Editorial for 08 December: Budget now for insurance hikes

We in the Cayman Islands breathe a sigh of relief after the passing of
each hurricane season when we realise we have come, unscathed, through yet
another season of possible destruction.

It means that our properties, lives and well beings are intact; that we
can squirrel away our hurricane supplies for next year or give them to some
deserving charity; and usually, that our home and business insurance rates will
remain steadfast or decrease.

Not so this year,

All three Islands were blessed this hurricane season to escape nature’s
wrath. The last hurricane that brought devastation to our shores was in 2008
when Hurricane Paloma slammed into Cayman Brac. Grand Cayman has been
relatively free of storm damage since Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

But despite our respite from bad storms, insurance rates and homes and
businesses here and throughout the Caribbean will probably increase, through no
fault of our own.

When we think about the natural disasters that struck the world in 2001
we naturally think of the tsunami in Japan; tornadoes in the United States; the
earthquake in Christchurch, Zealand; Hurricane Irene on the eastern seaboard of
the US; and epic flooding in Thailand. What many of us don’t realise is that
there were more than 240 catastrophic events on Planet Earth this year.

Because there was a high number of catastrophes with high insured
losses, most reinsurance rates will go up next year. The domino effect is more
than likely going to hit us in our pocketbooks right here at home in the Cayman
Islands.

It’s not a question of if most insurance rates will go up, but when.

Basically all we can do at this juncture is get in touch with our
insurance agents and get a ballpark figure of how much the increase is going to
be and start saving money.

The news comes right in the midst of a time when we are all eyeing
special purchases for loved ones to make Christmas merry and bright.

With proper planning and budgeting, the insurance blow might not be too
hard.