Catastrophe insurance important in disaster-prone Antigua & Barbuda

A claims manager is urging residents to purchase catastrophe insurance coverage in Antigua and Barbuda because properties in the country are at a greater risk of damage.

With the recent destruction to 90 per cent of the buildings in Barbuda, Harry Hobson, claims manager at ANJO Insurance agents for Massy United Insurance, is recommending that residents get insured now.

“I mean what just happened should open anyone’s eye to the reality that catastrophes are a part of our life today and when they hit hard, they are very costly,” Hobson said.

He explained that persons who are not financed by the bank to build their properties are normally uninsured. They build out of pocket, sometimes investing a lifetime of earnings and stand to lose everything in a “catastrophe peril” such as earthquakes, floods and hurricanes.

Referring to larger countries where, Hobson said, the everyday man makes a special effort to get insured. Antiguan’s have the mind set that “nothing is going to happen to me”

“We have seen a number of fires within recent time, engulfing entire properties. People losing furniture and other valuables, but yet most people do not bother to insure.”

Residents, specifically Hurricane Irma victims are seeking assistance in the rebuilding process. Insurance coverage provides the security that these displaced men and women would need.

“If you know that you are not in the position to find that large sum of money to rebuild your home, you need to speak with an insurance company that will take that risk away from you,” he said.

The claims manager also said mandating housing insurance island-wide is unlikely, but all those at risk must make it an individual responsibility.

According to Hobson, this would give persons “peace of mind” and protection that is needed as properties here are susceptible to

natural disasters all year round.

Some persons make the mistake of not insuring their entire property. Instead, he said, they try to cut high premium costs by failing to insure as close as possible to the actual cost of property replacement.

 

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