PHILIPSBURG–St Maarten Employers Union (SEU) has suggested that the local insurance market should be subject to a rating system.
SEU made the suggestion in a press release on Wednesday in which it reported on a meeting it had with the Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten (CBCS) on July 17. Also attending the meeting were representatives of St. Maarten Insurance Association (SMIA) and St. Maarten Insurance Brokers Association (SIBA).
The meeting with the CBCS was held as a result of a letter of concerns SEU sent to the CBCS board on June 4.
CBCS explained during the meeting how it assesses the seven insurance companies and 19 brokers that are active in St. Maarten.
“Their constant assessment consists of a market entry review, prudential and market conduct supervision with on-site supervision and, when needed, a market exit procedure. The CBCS stated that unfortunately they cannot share the outcomes of the assessments with the general public,” SEU stated in its release.
SMIA and SIBA presented their efforts in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria. They indicated that after nine months, amongst their membership, 90 per cent of the Hurricanes Irma and Maria claims have been settled.
“Unfortunately, it is not known what the overall percentage is of the settlements in St Maarten. Not all insurance companies and insurance brokers are members of the associations. The CBCS has this information. Again, the CBCS stated that unfortunately they cannot share the outcomes of the assessments with the general public,” it was stated in the release.
“During the meeting it became clear that there is a great need for synchronisation of the process to enter into an insurance policy. Even though all present agreed that the consumer is finally responsible for his own insurance package, it became very clear that there is a need for education and information of (potential) policy holders.
“Through information sessions the general public should be informed about the risk of underinsurance, but also about complaint procedure through the CBCS or the Ombudsman. The CBCS stated that it has an online complaint procedure in four different languages. Unfortunately, they cannot report about the complaints, the efforts to assist and the outcomes.”
SEU said the insurance market is one of offer and acceptance. “Nevertheless, there should be mechanisms in place to make sure that the offer is a fair offer and that the acceptance is an informed acceptance. The market conduct supervision by the CBCS could be instrumental, but willingness of the whole insurance branch to follow up is key. Maybe the insurance market should be subject to a rating system. Unfortunately, the CBCS cannot share their findings with the general public.”