Island Heritage celebrates 10 years

Island Heritage Insurance celebrated its tenth anniversary with a reception at the Grand Old House on Tuesday.

Island Heritages tenth anniversary

Among those at the reception to celebrate Island Heritages tenth anniversary were, from left, Michael Freisenbruch, who represents the companys agents in Bermuda; Jim Tunick, who represents the companys agents in USVI; Conor ODea, the companys Chairman of the Board; Bryan Murphy, the companys CEO; and Mark Byrne, the companys Deputy Chairman of the Board. Photo: Alan Markoff

Established in the Cayman Islands in 1996, Island Heritage also now has operations through a network of licensed agents and brokers, in Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, CuraƧao, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St Kitts, St Maarten, the United States Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Turks & Caicos and the Netherlands Antilles.

Bryan Murphy, Island Heritage’s CEO since its inception, said the company’s steady growth and success over the past decade is a testament to its strength and diversity. He called the anniversary a milestone.

‘Some people say ten years is the business world is nothing,’ he said. ‘But I’ll tell you, running an insurance company in the Caribbean for 10 years is a lot.’

Mr. Murphy said the Caribbean insurance industry tends to count the passing of time in CAT (Catastrophe)-years and with names such as Georges, Frances, Charley, Micelle and ‘the dreaded Ivan’.

Hurricane Ivan presented Island Heritage with a severe challenge.

Immediately in the hurricane’s aftermath, Island Heritage began dealing with claims, and had a team of international loss adjusters on the ground helping customers within 36 hours of the ‘all-clear’.

Despite its prompt efforts, A.M. Best, the international insurance rating company, put Island Heritage’s rating under review days after Ivan hit Cayman because of uncertainty regarding the company’s capitalisation.

However, by January 2005, the company had announced an $8 million recapitalization plan through a rights offering to existing shareholders and A.M. Best affirmed Island Heritage’s A- (Excellent) rating

Mr. Murphy said it was strength that allowed Islands Heritage to succeed through the Hurricane Ivan experience.

Island Heritages Chairman of the Board Conor O’Dea was confident the future held good fortune for the company.

‘I believe the next 10 years, while more challenging, will also be more rewarding,’ he said.

Mr. Murphy paid a tribute to artist Joanne Sibley for giving him the idea for the name of the company with one of her paintings called Cayman Heritage. Although the name Cayman Heritage did not fit in with the company’s long term expansion plans, Island Heritage did, which is how the company got its name, Mr. Murphy said.

‘I never had a chance to thank Joanne Sibley, but some day I will,’ he said.

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