By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
The Bahamas Insurance Association’s (BIA) chairman has estimated that this nation will benefit from a $300 million foreign currency inflow from reinsurers as a result of Hurricane Matthew.
Emmanuel Komolafe said insurance claims incurred as a result of Hurricane Matthew currently stand at $176 million based on initial returns. He added that the injection of foreign currency into this nation via the industry could be seen as one positive from the storm.
Mr Komolafe said that based on reporting from 50-60 per cent of the industry, the $176 million incurred claims “figure is growing”. Ninety-eight per cent of these claims relate to private property.
Mr Komolafe, who last week addressed the Grand Bahama Business Outlook, said total insured losses from Matthew could exceed the BIA’s initial $400 million estimate.
“Initially after the storm we estimated that the total insured losses could be $400 million, and it could be more than that for the Bahamas,” he said.
“Out of that we expect between $300 million to be coming in in foreign currency from reinsurance recoveries. If there is anything positive from the hurricane, it’s the foreign currency coming into the Bahamas via the insurance industry that is helping to boost the reserves.”
Mr Komolafe added that $64 million in claims were incurred in Grand Bahama based on the initial assessment. The industry, he said, plans to carry out a follow-up assessment in about a month’s time to refine the figures.
Three insurers, based on their reports to Tribune Business, have incurred more than $200 million in Matthew-related claims, a figure in excess of what has been reported to the BIA to-date.
Adding Summit Insurance’s $37 million in gross losses to the $90 million and $80 million incurred by RoyalStar Assurance and Bahamas First, respectively, means that collectively those three underwriters alone have paid out $207 million in claims to Matthew victims.