PHILIPSBURG – During a public meeting (#12) of Parliament yesterday, Member of Parliament Theo Heyliger called for insurance companies and the Central Bank to come in to Parliament and explain why claim settlements are reportedly taking very long and that people are getting “30 cents on the dollar” as a first response over their claims settlements.
MP Heyliger said: “In my opinion, in 1995, insurance companies were paying out faster and were able to finalize claims at a much faster rate then what I’m seeing happening in St. Maarten (today:Ed)”.
He continued: “And it’s my intention that as we had a meeting (in Parliament: Ed) with the Insurance Brokers before, but now comes a time that we need to also speak to the Insurance Companies and also even invite the Central Bank”.
“What I am hearing from the population, not only business wise, but homeowners, car owners and they are telling me that if you put in a claim for 1 dollar, the first response you get from an insurance company is probably 30 cents on the dollar”. He continued: “I’m very curious as it can’t be that everyone is getting the exact same response from the insurance company of 30 cents on the dollar. Something to me is amiss”.
“It is going to have to be Parliament, and the Government, will have to start looking at how our insurance companies and brokers as well deal with customers”. “I am even hearing that brokers are giving out post dated cheques to clients of theirs. That means that the broker doesn’t have enough money to pay out the claims to the people they have insured. Now you collect the monies from the premiums but when it comes to the pay-out you are hearing a total different set of rules and regulations”.
MP Heyliger concluded: “When I take a drive through town the other day and I see 50% of businesses still closed and the others are still doing renovations and repairs it is because it is also taking too long for insurance companies to do the pay out. You don’t see the kind of activity to move the island forward”.