AIRPORT–The complete restoration of St. Maarten’s vital entry point, Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA), will take more time, as PJIA has filed a court case against NAGICO’s refusal to swiftly assess and honour in full the airport’s multi-million-dollar insurance claim.
The Daily Herald contacted airport management for comment on the latest move, but management has decided to let the case play out in court before making any public comment about the breakdown of negotiations.
The damage inflicted on the airport by Irma is insured under the airport’s commercial “all risks” policy and its business interruption extension, both with NAGICO. The total sum insured under the policies is US $193,359,223.27 for 26 insured items, of which $29.5 million is for business interruption.
NAGICO Insurances Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dwayne Elgin said in a comment invited by this newspaper, “NAGICO has indeed been notified of PJIA’s initiation of legal proceedings in connection with the ongoing hurricane claims of 2017. NAGICO through its legal team will defend its position and actions taken thus far in the claims process, which we believe have all been done in good faith and in the spirit of reasonableness.
“Whilst PJIA has resorted to this action, we trust that the currently ongoing claims quantification process involving PJIA’s representatives/consultants and the Independent loss adjuster will continue in order to ensure due process is completed.”
According to documents seen by this newspaper, Airport management believes the damage suffered by the airport was substantiated extensively in the “Corgan Report” of January 2018. That report, compiled by seven experts in the field, provides for an “Opinion of Probable Cost/Cost Model,” according to which the cost for repairing and restoring the airport terminal to the condition it was in prior to the passing of Hurricane Irma is estimated at well over $100 million.
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. Meanwhile, construction has already begun on the damaged terminal building and full restoration is expected take place before the end of 2018.
This newspaper understands that the airport has already switched insurance companies and is now covered by Guardian Group.