Close to 1,000 Barbadian homeowners are in line to benefit from a new house insurance scheme to be launched by Government by mid-December.
Addressing the Democratic Labour Party’s weekly luncheon Friday at party headquarters, Ministry of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development Steve Blackett unveiled plans for Project Protect, which he said would initially be offered to 30 homeowners in each of the island’s 30 constituencies.
The 900 homeowners will be afforded a one-year insurance premium ranging in price from $25,000 to $70,000.
However, Blackett said in order to qualify applicants must be 65 years or older, low-income earners or disabled persons, and must not have businesses attached to their residences.
Given that most of this country’s housing stock is made of wood and the relative ease with which house fires can spread from one property to another, Blackett said the aim was to encourage and educate Barbadians, especially those living in timber homes, to adequately insure their properties.
“This programme will be done of course in collaboration Barbados Fire Department with whom we will be interacting to launch an awareness campaign to further educate prospective homeowners about what they should and should not do with their houses,” the minister said.
However, he warned that under the programme funding would not be provided indefinitely.
“We will try to talk to those homeowners and try to wean them off this particular programme once they can see the necessity and the wisdom in having house insurance, because house insurance for chattel houses in Barbados is extremely low and a lot of people are not aware of that,” the minister said, suggesting that insurance rates for chattel houses currently range from $300 – $400.
“Once they see the importance of having house insurance for their chattel houses, I’m sure that they will see the necessity in taking up the slack,” he added.