Caribbean

Caribbean Countries Ensure Insurance Coverage for 2019 Hurricane Season

Caribbean countries are taking no chances this hurricane season and have purchased insurance ahead of this year’s Atlantic hurricane season.

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday
June 24, 2019
– Caribbean members of the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance
Facility Segregated Portfolio Company (CCRIF SPC) have completed the selection
of their insurance portfolio for 2019/20, with nine governments increasing
their level of coverage for at least one of their policies and one country
purchasing cover for an additional peril – tropical cyclone –it did not have
last year.

That’s according to CCRIF, the world’s first multi-country risk
pool offering parametric insurance products for hurricanes, earthquakes and
excess rainfall in the Caribbean and Central America.

“As the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season begins, CCRIF members can
be assured that they are covered for another year – against tropical cyclones
as well as excess rainfall events, which occur throughout the year and
earthquakes, which may occur at any time,” it said, adding that it has provided
its members with two policy features – the Aggregate Deductible Cover (ADC) and
Reinstatement of Sum Insured Cover (RSIC) – at no cost for 2019/20.

These two features for tropical cyclone and earthquake policies
were first offered in 2017. The ADC can provide a minimum payment for events
that are objectively not sufficient to trigger a CCRIF policy because the
modelled loss is below the attachment point (or deductible). The RSIC provides
access to coverage during a policy year even after the maximum coverage limit
is reached. This prevents the situation where the insurance cover is exhausted
early in the policy year thus leaving a country exposed until the policy
renewal date of June 1 the following year.

CCRIF’s tropical cyclone and earthquake policies for 2019/20 are
based on a new risk model called SPHERA (System for Probabilistic Hazard
Evaluation and Risk Assessment), which replaces the MPRES model, which had been
the basis for these policies since 2011. SPHERA is a new state-of-the-art
model, based on the latest scientific findings and the most updated hazard
datasets. The new model features new, up-to-date ground motion, wind and storm
surge models; a larger and more detailed stochastic catalogue of events; a more
detailed exposure database, including infrastructure and facilities; and new, updated
vulnerability functions.

Similarly, the current excess rainfall policies are based on the
XSR 2.5 model, an upgrade of the XSR 2.1 model used in 2018. The XSR 2.5 model
includes new features that reduce basis risk and improve its results.
Enhancements to the model include greater consideration and weight given to
short intense events; inclusion of soil saturation in the loss estimates; and
incorporation of assimilated observed data into the meteorological model.

“CCRIF is pleased that some member governments have increased
their coverage. Increasing the level of coverage is a key component of CCRIF’s
scaling-up strategy, which also includes increasing membership in both the
Caribbean and Central America, as well as offering new parametric products as a
means of helping governments reduce post-disaster resource deficits and budget
volatility as well as closing the protection gap,” CCRIF said. “Much of this
scaling-up strategy is being rolled-out – for example, CCRIF membership now
stands at 21 (19 in the Caribbean and 2 in Central America). Also, the Facility
is offering new parametric products for drought and fisheries/aquaculture to
select countries in 2019/20 and is in the process of developing products for
agriculture and public utilities.”

CCRIF’s scaling-up strategy was launched in early 2018, shortly
after the 2017 devastating hurricane season and involved both a technical and
financial review of the Facility and incorporated the strategic inputs of
stakeholders – its member governments, regional organizations, and development
partners.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted a “near-normal” hurricane season this year, which means that there is a likelihood of 9-15 named storms, of which 4-8 could become hurricanes, including 2-4 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5) occurring in the Atlantic this year – any of which could have major impacts in the region.

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