PHILIPSBURG–“Significant adjustments” were warranted to the claim of Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) to address “only the damage directly attributable to the hurricanes, albeit with the balance then subject to the terms and limitations of the policy cover in place,” said NAGICO, main insurer of the Government-owned company.
“The parties continue to negotiate in good faith and NAGICO will pay the final agreed loss. Needless to say, final settlement of claims depends on proper documentation and scope determined by suitably qualified experts,” said the insurance company.
NAGICO’s statement comes after an article published in The Daily Herald on Thursday pointed at non-payment of full insurance claims totalling more than US $100 million stalling the rebuilding of the airport, one of the tourism-driven country’s main ports of entry.
In its statement, NAGICO said internationally recognised independent loss-adjuster Axis York “will on receipt of the balance of the claim continue to promptly review the figures presented under the terms of the policy, enabling NAGICO to respond in a fair and reasonable manner, as it has done from inception.”
The insurance company claimed that the principal claim document from the airport, produced by US consultants Corgan and submitted on January 23 “was not complete.” Axis York, in discussion with Corgan and other airport representatives, reviewed the claim document “in detail” and “indicated the amount that would fall for consideration under the policy.”
“Axis York, whilst assessing the damage during a series of site visits which commenced very early, just a few days after the passage of Hurricane Irma, also met with representatives of PJIA in order to explain and then confirm in writing the information required in order to quantify the loss,” said NAGICO.
According to NAGICO, the airport submitted “a partial claim” on its policy “some four months after Hurricanes Irma and Maria slammed into the island in September 2017.”
As stated in this newspaper’s article, NAGICO advanced an interim payment of $5 million to the airport. This, the insurance company said, was “to assist with the prompt resumption of the airport’s operations” and “to offset the anticipated significant initial expenses, including site clearance, emergency repairs, preservation of property and the like.”
In December 2017, also as stated in the article, NAGICO disbursed a further $10 million to the airport. That payment was made, according to NAGICO’s statement “despite PJIA not having submitted their full claim or expending the initial $5,000,000 disbursed.”
The second payment was made “to facilitate orders for specialist equipment that carried a long delivery period. NAGICO has consistently responded swiftly in relation to the PJIA claim,” said NAGICO.
The claim-handling process for the airport is no different from that of any other insured claim, according to NAGICO. “Experts have been appointed by both the insured and the insurer and due process must be adhered to and policy conditions applied.”
The insurance company said it “treats each of the claims it has received with extreme diligence. To date it has settled and paid 85 per cent of the hurricane-related claims in St. Maarten and by the end of March 2018 this will be 90 per cent.
NAGICO “remains focused on settling all claims fairly and thus far in St. Maarten and throughout the Caribbean has paid in excess of US $350 million.”
Commenting on the article published by this newspaper on Thursday, NAGICO described it as “largely inaccurate and misleading.”
The Daily Herald stands by the facts presented in its article. That article pointed out that the estimates in the “Corgan Report” did not include all items that are covered by the Insurance such as damage to the fences, roadways, runways/runway lighting and guidance, site lighting, roadway signage, fountains, artwork, radar equipment, etc., professional services and project management fees, and damage suffered by the airport because of business interruption.
The article also stated that the airport has filed a claim with NAGICO for more than $100 million under its all-risk insurance policy and close to an additional $10 million under its business interruption extension for 2017 alone.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/74466-nagico-awaiting-balance-of-insurance-claim-from-airport