Insurer’s head office in question

The Central Bank of Trinidad
and Tobago suspended Motor and General from carrying out most of its operations
on 15 June, 2010, according to Central Bank Inspector of Financial Operations
Carl Hiralal.

He said the regulatory action
was taken to protect policyholders and lasts an initial 60 days, adding that
based on the results of specific monitoring, it has become necessary to do so.
The reason as he explained them were that the company did not comply with basic
regulations.

“They have problems with the
filing of their statutory returns with the Central Bank,” Mr. Hirlal said. “The
2007 to 2008 returns were filed late and were filed incorrectly; we have had to
reject those returns.”

Mr. Hiralal said the late and
incorrectly filed returns made it difficult for the regulator to assess the
financial position of the company.

“We were advised that the
company would be able to file their 2009 returns, due 30 June. Even the current
returns would not be coming in time.”

He said the company has also
had problems funding the statutory fund and has not complied fully with the
Central Bank’s request, putting policyholders in jeopardy.

The suspension affects all
Motor and General offices in Trinidad.

Beverly Banks, manager of
Cayman Motor and General in Cayman, said the situation in Trinidad has
absolutely no bearing on what is happening here in Cayman and added that it was
important to remember the company’s record in the Cayman Islands and the fact
that it was the longest-serving insurance company on the
Islands.

“In fact, after [Hurricane]
Ivan Motor and General was the only company that was self-sufficient,” she said.
“We paid 99 per cent of claims even though the majority of our customers had
declined hurricane coverage.”

“Cayman is fine. We have no
problem,” she said, adding that an official statement would be
forthcoming.

Mrs. Banks said policies in
the Cayman Islands would not be affected and that it was “business as usual”,
even though Motor and General Cayman is not a separate entity from the Trinidad
parent company.

The Cayman Islands Monetary
issued a statement Wednesday acknowledging the Central Bank of Trinidad and
Tobago’s actions.

“CIMA has been in close
communication with the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, the management at
Motor and General Insurance Company Ltd. and PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and is
actively assessing the options to protect the company’s domestic policyholders
and the assets of the Company’s Cayman operations, as well as to safeguard the
public interest. Any further announcements by CIMA will be communicated once a
full assessment in complete.”

CIMA declined to answer
questions about whether it had also liaised with the Department of Vehicle and
Drivers’s Licensing about the situation and about what Motor and General clients
should do if they have policy renewals over the next 60
days.

The Department of Vehicle and
Drivers’s Licensing’s Deputy Director Richard Simms said he did not know much
about the situation other than what he had read online.

“At the moment, we are
honouring all certificates from insurance companies until we are officially
advised to do so,” he said.

 

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