Caribbean In­sur­ance In­dus­try ad­vised to of­fer in­no­va­tive Nat­u­ral Dis­as­ter Pro­tec­tion

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL -

AJa­maican politi­cian is urg­ing play­ers in the Caribbean in­sur­ance in­dus­try to de­velop in­no­va­tive prod­ucts that will pro­vide nat­u­ral dis­as­ter pro­tec­tion for crit­i­cal sec­tors such as agri­cul­ture and tourism. Deputy Speaker of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Lloyd B. Smith made the ap­peal at the re­cently held 35th an­nual con­fer­ence of the In­sur­ance As­so­ci­a­tion of the Caribbean at the Hy­att Ho­tel in Mon­tego Bay.

“We know that there are great risks in agri­cul­tural in­sur­ance, but there is some work be­ing done on para­met­ric in­sur­ance with the help of the mul­ti­lat­er­als and Caribbean gov­ern­ments,” he noted.

“I urge you to join forces with them to find a cre­ative so­lu­tion for even some limited amount of in­sur­ance pro­tec­tion that will at least al­low farm­ers to re­plant.”

Un­like tra­di­tional in­dem­nity in­sur­ance that cov­ers a pol­i­cy­holder’s ac­tual losses, para­met­ric in­sur­ance pays out in re­sponse to de­fined trig­gers such as a nat­u­ral catas­tro­phe. Smith is also en­cour­ag­ing the re­gion’s in­sur­ers to start look­ing at in­vest­ment prospects from the soon-to-be-es­tab­lished Lo­gis­tics Hub.

“I urge you to take a closer look at the Lo­gis­tics Hub and get ready to take ad­van­tage of the op­por­tu­ni­ties it presents. Suc­cess in this area will de­pend, to a large ex­tent, on a se­ries of public-pri­vate part­ner­ships with the pri­vate sec­tor lead­ing the way and the gov­ern­ment fa­cil­i­tat­ing the process,” he said.

Turn­ing to ef­forts to es­tab­lish an In­ter­na­tional Fi­nan­cial Cen­tre in Ja­maica, Smith said gov­ern­ment was mak­ing progress in cre­at­ing the en­abling legal frame­work for the fa­cil­ity.

The crit­i­cal pieces of leg­is­la­tion should be in place by the end of 2015.

“The Ja­maica In­ter­na­tional Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Author­ity is in place and is mak­ing plans to po­si­tion Ja­maica as a niche player in this valu­able busi­ness area,” Smith in­formed.

He noted that in­sur­ance and rein­sur­ance ser­vices are among the niche ar­eas iden­ti­fied to be of­fered when the fa­cil­ity is launched.

Estab­lish­ment of the In­ter­na­tional Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Cen­tre will trans­form Ja­maica into an off­shore fi­nan­cial hub, sim­i­lar to ju­ris­dic­tions such as Ber­muda and the Bri­tish Vir­gin Is­lands.

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