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'I too was short changed' by insurance company' - Skelton-Cline

- says his insurance company told him he was underinsured
Claude O. Skelton-Cline, former Managing Director of BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) and social commentator, claims he was short-changed by his insurance company. Photo: Youtube
Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline is leading the charge to file a class-action lawsuit against insurance companies in the Virgin Islands (VI) who have been accused of cheating residents out of a fair payout following the floods of August 2017 and the hurricanes of September 2017. Photo: Internet Source
Mr Claude O. Skelton-Cline is leading the charge to file a class-action lawsuit against insurance companies in the Virgin Islands (VI) who have been accused of cheating residents out of a fair payout following the floods of August 2017 and the hurricanes of September 2017. Photo: Internet Source
Many homes in the Virgin Islands were left roofless following the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017 and many persons have been finding it difficult to get monies to effect the necessary repairs. Photo: VINO/File
Many homes in the Virgin Islands were left roofless following the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017 and many persons have been finding it difficult to get monies to effect the necessary repairs. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Since the hurricane of September 2017, insurance companies have been accused of cheating residents out of a fair payout.

It was on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 that Claude O. Skelton-Cline, former Managing Director of BVI Ports Authority (BVIPA) and social commentator, announced that he plans to file a class-action lawsuit against insurance companies in the Virgin Islands (VI).

A class-action lawsuit is when a group of persons who are wronged by the same entity collectively take legal action against that accused wrongdoer.

Difficulty getting lawyers

In an exclusive interview with our newsroom, Mr Skelton-Cline revealed that some of the lawyers he has spoken to so far are on "retainer by the insurance companies" which would cause a conflict of interest.

"We realise that they [lawyers] are on retainer by the insurance companies and therefore even though they believe that there is a legitimate cause and that there is a reason to bring such a suit they cannot do it. So I’m being referred to other firms who may not hopefully have the same conflict," he explained.

Mr Skelton-Cline stated that he is meeting with other potential lawyers and hopes to have some new information for the next airing of Honestly Speaking on Tuesdays, March 6, 2018.

The social commentator disclosed to our newsroom that the plan is to have lawyers explain the class-action lawsuit to individuals who have been wronged by the insurance companies.

He explained, "The goal is to get a lawyer or lawyers that can call all the persons together who feel that they have been injured as a result of these insurance companies and have the lawyers explain to them the one, two, three steps of the process and then have them make a decision as to whether or not they want to in fact sign on and become a part of the suit."

The former managing director emphasised that he will continue to fight the insurance companies and referred to them as "criminals".

"We are not going to drop it and we know that the insurance companies are hoping that it falls by the wayside but that’s not going to happen, not as long as I’m here. I’m going to continue to champion that cause because what they have done to the people of the Virgin Islands (VI) is nothing short of criminal," urged Mr Skelton-Cline.

"I too was short changed"

Meanwhile, Mr Skelton-Cline admitted that his insurance company told him that he was underinsured, while noting that he settled with them.

He said, "They said that I too was uninsured but of course I pushed through on my own and got with the information I had at the time to get some closure to my matter but if I knew then what I knew now, I would have held out longer. I too was short changed but I forged ahead with the offer that was made and had made it worked for me but that is because of lack of knowledge at the time."

"Their needs to be an education & reeducation"

Mr Skelton-Cline believes that the insurance companies are "not doing enough to educate and reeducate" their clients, while noting that the regulatory bodies are not ensuring that the companies deliver service in the favour of the clients.

"They are not doing enough and there needs to be an ongoing education and reeducation. They are not doing enough and...the regulatory bodies are not doing enough to ensure that the insurance companies who they give license to are delivering in the way that is in the best interest of the people, whether it’s in the legislation or whatever that needs to happen."

"Their needs to be some serious penalties"

In addition, Mr Skelton-Cline strongly believes that penalties should be given to insurance companies who have treated their clients unfair in regards to payouts.

He emphasised, "Their needs to be some serious penalties attached when they fall short in giving to the people what the people are paying for. It’s not free. The people are paying their monthly premium and you have citizens who have spent their whole lives trying to build something and they are being left out in the cold and being taken advantage of by these insurance companies. Then we have a government that is saying much to nothing and then set up a tribunal and does not give the tribunal anything in which to do this job. This is nonsense and unacceptable."

29 Responses to “'I too was short changed' by insurance company' - Skelton-Cline”

  • This happens so often (03/03/2018, 10:09) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    You pay your monthly or yearly payments and you get nothing back. This happened to may family many years aback and my dad stop all payments and he said to all at home if anything happens to the house we are going to all put together and rebuild it. The experience was after Hurricane George and one had to be still paying mortgage on the house and still insurance so he did the right thing.Everyone needs so kind of help from your insurance but most in surance company want your help instead even if your life has expired. we can be our our insurance co. by saving the same money at a bank and not to use unless for emergency
  • away (03/03/2018, 10:22) Like (17) Dislike (13) Reply
    Go away please . Tired of you now
  • BVI STRONG (03/03/2018, 11:06) Like (14) Dislike (4) Reply
    Keep on them rass claude
  • wize up (03/03/2018, 11:54) Like (4) Dislike (14) Reply
    Claude for premier or what
  • Boo (03/03/2018, 12:22) Like (15) Dislike (2) Reply
    Insurance really stealing from people keep on them Claudie
  • Fools (03/03/2018, 13:01) Like (18) Dislike (9) Reply
    This is such stupidity! If you have accepted a check as full and final settlement of your claim you need to have a seat. Those who havent settled but are clearly under insured will be wasting their time and money. This is all a smoke screen.
    • Tiro (05/03/2018, 08:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Are class action lawsuits possible under BVI( British) law? The eastern caribbean law jurisdiction?
  • expert (03/03/2018, 14:38) Like (18) Dislike (6) Reply
    Mr Skelton Cline will be wasting everyone's money, for a class action lawsuit to be successful someone needs to have broken a law. Firstly, there is no such thing as a class action lawsuit in the BVI, and, the insurance companies have broken no laws, because sadly, there are none to break.
    • @expert (04/03/2018, 05:46) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      He should a done know better not to accept the insurance settlement. How about educate yourself first than coming out tell people you make a mistake. He think he live in the stats with this class action soup.
  • Talk Shows (03/03/2018, 15:43) Like (9) Dislike (3) Reply
    many are using this form of media to get ready for election or get at large for a political party or just to run independent
  • wize up (03/03/2018, 16:43) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    in the USA all persons dealing with the same insurance company would have gotten together and file on big law suite: United we stand but devided we shall fall.....government have to put proper legislation in place
  • Fran (03/03/2018, 19:17) Like (10) Dislike (3) Reply
    Well, even if no insurance, he has means to get back on his feet, most people don’t.
    • wize up (03/03/2018, 21:17) Like (3) Dislike (6) Reply
      @ Fran: exactly what are you trying to say!!!!
      • Fran (04/03/2018, 11:01) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
        @ wize up...what I said was he has more money than those living from check to check, so it was easier for him to fix this building quicker than most of us. Nothing more
  • Goose (03/03/2018, 20:51) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    I hope this man ain’t running for no election. All you stop entertaining this man.
  • Boo (03/03/2018, 22:32) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    We were really short changed on the Pier Park
    • wize up (04/03/2018, 07:49) Like (3) Dislike (3) Reply
      @ Boo: I don’t classify millions of dollars “change” : can you see him as your finance minister!!!!
  • watcher (03/03/2018, 23:16) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    I believe that an action against insurance companies on the basis that they accepted premiums on what they class as under insured properties would succeed. It is behoven upon them to check the valuation of properties they insure.
    • expert (04/03/2018, 08:52) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
      Incorrect, the responsibility for declaring a value falls upon an insured, not the insurer. However, where an insurer has accepted a professionally prepared valuation / survey, the valuation responsibility moves to the insurer.
      • Another expert (04/03/2018, 12:56) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        Was the valuation report done for insurance purposes or for the bank ?
    • The real watcher (04/03/2018, 15:12) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      At watcher please create your own me please! I had the name first always blogging using my name on sites, go sit down.
  • CSC (04/03/2018, 00:45) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    You are not as smart as you want people to believe. You took the cheap route and under you want to use your ignorance to stir the pot.
  • E.Leonard (04/03/2018, 12:58) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Many property owners are anxious about the condition of their properties, returning to pre Sep 2017 comfort/ occupancy level, fast approaching 2018 hurricane season, and settling of insurance claims for incurred damages/lost resulting from Hurricane Irma and Maria. Additionally, there seems to be deep disagreements between property insurers and insureds. The cause of the rift between insurers and insured need to be found and resolve quickly. A bone of contention seems to be under insurance. Was there a clear understanding of replacement cost value (RCV) and actual cash value (ACV)?

    RCV is the cost to replace a damage property at current prices without any depreciation. It is not the purchase price of the property nor the property current value; it is the cost to replace a property at today’s prices and quality. The premiums for RCV are typically more than ACV. Further, some property owners may choose to insure their property at a rate lower than RCV. For example, typically the common practice is to insure property(s) for at least 80% of RCV; this 80% rate insures that insureds will be reimbursed at 100% for a partial loss. At a lower rate, they will not be reimbursed at a 100% for a partial loss; they are under insured. Of course, the insured will not be reimbursed for more than the policy value, ie, if a property is insured for $300K that may be the maximum they can collect, though the full replacement cost may be $500K.

    Moreover, the other valuation method is ACV; it is the value of the property minus depreciation. For example, a property insured using ACV for $300K with a $50K depreciation will only be reimbursed $250K, though replacement cost may be $350K. ACV is usually less expensive than RCV. Another insurance option is Guranteed Replacement Cost; the insurer will pay to replace a property at whatever cost up to certain% above the normal replacement cost. The premium for guaranteed replacement is the most expensive.
    • Socrates (05/03/2018, 10:28) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Did insurers serve the best interest of the insureds? Did the insureds do their homework, due diligence? Did the insureds read and understand the fine print? Did the insureds walk away misinformed about how property insurance work? Should not insurers have looked at probilities and predicted the hurricane damages? How can the insureds now be made whole? What can government do? Was government action woefully lacking? Do resident’s needs to educated on property insurance basics? Should HLSCC be offering some workshops on property insurance ? Should the workshop hit the road? Should government have a hammer to make insurers meet their obligations? Why is under Insurance all of a sudden a BiG issue?
  • Well (05/03/2018, 01:00) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    He is talking without knowledge as usual. Following this man is a bad idea people.
  • Ahhhh hum (05/03/2018, 08:39) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Dear Mr cline . Can you please answer a few questions . Why are you the FORMER MD of the port authority and why did you flee the U.S. ............................. Silence if defending !
    • Disinterested (05/03/2018, 14:49) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
      Oh, the politics of personal destruction and character assassination based on rumor. We find rumours amusing until touches close to home. Then we look for pity, compassion and understanding. Employers and employees have disagreements all the time. Sometimes they come to a mutual agreement or sometimes they part ways or sometimes the courts adjudicate the disagreement. Why can’t CSC return to his home? Debate CSC on the issues. Invariably when people are losing the debate, they make it personal.

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