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Insurance rates increase: Property owners feel the pinch

Renters and property owners alike may soon have to dig deeper in their pockets each month due to last year’s hurricanes.
The Cayman Islands Insurance Association confirms insurance premiums are increasing in Cayman.
While no set figure is released the upswing in pricing is being blamed on the massive losses in the aftermath of devastating hurricanes Maria and Irma.
Cayman may have escaped the devastation of hurricanes Maria and Irma, but residents here will still feel their financial pinch as insurers try to recoup losses.

“There’s a tremendous amount of value of property here so a large hit, will be a big hit and because of that we have not escaped from the desire of the re-insurers to wish that we increase our premium rates,” said CIIA President John Cameron.

Mr. Cameron said already property insurance rates have increased and will continue to climb as re-insurers and insurers (calculator sound) crunch the numbers for January renewals.

“There’s probably still a little bobbing and weaving when the re-insurance negotiations were going on to fund a common ground on rating it perhaps won’t bear fruition in a more understandable way on what the true rate will be maybe until the ned of the first quarter,” he explained.

He said European re-insurers pushed for increases immediately after last year’s storms because of the magnitude of damages. Those increases will hit property owners and likely be passed on to renters.

“That would embrace homes, that would embrace hotels, it would embrace retail shopping centers, condominiums so any property risk would fall under this category and will likely be subject to premium increases,” Mr. Cameron said.

He assures the increases will not be draconian, but he is urging all policyholders to reach out to their providers to find out how they will be affected.

“The type of house, construction, location, is it oceanfront or inland or was it built after hurricane Ivan. In that case, it would be elevated,” he said.

Mr Cameron said there will not be a standardised rate increase and in a free market like Cayman, consumers should shop around for pricing before choosing their policy. The overall total of damage caused by last year’s storms is still unknown, but estimates suggest it could be in the billions.

About the author

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath

Reshma Ragoonath is a Trinidadian journalist with 16 years media experience with a strong background in print with her most recent stint at The Cayman Reporter. She has a BA in Mass Communications, as well as, an Associate degree in Journalism and Public Relations.

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