Caribbean hoteliers are being urged to make plans for an expected increase in insurance premiums following the destruction from two category five hurricanes in September.
The increase could range from 10% up to 40%, one insurance expert has warned.
Speaking during a Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association webinar, Scott Stollmeyer, managing director of Barbados and Eastern Caribbean for CGM Gallagher Insurance Brokers said now was the time to review insurance overage.
He said that for the past eight years the Caribbean has enjoyed reduced insurance rates but that will now change.
Following the hurricanes, insurance companies have begun reaching out to their clients informing them of the increases that will occur in their next renewal cycle for inland and beach properties.
“We are going to be in for some challenging times in the next few years,” Stollmeyer said.
“The increases will affect the entire region, not only those islands that were struck by the hurricanes.
“The Caribbean is… lumped into one general region… it’s where the reinsurance markets are looking at the Caribbean as a general region – everybody is going to be impacted.”
Stanley Smith, certified public accountant and licensed adjuster with Smith Orloff & Associates, advised hotel owners and managers to be proactive and be their own advocates when handling insurance claims.
“It pays to know your policy well before a disaster strikes. First, making sure you’re adequately insured, understanding what’s covered and what’s not, and keeping good records are fundamentals which hoteliers should adhere to.”
He provided examples of the claims process and how, because of inadequate planning or not fully understanding their policy, many hoteliers fail to fully recover insurable losses through their claim.
He advised that retaining your own advocate or adjuster can assist with facilitating a claim.