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Claim disputed


Owners of the gutted Workbench Furniture Ltd and insurers Beacon Insurance are at loggerheads over the voiding of the company’s claim since the Spring Garden plant was destroyed.

Now there is a call for the Prime Minister to get involved, even as the insurance company maintains it has grounds for voiding the insurance claim.

Managers and employees of the company were said to have staged protest today against Beacon, with local businessman Trevor Clarke weighing in on the side of Workbench, claiming that this kind of treatment by an insurance company was not fair, and calling for a sit down with Prime Minister Freundel Stuart.

Barry Linton, son of owner James Linton, reportedly told media today: “After submitting our claim to our insurance company Beacon, they returned our premium, cancelled our policy, claiming we had left out vital information when they took on the policy.”

He also claimed the information left out was not included in the proposal nor in the policy and furthermore other insurers they had spoken with did not know about it.

Beacon Insurance, however, said the policy was voided because Workbench “breached their obligation to be forthright and disclose all material facts to the insurer at the time they applied for insurance coverage”.

“The matters Workbench failed to disclose included:

* Workbench owing significant contributions to the National Insurance Scheme, including contributions deducted from their employees wages.

* Workbench owing significant rent to its landlord, the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation.

* Workbench’s failure to maintain basic financial records.”

Senior Counsel for the insurer, Christopher Hamell-Smith also said that all facts and circumstances relevant to the coverage should have been disclosed and failure to disclose one or other relevant facts would entitle the company to void the policy “for non-disclosure because it was entitled to know those things before taking the risk”.

Beacon also charged that it was still awaiting a response from the Workbench’s attorney to correspondence sent. (LB)

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