No extra burden

The new $15 million headquarters.

Motor vehicle and property owners in Barbados are being told not to expect any immediate increase in their insurance premiums.

Vice-President of the General Insurance Association of Barbados, Anton Lovell, gave the assurance this morning.

He said that despite a worrying increase in the rate of road fatalities and accidents this year, the industry had decided against placing any further financial burden on the backs of policyholders.

Lovell, who is also general manager of Co-operators General Insurance Company Limited, was addressing reporters and other partners during a “soft” opening of its new $15 million headquarters on Upper Collymore Rock, St. Michael.

“Quite honestly, the competition is so fierce now, there’s not a lot of business around, as we speak. If you speak to the car dealers, there’s not a lot of new cars coming on the market like in previous years,” said Lovell.

“So business out there is not bountiful. So what most companies are doing, what we are doing, is trying just to retain, keep a high retention level and try to attract some additional business that is out there. But I don’t see any immediate threat in terms of increasing rates in the market.”

The insurance executive pointed out that the industry’s main goal was to try as much as possible, to keep lobbying for such things as breathalyzer legislation, discouraging the use of cellphones while driving and reducing the accident rates.

“The industry has been tremendous in not bringing any additional burden to persons, in terms of asking the persons to pay increases in rates, in either property insurance or motor insurance. It is commendable on the industry to try not to bring any further pain to Barbadians,” declared the executive.

He noted that “our insurance rates have not been increased for sometime.” (EJ)

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