Tomas damage triggers insurance payouts

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday November 1, 2010 – Preliminary calculations by the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) show that the three islands severely impacted by Hurricane Tomas will get between US$1.1 million and US$8.5 million in payouts, with Barbados getting the largest sum based on estimated losses relative to GDP.

Although the assessments in Barbados, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines have not yet been completed, the CCRIF said information so far has resulted in calculations of US$8.5 million for Barbados, US$3.2 million for St Lucia and US$1.1 million for St Vincent and the Grenadines.

It said that Barbados was hardest hit.

“Barbados endured the biggest actual loss (as it is a significantly bigger economy than the other two) as well as the biggest loss relative to GDP (just over 1.5%), the latter due largely to the fact that near-hurricane force winds affected the entire island and due also to high coastal exposure,” a CCRIF statement said. 

“Both St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines endured modelled losses of around half of one percent of GDP.”

The CCRIF noted that while all areas of Barbados have been significantly impacted, severe impacts have been limited to the southern parts of St Lucia and the northern parts of St Vincent.

If estimates by St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves are accurate, the US$1.1 million CCRIG pays out to that country will be a drop in the bucket. Gonsalves has already indicated that it would close about EC$9 million (US$3.3 million) just to repair the approximately 300 houses that were seriously damaged. 

Under the terms of CCRIF policies, a final loss and payout calculation will be undertaken on November 13th, with the data from the Miami-based National Hurricane Centre available used as input to the loss model. 

Payouts will be made as soon thereafter as possible, the statement said.

The CCRIF is a risk pooling facility, owned, operated and registered in the Caribbean for Caribbean governments. It is designed to limit the financial impact of catastrophic hurricanes and earthquakes to Caribbean governments by quickly providing short term liquidity when a policy is triggered.

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