A major corporate player with its roots in Barbados has completed the purchase of a major slice of troubled insurer British American Insurance Company Limited.
On March 15 Sagicor finalised the acquisition of BAICO’s “traditional life insurance business”, following the receipt of approvals from all nine insurance regulators and courts within the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union and the Bahamas, where BAICO is incorporated.
The news was announced jointly by ECCU governments, Sagicor Life Inc, and the Judicial Managers/Administrator of BAICO.
The transaction means that more than 15,000 former BAICO policyholders have had their policies recapitalised, and are once again able to enjoy their original policy terms and access their insurance benefits.
Officials said Sagicor would be contacting all policyholders whose policy was transferred “to welcome them to Sagicor, and to confirm how to continue receiving their policy-related benefits, pay premiums and make claims”.
It was also pointed out that Sagicor “has made interim arrangements with BAICO for BAICO branches in the ECCU to provide ongoing customer support to policyholders”.
This meant BAICO would accept premiums and claims, and conduct other customer services on behalf of Sagicor.
Sagicor said it would also contact approximately 1,500 persons in the ECCU who are owed historical claim amounts, surrender payments, maturity payments, and bonuses by BAICO so these payments could be made.
With the ECCU governments having provided funding for these funds to be paid, recipients will need to sign an appropriate release as a condition of receiving their payment.
As for those policyholders who officials said “would have allowed their policies to lapse for a variety of reasons”, ECCU governments and Sagicor will now have to “focus on identifying whether a solution can be identified for those traditional life insurance policyholders whose policies lapsed between the commencement of BAICO’s judicial management and the announcement of the sale of the traditional life insurance business to Sagicor”.
News of the deal for Sagicor to purchase the BAICO life insurance business was made public on June 29, 2012. (SC)
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