Hurricanes Irma and Maria: 33 claims reported in the West Indies


Insured damage to date amounts to € 910 million. Two months after the passage of hurricanes, the French Insurance Federation went to Saint-Martin earlier this week. 

Allianz France, GFA Caribbean, Groupama, and mutual insurance companies such as Maif, GMF and Maaf - have received 33000 claims to date, at an estimated cost of € 910 million, according to the French Federation of Insurance (FFA). Hurricane Irma was the most devastating, with 16 claims recorded on Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy at an estimated cost of € 400 million. Maria, which affected Guadeloupe and Martinique, generated just as many claims (830) but the magnitude of which is more limited: € 16 million.

This figure is still subject to change, due to "numerous late declarations" but also to "the uncertainty of the final cost for certain serious claims". In total, the claims declared in all of the Antilles could amount to € 1,2 billion according to the FFA. A figure which corresponds to the amount estimated by the models of the Caisse Centrale de Réassurance (CCR) the day after Irma's passage, for the islands of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy only. According to our information, market estimates range between € 970 million and € 1,39 billion.

Insurers and public authorities on the job

The work of the experts, whose task was considerably complicated and delayed by the extreme conditions on Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy, continues. To date, “75% of the claims declared have been subject to a first visit by an expert. A hundred experts are still on the job, notably in Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy, in order to transmit to insurers the quickest assessment of damages, ”specifies the FFA.

Crisis management continues on these islands, where the removal of spoil and wrecks is a prerequisite for reconstruction. The profession declares to work alongside the public authorities and the prefect Philippe Gustin, interministerial delegate for the reconstruction of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy. Represented by the FFA, which had accompanied the President of the Republic a week after the passage of Hurricane Irma.

Matignon has also decided to set up a working group associating all stakeholders (including the FFA and CCR) in order to modernize the French natural disaster regime, which dates back to 1982. It is about " continue to improve the protection of policyholders and develop a culture of prevention ”. According to our information, taking charge of rehousing costs and adjusting the deductibles according to the prevention measures adopted by the local authorities would be part of the avenues for improvement.

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