EU gives Caribbean risk insurance facility US$17 million

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, March 30, 2009 – The European Union has given the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility’s (CCRIF) a Euro 12.5 million (US$17 million) donation, increasing the amount given to CCRIF non-members to US$65 million.

The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) appointed board member to the CCRIF and Director of Finance in St Lucia’s Ministry of Finance, Isaac Anthony welcomed the donation, saying that it not only demonstrates the far reaching support the facility has attracted, but also has important implications for all of the CCRIF’s 16 member governments.

“Last year was one of the most active hurricane seasons on record with a major hurricane formed in every month during the season, and losses on record of over US$45 billion,” he said. 

“The CCRIF was able to make a quick payout to Turks and Caicos after Hurricane Ike, thanks to the initial high capitalisation of the fund; and with experts already making predictions of a very active season in 2009, we know the European Union’s contribution will make it that much easier for us to fulfil our mandate of providing liquidity in the short term, after a catastrophic hurricane or earthquake, which causes damage great enough to prevent a member government from being able to fund its most crucial activities.”

Other non-members of the CCRIF which have donated to the facility’s reserve pool are Canada, the World Bank, the United Kingdom, Bermuda, Ireland, France and the Caribbean Development Bank.

The CCRIF is the first multi-country risk pool in the world, and is also the first insurance instrument to successfully develop a parametric policy backed by both traditional and capital markets. It is a regional insurance fund for Caribbean governments designed to limit the financial impact of catastrophic hurricanes and earthquakes to Caribbean governments by quickly providing financial liquidity when a policy is triggered. It is operated by the CGM Gallagher Group through its risk management company, Caribbean Risk Managers Ltd (CaribRM).

Sixteen governments are members of the fund: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago and the Turks and Caicos Islands.