PM Minnis describes stunning incompetence? WELL WAIT!
NASSAU, The Bahamas – The former Progressive Liberal Party Administration “cost the country” more than $32Million dollars in potential insurance payouts from Hurricane Matthew because of its “gross and stunning incompetence,” Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Hubert Alexander Minnis told Parliament June 20, 2017.
Delivering his contribution to the 2017-2018 Budget Debate, the Prime Minister said not only did the former government appear to use Hurricane Matthew as a way of channeling money to certain people, but by not making the annual payment of $900,000 to the risk facility (Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility – CCRIF), the country failed to qualify for the payouts which could have been used in so many other areas.
“Thirty two million is an extraordinary amount of money that could have been used for so many good purposes,” Prime Minister Minnis said.
“Instead, these millions were wasted by a dysfunctional government. It is shameful. It’s disgraceful. I remember when the former Minister of State claimed in the House that The Bahamas would never be able to take advantage of this facility. This was an irresponsible and untrue statement.”
Prime Minister Minnis said the other four CCRIF Member Countries – Haiti, Barbados, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines – all received payouts on their Tropical Cyclone and/or Excess Rainfall insurance policies in excess of US$29Million combined – within 14 days of Hurricane Matthew’s passage.
Reading the contents of a letter he received from the Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility that the Prime Minister said he received May 31, 2017, Dr. Minnis said the CEO wrote that the facility was pleased that The Bahamas had been a member of CCRIF since its inception in 2007.
Dr. Minnis said the letter continued: “We are pleased that the Government purchased tropical cyclone (hurricane) policies every year between 2007 and 2014 and also purchased policies for both tropical cyclones and excess rainfall for the 2015/2016 policy year. However, we deeply regret that the Government decided not to renew its CCRIF policies for the 2016/2017 year, resulting in The Bahamas missing out on two CCRIF payouts from Tropical Cyclone Matthew.”
“I note that the annual policy for this insurance facility was approximately $900,000. I was shocked by what the CEO of the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility went on to say in his letter,” Prime Minister Minnis said.
The letter went on to say: “Based on the registered losses, it means that had the Government of The Bahamas renewed its tropical cyclone policy for 2016/2017, using the previous year’s policy conditions (attachment point, exhaustion point and premium), the policy would have triggered, resulting in a payout of approximately U.S. $31.8M – equal to the coverage point.”
Prime Minister Minnis said that number would have been significant.
“This would have been the single biggest payout ever made by CCRIF to any country,” Prime Minister Minnis said.
Prime Minister Minnis said The Bahamas’ Excess Rainfall policy would also have been triggered resulting in a payout of US$855,874.
“Of course, those payouts would have been larger depending on the coverage purchased.”
The Prime Minister said CCRIF SPC made payouts totaling US$29,204,248 to the other four CCRIF Member Countries affected by Hurricane Matthew.
The payouts were made to Haiti, Barbados, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines on their Tropical Cyclone and/or Excess Rainfall insurance policies – all within 14 days of the event.
“Needless to say, I have directed the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance to renew the country’s policy with CCRIF so that this type of gross and stunning incompetence does not happen during our watch,” Prime Minister Minnis added.