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Antigua and other OECS BAICO policy holders have until the end of today to join legal action filed at CCJ

By Theresa Goodwin

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Today is the final day for British American Insurance Company Limited (BAICO) policy holders in Antigua and Barbuda to register to be a part of a regional class action suit on their behalf at the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

The BAICO and Colonial Life Insurance Company Limited (CLICO) Policy Holders Group (BACOL) is taking the action in “pursuit of far and equitable compensation” for BAICO policyholders and beneficiaries in seven OECS countries, many of whom lost their entire savings when the insurance company collapsed in 2009.

In an article which appeared in the official newsletter of the BACOL group, individual and corporate policyholders are advised to register with a case manager.

Persons who have received 14% are also eligible to register and registration is still possible even without the required documentation, the article states.

Dr Patrick Antoine, President of the BACOL group, explained that the group represents over 60% of the investments that are currently out there, however, there are a number of policy holders in Antigua who are yet to sign up.

The case manager for Antigua and Barbuda is Kalisia Marks who can be contacted at 562-1075.

“They need to first of all register to become a member of the British American CLICO policy holders’ group; it is a policy holders’ group, nothing do with any State; we are taking our destiny in our own hands as the treaty provides for. They need to register with Kalisia Marks, and having registered with her as a member of BACOL, they will pay a membership fee of just one hundred and fifty dollars,” Antoine said.

“Secondly, depending on the level of investment, they have to pay a contribution according to the level of their investment. For those who are unable to do so, we have a special facility that has been provided to us by an institution called MIFI which allows them to have MIFI pay for them, and in return where we are successful, MIFI will withdraw one percent of what we are able to get in terms of damages and compensation from the court.”

Antoine said if policyholders are not successful in the court proceedings, they would not be required to pay back the one percent.

Policy holders and beneficiaries/survivors of deceased policyholders who have lost their documentation are also encouraged to register with their case managers. Their registration will only be approved after verification, a process which may take some time, but which once confirmed, will confer them with eligibility to receive compensation determined by the Court, the Policy Holders Group points out.

The CCJ is expected to make an announcement in the near future, as to when hearings will begin in the legal action filed by BACOL on behalf of policyholders in seven OECS countries – Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

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