By Dana Niland
Caribbean hoteliers should plan now for an increase in insurance premiums anticipated to range from 10 to 40 percent following the two Category 5 hurricanes that struck destinations in September.
This recommendation came from Scott Stollmeyer, Managing Director of Barbados and Eastern Caribbean for CGM Gallagher Insurance Brokers, during a Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association webinar earlier this month.
He and other panelists advised that now is the time to review coverage to ensure it is adequate to insure against possible future damages, and, without compromising coverage, to look at ways to minimize the expected premium increases.
Stollmeyer said that for the past eight years the Caribbean has enjoyed reduced insurance rates, but that will now change.
He said 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.
He explained this will lead to a “hardening” market, and added, “We are going to be in for some challenging times in the next few years.”
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,” he said.