CCRIF drops premiums for Caribbean countries by 25%
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Thursday June 21, 2012 - All 16 member governments of the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) have earned themselves a 25% premium rebate off their hurricane and earthquake insurance for 2012-2013.
This is according to the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s regional office for the Americas (UNISDR - The America).
The 16 countries and territories, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Turks & Caicos Islands, have reportedly re-committed for the sixth year in a row to renew their insurance.
In exchange, CCRIF provided its member countries with a premium rebate - 25% of the premium paid in the previous year for the 2012-2013 year, which began on 1 June, and it encouraged the governments to use these savings to either purchase additional coverage, or implement programmes to improve disaster resilience as well as climate change adaptation.
Since 2007, CCRIF has made eight payouts -- on three earthquake and five hurricane policies - totalling US$32,179,470 to seven member governments. These funds have been used to capitalize special recovery funds, restore services and clear affected areas as well as to generally "keep the wheels of government turning" following a disaster.
According to the UNISDR's 2011 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction, while the mortality risk from cyclones has decreased globally, in 2010, that risk was still higher in Latin America, the Caribbean and South Asia than 1990 levels.
The GAR further finds that the proportion of the world's GDP exposed to tropical cyclones increased by 3.6% in the 1970s to 4.3% in the first decade of the 2000s. During that time, the absolute value of the global GDP exposed to tropical cyclones tripled, from US$525.7 billion to US$1.6 trillion.
GDP exposure also increased rapidly in East Asia and the Pacific, as well as in Latin America and the Caribbean from 2000-2009. The UN report warns that the risk of losing wealth in disasters associated with tropical cyclones is increasing faster than wealth itself is increasing.
Three CCRIF members have local governments which have joined the UNISDR's World Disaster Reduction Campaign - Making Cities Resilient: My City is Getting Ready. Caribbean districts participating in this programme are Portmore in Jamaica, Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago, and Bridgetown and Christ Church in Barbados.
As of today, 1,047 cities around the globe have signed up to it. The Campaign advocates among other things, widespread commitment by local governments to build resilience to disasters.
The 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season officially started on June 1, but Tropical Storms Alberto and Beryl marked the first time in over a century that two named tropical depressions have materialized before the official start.
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasts that the 2012 season will have reduced activity compared with the 1981-2010 average. Its Climate Prediction Center estimates that 2012 will have nine to 15 named storms. One to three will become major hurricanes with peak winds of 111 mph (178.6kmh).