Dear Editor,This firm of insurance brokers would like to disassociate itself from the recent publication by a group of insurers in conjunction with the Guyana Insurance Brokers Association (GIBA) regarding the whole issue of flooding. We wish to advise that our firm is a standing member of GIBA but, unfortunately, it was just not consulted in any way, shape or form on this issue and, as such, we cannot offer our unqualified support for such measures and decisions without having had the opportunity to properly examine all of the facts surrounding this wide-ranging issue of flooding. An issue of such importance deserves widespread consultation and agreement on the way forward. We respectfully submit that we do not lay claim to a monopoly on ideas on any issue but would like to be able to make a contribution to such a process.
Whilst this firm is fully cognizant of the fact that there have been an increased incidence of flooding in our country since January 2005, we are also fully aware of the deficiencies within our local and central authorities in taking the appropriate steps to mitigate such losses. We, however, do appreciate that there are several other factors that can also be attributable to this situation. It is a well-known fact that these deficiencies by the authorities existed long before 2005. The insurance industry had instituted a few underwriting measures on their policies aimed at increasing the burden on policyholders to improve their risks since this spate of flood losses, and most insureds had fully cooperated with these measures since they were generally thought to be reasonable and fair.
As insurance brokers, we do owe a sacred duty and responsibility to our customers, policyholders and the insuring public at large to safeguard their interests. We also do recognize that we form an integral part of the insurance industry and bear some level of responsibility towards charting solutions for our growing problems within the industry such as this topical issue of flooding and its consequences. This firm had recently highlighted the plight of the public with the most inadequate third party liability limits that are mandatory under the Road Traffic Act and is very disillusioned that the remainder of the insurance industry, with the exception of one other broker, has been and continues to be stone cold silent on this most distressing and burning issue.
In addition, it has been over one year now that the industry was engaged by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance with a revision of the Insurance Act of 1998 and we are yet to see this revised act tabled in parliament. We are happy that this issue is now a front-burner one and trust that all such burning issues affecting the industry are dealt with efficiently and effectively.
We stand ready and committed to engage with all relevant parties and stakeholders in further discussions on this flood issue along with the several other burning issues affecting the insurance industry.
Raj Singh Insurance Brokers