The regional scheme that provides disaster risk financing for member countries today said it had paid out over $30 million to six Caribbean countries affected by Hurricane Irma.
CCRIF SPC, previously known as the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility, said payments had been made to Anguilla, the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) under its excess rainfall policy as a result of damage caused in those countries by rains associated with the dangerous category five storm, which killed some 40 people in the region.
In addition, it said, Anguilla and the TCI also received payouts under their tropical cyclone policies due to the impacts of Irma.
“The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season still has two months to go and the facility has already made payouts totalling US$31.2 million to six countries under their tropical cyclone (TC) and excess rainfall (XSR) policies and under a new feature for tropical cyclone policies known as the Aggregate Deductible Cover (ADC), following the passage of Hurricane Irma,” CCRIF said in a release.
Of the six countries, the TCI received the highest payout (US$14,864,633), followed by Antigua and Barbuda (US$6,794,875), Anguilla (US$6,687,923), St Kitts and Nevis (US$ 2,294,603); the Bahamas (US$397,598) and Haiti (US$162,000).
“The injection of short-term liquidity that CCRIF provides when a policy is triggered is not intended to cover all the losses on the ground following a disaster, but is designed to allow governments to reduce their budget volatility and to provide much needed capital for emergency relief such as clearing of debris and other cleanup activities, restoring critical infrastructure, and most importantly providing humanitarian assistance to the affected population, thereby reducing post-disaster resource deficits,” Chief Executive Officer Isaac Anthony was quoted as saying.
With the latest payments CCRIF has made payouts of over US$100 million to 12 of its 17 member countries, it said in the release.
CCRIF was established following the passage of Hurricane Ivan in 2004, which caused catastrophic damage in Grenada, and heavy damage in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.
Following the passage of that storm, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government held an emergency meeting where they discussed the need for disaster risk financing for member countries.
CARICOM later approached the World Bank for assistance to design and implement a cost-effective risk transfer programme for member governments.
“The facility was therefore designed to help countries add to their revenues in the short term by providing an infusion of cash to help them fund the initial phase of their disaster response and avoid interruption of their basic business of government,” CCRIF said in today’s news release.
“By pooling the catastrophe risks of our members into a single diversified portfolio, we are able to save our members approximately 50 per cent in individual premium payments compared to if they were to purchase identical coverage individually,” Anthony was quoted as saying.