Information Officer II
Department of Information and Public Relations (GIS)
Chairman of the Virgin Islands Insurance Tribunal, Mr. Jack Husbands has stated that the Insurance Tribunal has been very active and has settled 41 complaints.
At a press conference held today, January 31, Mr. Husbands presented the Tribunal’s 12 months report to the media. He said, “As at our most recent reporting quarter which ended on December 31, 2018, the tribunal received 55 complaints with 41 being successfully mediated. Of the other 14 complaints, one was referred to arbitration by the insured, six were dismissed or withdrawn, one was incomplete, and six were pending.”
Mr. Husbands added that the lowest claim value of all the complaints was $2,546, while the highest was $2,569,717.
He added, “The majority of complaints were received in our first reporting quarter – January to March 2018. We do not know whether this was the case because the word, by that point, was getting out that the Tribunal was active and available to assist aggrieved insured persons and a large number of claims were then outstanding.”
The Chairman reported that the insurance companies/agents against which complaints were lodged are Colonial Insurers (BVI) Limited), Insurance Company of the West Indies, Nagico Insurances, and Caribbean Insurers Limited (as agents for Caribbean Alliance Insurance Company Limited, Heritage Insurance Company (Caribbean) Limited, Ltd., Island Heritage Insurance Company, Ltd., and Real Legacy Assurance Company, Inc.).
The report also revealed that the tribunal was able to achieve its work to date by holding bi-monthly meetings and where necessary, extraordinary meetings, since its first meeting on January 23, 2018. A total of 31 meetings were held by December 31, 2018 and two meetings have been held so far this year.
The Tribunal was created through the passage of the Financial Services (Continuity of Business) Act, 2017 at the sitting of the House of Assembly on December 4, 2017. The other members are Ms. Eleanor Smith, Mrs. Icis Malone, Mr. Everett O’Neal and Mrs. Violet Gaul.
The tribunal receives and investigates reports from insured persons who are aggrieved by a decision of an insurer with respect to any claims they have lodged or filed with the insurer; mediates between an insurer and the insured with the objective of enabling an amicable settlement of complaints as a dispute resolution process that is an alternative to arbitration or litigation.
It also advises an insured of its options in the event that the insurer and the insured are unable to reach an amicable settlement; and submits a written report to the Financial Services Commission outlining the matters it has received and how it has disposed of them.
Persons wishing to contact the Insurance Tribunal should address matters to the attention of the Secretary, Mrs. Rhonda Hodge-Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or Insurance Tribunal c/o BVI Financial Services Commission, Haycraft Building, Pasea Estate, Tortola, VG1110, Virgin Islands.
- Image from the Press Conference. (Photo credit: Ronnielle Frazer/GIS);
Group photo of the Virgin Islands Insurance Tribunal members, Premier of the Virgin Islands and Secretary for the Insurance Tribunal, Mrs. Rhonda Hodge-Smith. Insurance Tribunal members from L-R: Jack Husbands, Everett O’Neal, Eleanor Smith, Icis Malone, and Violet Gaul. (Photo credit: Ronnielle Frazer/GIS)