Everyone asks themselves, “Do I need insurance?” The very simple answer to this question is, yes, you do. Insurance is necessary in almost every aspect of our lives. It is crucial to our protection and that of those around us. We drive cars that must be insured. Our property should be insured. And by insuring our health and lives we are protecting ourselves and our loved ones.
Leaving yourself uninsured will put you in a precarious position and so it’s important to understand how Insurance works and why it is necessary.
Insurance is unlike other commodities. It’s intangible and you can’t physically see what you’re paying for. When a company sells an insurance policy, they’re selling is a promise. A pledge to their customers that in the face of a loss they will be indemnified and have the peace of mind that they will be able to get back on their feet.
A lot of consumers suffer from an, “it will never happen to me” mentality when it comes to insurance. For many people it would be possible to recover financially after a relatively small loss; however, where insurance really comes to the rescue is in the event of an expensive financial catastrophe.
The absolute necessity of insurance was shown strongly in the Cayman Islands during the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan in 2004. When hurricane Ivan slammed into Grand Cayman on September 12, 2004 with sustained winds of upwards of 140 miles per hour it left behind a trail of destruction. Almost 85% of the buildings on the island were severely damaged or destroyed completely.
The Cayman Islands faced many challenges during the rebuilding effort, but amazingly in just a few months following this devastation, tremendous progress had been made towards recovery. The people of the Cayman Islands showed remarkable resilience and community spirit in their efforts to rebuild and the local insurance companies played an important part in this recovery. The island would not have been able to recover in such a timely manner if not for insurance. Based on reports from the insurance companies, the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority estimates a total payout of $1.15 billion to insureds.
Island Heritage was well prepared for such a disaster, having high limits of reinsurance and a panel of reinsurers that are among the strongest in the Industry.
The weekend following the hurricane, despite huge losses and emotional hardship suffered by Island Heritage staff, the company showed its commitment to its customers and the community by setting up a temporary office to deal with customers’ claims. Island Heritage issued initial payouts to over 1,000 home insurance customers to meet policy-holders urgent need for cash. That money enabled customers to buy much needed food and supplies, proving that Island Heritage takes its promise to its customers seriously.
“The public of the Cayman Islands have a number of choices when it comes to choosing an insurance company. We recognize that our customers are putting their faith in us to be there for them during the worst of times and thus we are committed to ensuring they are confident they have placed their risk in the right hands from the day they get their quote to the day they make their claim,” says Evelyn Tibbetts-Farrar, Underwriting Manager-Personal Lines.
Island Heritage’s commitment to excellence in customer service and the efficient and timely way it processed customers’ claims enabled them to grow significantly in the Cayman Insurance Market after Ivan and this growth continues into the present.
Island Heritage opened its doors in the Cayman Islands in 1996. The Company was initially formed as a specialist property insurer providing residential and commercial property risk coverage.
In 2003 the Company successfully established a branch office in Barbados. Island Heritage soon expanded to other Caribbean islands and is now present in 14 islands across the Caribbean where it writes business through a network of agents.
Island Heritage reached another milestone in January 2010 with the opening of a full service retail centre in Grand Cayman, coinciding with the launch of its new Heritage Motor Cover Product.
The Company is rated A- by AM Best.
Insurance has played a big part in the expansion of credit in modern society. Credit is what allows development and innovation to take place. Insurance provides two-fold protection. It protects the insured’s property and the lender’s investment. By insuring both commercial and residential property, Island Heritage contributes to this credit expansion and thus the economic development of the Cayman Islands.
Island Heritage’s commitment doesn’t only extend to its customers, but also to the community at large. The company has a vested interest in the Cayman Islands community. Through involvement with local charitable organizations, sporting groups and environmental initiatives Island Heritage continues to play a significant role in the betterment of our islands.