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Millions in storm claims


MIKE KING

Millions in storm claims

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DOZENS?of claims are coming in from householders reeling from the ravages of tropical storm Tomas, but the insurance industry says the damage is not major and will hardly put them in a tailspin.
The Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited (ICBL) has already received about 150 claims that should translate to just over $1 million payout while approximately 200 claims, most of them from householders and commercial entities such as hotels, have been made to United Insurance that will cost them under $5 million.
Chief executive officer of ICBL, Wismar Greaves, told the WEEKEND?NATION that his company’s payouts had not been substantial.
“This was a minimal storm. It’s a small event in terms of insurance. The lesson to be learned though is that people need to pay more attention to asphalt shingles and the roofing, galvanised and Permaclad, to have them nailed down well especially at the end of the galvanise, so that when the winds blow, they wouldn’t be ripped away so easily.
“There were hits here and there. There was no specific parish the claims came from – it was islandwide,” he said.
Greaves said ICBL?were keen to make payments to their policyholders as possible.
“We are in the process of doing interim payments. I expect a few more claims will come in, but that is to be expected.
“We are in the business of insurance,
so when  events like this happen, we have to be ready to pay. We want to move ahead and make our policyholders happy.
“When we have to indemnify them, we are pleased to do that.”
 Tomas ripped off dozens of rooftops and galvanised sheets, but according to Greaves, had corrective maintenance measures been observed, the damage would have been much less.
“When you get winds like the ones we had, trees could go down but not house roofs at those speeds. So many house roofs should not have come off,” he said.
Greaves, who is also managing director of ICBL, said he would like to see greater use of hurricane straps.
“They are inexpensive and come in handy,” he said.
ICBL had four teams across the island – East, West, North and South – surveying risks.
Claims manager of United Insurance, Chris Grosvenor, concurred with Greaves, mentioning that the majority of claims were not large as Tomas inflicted minimal damage.

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