Basseterre, St. Kitts, 4th December – The failure of British American Insurance Company, (BAICO), approximately five years ago, affected almost 4,000 customers in St. Kitts and Nevis alone, with thousands more in other Caribbean states equally suffering losses.
Now, Sagicor Life Insurance, which is the company that was designated by Eastern Caribbean Governments to acquire the BAICO interests, is taking a new step to reach out to those once affected in St. Kitts and Nevis.
Their main focus is on the former BAICO policyholders who have not yet collected their checks or welcome packages from Sagicor Life Insurance which is now responsible for all traditional policies of BAICO.
Simply put, said a company official, there remains thousands of dollars in payments not yet collected by residents of the twin-island federation.
To help facilitate this initiative, Sagicor Life Insurance has organized a one day Road Show scheduled for Friday 6th December, at the D.R. Walwyn Plaza in Charlestown Nevis, from10:00am-4:30pm.
According to the Sagicor Agency Manager in Basseterre, Denrick Connor, in 2009 the British American Company faced some serious financial challenges and was placed under judicial management and from that time, could not function or serve their clients. This resulted in thousands of customers seeking, but hardly receiving answers to their many questions and other enquiries.
Eventually the customers lost whatever insurance coverage they had in place with BAICO including mortgages. Their interests were therefore in question because BAICO could no longer function as a life insurance provider because of the challenges they faced. As a result, the governments across the Eastern Caribbean realized that their citizens were facing extreme difficulty, including 3,900 clients in St. Kitts and Nevis, who faced losing what they had put in place, in terms of life insurance security. Thus the governments set out to find solutions and a reliable and suitable partner that could ably refinance the failed BAICO interests. This was when the governments selected Sagicor Life Insurance to partner with them in restoring the portfolio of business which was under BAICO. This joint effort has resulted in great benefits for the former BAICO customers.
With the refinancing of the entire BAICO portfolio, the governments in partnership with Sagicor have restored all of the existing life insurance business, so persons whose BAICO policies remained applicable up to 15th March, 2013; those policies have been successfully transferred over to Sagicor into a very secure and financially strong environment and now these persons have their insurance policies back and can now continue to service their policies under Sagicor.
“As a matter of fact we have not only taken on responsibilities going forward, but Sagicor have gone back to 2009, and all policies with debt claim spending, maturities, surrenders, and those where persons had made withdrawals, etc., through this new initiative we have gone backwards and have been paying out all of those policy owners who had policy benefits becoming payable between 2009 and 2013 and now we are going to be taking those current policyholders onward with the servicing of their policies”, said Sagicor Agency Manager, Denrick Connor.
The failure of BAICO obviously caused many Nevisians and Kittitians to lose faith in the insurance industry but Sagicor is helping to restore that trust and confidence that is so much needed.
Since the collapse of BAICO, Governments realized that the time had come to institute regulations to guide the affairs of the insurance sector. Today, there are significant regulations that govern the conduct of the insurance businesses across the region.
“The fact that Sagicor acquired this failed initiative by British American, should be enough comfort to our new policyholders, to realize that Sagicor has in fact breathed new life into what they thought they may have lost, between 2009 and now. And so Sagicor is saying to all those persons, your policy is safe and secure with us. You would not have lost any benefit and we are inviting these persons to simply come to our offices and discuss with our advisors the best way forward regarding the continuation of their life insurance policy portfolio. They have not lost any benefit and going forward their policies would function as they functioned under British American” added Connor.
Sagicor’s financial strength, stated Connor, would never be in doubt because persons can go online and read all the financial and other reports to understand the strength and fortitude of the company. Sagicor also trades on a number of regional and international stock exchanges, in London, Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and is hoping to soon gain listing on the Eastern Caribbean Stock Exchange.
Therefore, during Friday’s Road Show in Nevis the company will be using the occasion to meet and greet former BAICO and present Sagicor customers. The Road Show is designed as an open public awareness event to essentially welcome their new policy owners who have been transferred from BAICO. “We want to meet as many of them as possible, to welcome them over to Sagicor, to give them all of the information they need; for them to discover how easy it is to continue with Sagicor.”
The Sagicor official said they are inviting persons to continue hold on to their former BAICO policies and to continue to service them. Sagicor advisors will make themselves available on Friday to provide all the information needed.
Sagicor Life Inc is based in Barbados and offers a wide range of financial solutions including life and health insurance, retirement planning, mortgages and fund management. Sagicor’s strength is evidenced in its “A-“ (Excellent) Rating from A.M. Best, which is based on the company’s financial position, strategic management and operating effectiveness. Sagicor has a proud history dating back to 1840 and today operates in 22 countries including Antigua, Barbados and St. Lucia. Additional information about the company can be obtained by visiting www.sagicorlife.com.