With as many as 40 people left homeless after a spate of fires this month alone, Minister of Home Affairs Edmund Hinkson is suggesting the time has come for homeowners’ insurance to be mandated by law.
But the Minister acknowledged to reporters today that while the Mia Mottley administration was committed to addressing the issue, it may be some time before home insurance becomes compulsory.
“We are committed if not in the short term but in the long term to facilitate this issue. Up to Friday the Prime Minister and other Members of Parliament had a brief discussion on how we can try to get this done in the long term,” he said noting that no risk was too small to negate the need for home insurance.
Speaking at St Albans Primary School in his St James North riding, Hinkson lamented that successive governments have tried in vain to facilitate mandatory home insurance.
“We want to please urge Barbadians to please insure their homes. One of the commitments of the Government of which I am a part of is to try to facilitate. This is something that governments over the last 40 years have been trying to address. How do we get compulsory home insurance and it is has defeated all previous governments,” Hinkson told journalists.
“Even though you might think that risk of fire to your property or home may be small, it is still a risk and we urge those who can to insure their properties because your whole life acquisitions can go up in flames,” Hinkson warned.
The Home Affairs Minister, under whose portfolio the fire service falls, also called upon homeowners to invest in fire safety measures which aid in the prevention or early detection of a fire.
“We have to be mindful that people’s lives are in danger if they don’t get out in time. So we want to urge Barbadians to take precautions such as fire alarm systems. Persons need to make sure that their house treats against fires. By this I mean persons should ensure they don’t keep flammable materials in their house as well as other materials that can spread flames because it is not only your house that is that risk but your neighbour’s as well,” he stressed.
In the latest fire on Saturday night at Silver Hill Landing Scheme, Christ Church, Judy Nurse, 59, and Kathy-Ann Proverbs-Gooding lost all they owned.
Police reported the blaze began around 10:10 p.m. in Nurse’s wooden home and quickly spread to the wall house next door where Proverbs-Gooding was asleep.