‘Too much drinking and driving’

A senior insurance executive is calling on authorities to do something about the issue of drinking and driving before it gets worse.

Chief Executive Officer of the Insurance Corporation of Barbados (ICBL) Ingrid Innes said she was open to entering discussions about setting a cap on the amount in general insurance claims which a company has to pay out.

She explained that such a change would have to go through an extensive process, including legislative changes. She was not certain if other industry players wanted that at this time.

Innes was speaking to journalists on the sidelines of an appreciation cocktail reception at her St Peter’s Bay residence for media practitioners Wednesday evening.

Innes said while she did not have data on the number of serious accidents which occurred in Barbados last year, it was an issue that needed to be addressed because it was impacting the industry.

ICBL CEO Ingrid Innes
ICBL CEO Ingrid Innes

“ICBL hasn’t had any major one of those accidents. It hasn’t affected us. We have had a fairly good year from an accident perspective. We have had a couple of fatalities but not with comparison to what is happening in Barbados right now,” she said.

She added: “We need to look at it from a different perspective as well. What are we doing with the drinking and driving and all those kinds of things? You have to start from there to mitigate some of those accidents. I am not sure we are willing to be that strong and we have the will to make those changes”.

“I think drinking and driving, if you take a look at the stats in North America since they tightened those laws around drinking and driving, you see that that has really cut down and reduce the number of claims,” said Innes, who expressed support for breathalyzer testing.

With regard to a cap on the amount being paid out in general insurance claims, Innes said, “I think most insurance companies want that but at the end of the day, Barbados has to go through this process and I respect the process.”

“Even in Canada there is a cap on what you pay out. I would say most insurance companies would like to see that. I am not sure they have the will to actually go through the process right now given the economy and the people. I am not sure they would want to disadvantage any of their customers at this time,” she said.

In relation to ICBL’s performance, Innes said while she has not seen the final report, which is currently being audited, she was aware that the company performed better last year compared to 2014. She said there was exceptional growth in the life insurance business and modest growth on the general side.

“I would say for 2016 we are optimistic. We want to grow our business [and] we want to retain our business. I think our objective this year is to implement all the technologies so that we can better service our customers in 2016 but we are setting ourselves up for growth,” she said.

The insurance official described current insurance rates as “very soft” and competitive, noting “customers are winning right now from the soft rates”. (MM)

3 Responses to ‘Too much drinking and driving’

  1. Alex Alleyne January 29, 2016 at 10:15 am

    ICBL is always out front and very vocal on ending their relationship with a client . There is no such thing as “accident forgiveness” at ICBL they will drop you in a flash no matter how long you were with them . The funny thing about it is that if you are “accident free”, they won’t even send you a XMAS card saying thanks for good driving this year.
    Only recently they put out an ad asking one and all to return to them and get a “discount” …….what a nerve.
    Insurance companies in BIM are problems when it come to paying for personal injuries , they will fix the vehicle with no problem and string you out while you suffer in pain.

  2. jrsmith January 29, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    At last they have spoken, I always wonder, where they were at , for the amount of , written of vehicles…and the insurance companies not responding…

    To the insurers, when in Barbados , what I have seen , people driving and texting, I have seen the state of the bald tyres on vehicle and the unroad worthyhyness of lots of vehicle ,leaves a lot to be desired.. I live in London , we have ,Excess on our policies , in the states its , deductibles.. My take, the insurance companies in Barbados , should if they are not doing so , introduce an excess on the policy , of between ,, 1500 to 2000 dollars,,, that’s a start…

    As for vehicle ,insurers , they are the same world over , they all talk about fraud in the industry, but when it comes to light as to what they get up to amongst themselves, make you quinge..

    What is frightening , in Barbados , how could an island as Barbados , have 30,000 vehicles on the public high , with out insurance…how this can be.. someone must explain, The minister for transport. Must explain. To combat drunk driving , random breath testing.. and heavy fines…

  3. Tony Waterman January 29, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    @jrSmith!!!! The Insurers in Barbados have always been ASKING for Government Intervention, which has never been forthcoming, and there is a reason for that, Government Ministers, Senior Civil servants, Policemen,et al , all have interest in Motor vehicles in barbados, whether it be Route Taxis, Busses, Regular taxis, et el, so any changes to the Laws WILL Impact this category, so dont expect anything to be done anytime soon, Breathalizers were supposeed to be in effect three years ago, where are they?? tnere is supposed to be a cellphone use Law, who enforces it??? Even the Prime Minister has admitted PUBLICLY that there is favouritism because of the small size of the Island, so how do you expect things to move forward ???

    In order for this Island to really move forward, i will again call for there to be a change in how the island is administered/Governed.
    we NEED a government of RECONSTRUCTION, Ban Political Parties, and elect People to run the Island, with the Mandate to see how things can be done, and not to have this CONFRONTATIONAL Westminister Style that we 50 years later is still endorsing.
    What is the good in Going to a Republic style of Government whilst still have the Queen’s Westminister style of Parliament??? you tell me.


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