EDITORIAL: Dealing with insurance coverage
THE REVELATION THAT Kensington Oval is not covered by property insurance has led to some unease among Barbadians. It is an almost unbelievable situation.
While it is generally agreed that Kensington Oval has not been viable since its multimillion-dollar makeover seven years ago, this imposing facility has to be protected against peril. Having no property insurance, as reported by this newspaper, is unacceptable.
The logical question is how an annual budget for the complex made no provision for property insurance cover. Those responsible for the facility should publicly answer this question as it seems impractical to have approved a budget with no such provision or to have diverted the funds if allocated.
This leads us to query how many other Government and quasi-state properties are in a similar predicament. Given its precarious financial position, the National Housing Corporation, which owns an extensive number of housing units, must be top of mind.
The thousands of tenants who rent from this agency will want to be assured that they are not left totally exposed.
The issue of no coverage or inadequate coverage has long been an issue with some state-owned properties. It has never been made clear whether there was any cover or the level in place at Glendairy Prison when it was destroyed by fire in 2005.
To date, the public has not been informed what was paid to Government or whether there was a total loss.
Our governments have had the reputation of being silent on many issues and will only deal with the matters once they are in the court of public opinion.
On this occasion the Freundel Stuart administration needs to assure its citizens that the many buildings it owns are fully covered against the various perils and risks.
Ministers of government speak from time to time of the importance of insurance coverage, yet there may be a serious level of exposure for properties under their portfolio.
Some reassurance would remove any doubts less than three months before the start of the annual Atlantic hurricane season. The appeals from disaster emergency management officials are for householders and commercial enterprises to take precaution and protect themselves and their property by having general insurance cover to mitigate against risk.
The relevant authorities need to pay close attention to this issue of insurance coverage or lack of it. This will not only safeguard the public’s interest, but also be a sign of good governance.