Information Officer II
Department of Information and Public Relations (GIS)
The Government of the Virgin Islands today announced the introduction of the Insurance Tribunal created by the Financial Services (Continuity of Business) Act, 2007.
The Insurance Tribunal, which is chaired by Mr. Eric Ball and includes members such as Ms. Elenor Smith, Mrs. Icis Malone, Mr. Everett O’Neal and Mrs. Violet Gaul, was created through the passage of the Act at the sitting of the House of Assembly on December 4.
On December 5, Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE convened a second meeting with insurance companies and banks operating in the Territory to receive an update on issues raised by the public regarding the process of claims, the timely resolution of claims, the disparities in estimated costs of damages and settlements, and the increased insurance premiums faced by residents.
At the December 14 sitting of the House of Assembly, Premier Smith announced that his Government was finding a way to address the concerns and complaints of residents as they navigate through the insurance claims process.
According to Premier Smith, “There is an urgent need to get claims processed so residents can rebuild their homes and have safe housing for those that are still displaced, and for commercial properties to be restored to bring back services that have been disrupted.”
The Insurance Tribunal will:
(a) receive and investigate reports from persons (the “insured”) who are aggrieved by a decision of an insurer with respect to any claims they have lodged or filed with the insurer;
(b) mediate between an insurer and the insured with the objective of enabling an amicable settlement between the insurer and the insured; and,
(c) advise an insured of its options in the event that the insurer and the insured are unable to reach an amicable settlement
Persons wishing to contact the Insurance Tribunal should address matters to the attention of the Secretary, Mrs. Rhonda Hodge-Smith at email@example.com or Insurance Tribunal c/o BVI Financial Services Commission, Haycraft Building, Pasea Estate, Tortola, VG1110, Virgin Islands.
The Insurance Tribunal will remain active until Premier Smith gives notice of members’ termination, having regard to the completion by the Tribunal of its mandate.
Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr. the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, OBE, pictured along with Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the BVI Financial Services Commission, Dr. Robert Mathavious and chairman and members of the Insurance Tribunal. (Photo credit: GIS/Franklyn Skerritt)