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Several Caribbean countries take out rainfall insurance

President of the Caribbean Development Bank, Warren Smith. Photo: DEMWAVES

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) on Wednesday lauded the inception of the excess rainfall insurance package from the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) and also commending the countries in the Region that have purchased a policy for 2014-15.

The CCRIF recently announced that eight of its 16 members have purchased the policy.

The excess rainfall product was developed by CCRIF and global reinsurer, Swiss Re, and is aimed primarily at extreme high rainfall events of short duration ranging from a few hours to a few days, whether they happen during a hurricane or not. It is independent of the hurricane policy and if both policies are triggered by an event, then both payouts become due.

CDB President, Dr. Warren Smith said the excess rainfall product is a very important mitigant to the effects of natural hazards in the Region.

“This is a very important development in the life of the CCRIF and in the response to the effects of natural hazard events in the Caribbean. In a region where the prospect of being affected by serious damage from natural hazards is a high probability for most of our countries, it is vital that there is a suite  of products that can help the countries mitigate the losses that can be experienced from these events,” Dr. Smith said.

The CDB President noted that different Caribbean countries are vulnerable to one or more of the natural hazards including flooding. “The excess rainfall product that has now been rolled out by the CCRIF fills a slot in the response mechanisms of countries, and it is especially important for those countries which are more vulnerable to 
flooding than they are to other such events,” Dr. Smith added.

The eight countries to have purchased the facility are Anguilla, Haiti, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts-Nevis, St Vincent and the Grenadines and St Lucia.

According to CCRIF the excess rainfall product is parametric and so a payout can be made within 14 days after a rain event that triggers a country's policy, without waiting for time-consuming damage and loss assessments on the ground.

CCRIF was developed through funding from the Japanese Government, and was capitalised through contributions to a multi-donor Trust Fund by the Government of Canada, the European Union, the World Bank, the governments of the United Kingdom and France, CDB and the Governments of Ireland and Bermuda, as well as through membership fees paid by participating Governments.

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