Argus, BF&M to to treat storms as one event
Two insurance companies are to ditch separate deductibles after the Island was hit by a tropical storm and a hurricane in quick succession.
BF&M, the largest property insurer on the Island, and Argus both said only one deductible would apply to Tropical Storm Fay, which hit on Sunday, October 12, and Hurricane Gonzalo, which struck the Island last Friday.
The two companies, in a joint statement, said: “In accordance with the wording of home insurance policies, each event should normally require home policyholders to absorb the deductible in respect of each storm.
“BF&M and Argus, however, have decided that two named storms in such a short period, as has just occurred, is a very unique occurrence and two deductibles absorbed by policyholders would create financial hardship for many, who may already be hard hit with the economic challenges that Bermuda is facing and has been enduring for several years now.”
Insurers Colonial and Freisenbruch-Meyer did not offer comment last night.
The news was welcomed by Island residents, who signalled their thanks on The Royal Gazette website (www.royalgazette.com).
One posted online: “That is a very big of these companies. Essentially, that are agreeing to pay a portion of the loss for their policy holders.
“It was clearly two events. This will have an impact on year-end earnings. I hope people appreciate what it is that they are doing.”
And another said: “Very good news to hear.....Empathy allows most policyholders to breathe a little easier in these trying times ... my hats off to you both. I wonder who will follow suit? Bless Up Bermuda.”
Insurance companies are working overtime to deal with a flood of claims caused by Fay and Gonzalo, with some calling in specialists from overseas to help cope the rush.
The Island escaped relatively lightly, although many homes have badly damaged roofs and one insurance executive said some individual claims ran into “hundreds of thousands” of dollars.