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Sixteen Caribbean Countries Renew CCRIF Catastrophe Insurance Policies for 2013/14

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, August 19, 2013 – The sixteen member governments of the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) renewed their hurricane and earthquake insurance for the 2013/14 policy year that started June 1. Since CCRIF’s inception in 2007 – and despite increasing economic and financial pressures – member countries have recognised the value of including CCRIF’s parametric hurricane and earthquake coverage in their national disaster risk management strategies.
 
This year was no different, especially given that the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted an active 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season with more and stronger hurricanes than usual. For the six-month hurricane season, which began June 1, NOAA stated there was a 70 percent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms - well above the seasonal average of 12 named storms.
 
In light of the budgetary constraints felt by countries across the region, CCRIF sought again this year to minimise premium costs. For the 2013/14 policies, CCRIF provided a 25% discount on premiums because no payouts were made by CCRIF in 2012/13, resulting in an underwriting surplus for the organisation, which is run as a not-for-profit entity. Also, countries could apply a portion of their Participation Fee (a deposit paid when they initially became a CCRIF member) toward their premium payment and had the option to lower the minimum attachment point for tropical cyclones (hurricanes) from a fifteen-year to a ten-year return period. These all led to a reduction in the effective cost of coverage to countries this year by at least 25% but in some cases up to 50%.  
 
The Facility also added the new excess rainfall product to its portfolio of offerings to Caribbean governments for 2013/14. This product specifically covers extreme rainfall events, from both cyclonic systems and from non-cyclonic systems. It should be noted that rainfall is not included in CCRIF’s current hurricane policies, which trigger based on damage from wind and storm surge. Many countries have consistently expressed interest in excess rainfall coverage and in fact, the new product is of interest to countries which are not yet CCRIF members since they are not vulnerable to hurricanes or earthquakes but have significant extreme rainfall risk.  
 
CCRIF recognises that rainfall is a leading cause of damage in the Caribbean – not only during hurricanes but throughout the year, and is seeking ways to enable countries in the region to obtain this coverage. Earlier this year, CCRIF, in collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank,
held a meeting with international development partners to explore ways in which they could support the roll-out of this product. These donors were very interested and committed to examine how they could provide support.  
 
Since the inception of CCRIF in 2007, the Facility has made eight payouts totalling over US$32 million to seven member governments on their hurricane or earthquake policies. All payouts were transferred to the respective governments within 14 days after each event.
 
About CCRIF: CCRIF is a not-for-profit risk pooling facility, owned, operated and registered in the Caribbean for Caribbean governments. It is designed to limit the financial impact of catastrophic hurricanes and earthquakes to Caribbean governments by quickly providing short-term liquidity when a policy is triggered.  It is the world’s first regional fund utilising parametric insurance, giving Caribbean governments the unique opportunity to purchase earthquake and hurricane catastrophe coverage with lowest-possible pricing.  CCRIF represents a paradigm shift in the way governments treat risk, with Caribbean governments leading the way in pre-disaster planning. CCRIF was developed through funding from the Japanese Government, and was capitalised through contributions to a multi-donor Trust Fund by the Government of Canada, the European Union, the World Bank, the governments of the UK and France, the Caribbean Development Bank and the governments of Ireland and Bermuda, as well as through membership fees paid by participating governments.

The payouts made by CCRIF since 2007 are listed below.

Event

Country Affected

Payouts (US$)

Earthquake, 29 November 2007

Dominica

528,021

Earthquake, 29 November 2007

Saint Lucia

418,976

Tropical Cyclone Ike, September 2008

Turks and Caicos Islands

6,303,913

Earthquake, 12 January 2010

Haiti

7,753,579

Tropical Cyclone Earl, August 2010

Anguilla

4,282,733

Tropical Cyclone Tomas, October 2010

Barbados

8,560,247

Tropical Cyclone Tomas, October 2010

Saint Lucia

3,241,613

Tropical Cyclone Tomas, October 2010

St. Vincent & the Grenadines

1,090,388

Total for the Period 2007 - 2012

US$32,179,470