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BAICO clients see resurrection of policies

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, left, and Anthony Bowen, executive vice president -- sales, Sagicor Life Inc., Barbados.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, left, and Anthony Bowen, executive vice president — sales, Sagicor Life Inc., Barbados.

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, March 19, IWN — As Easter draws near, over 15,000 former policyholders in British American Insurance Co. Ltd. (BAICO) are seeing the resurrection of their instruments.

On Friday, the transfer of BAICO’s traditional insurance business to Sagicor was finalised following the receipt of approval from all nine insurance regulators and courts within the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) and The Bahamas, where BAICO is incorporated.

“Those with traditional life insurance policies in Anguilla, St. Vincent, Grenada, Antigua, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and Montserrat stand to greatly benefit from this transfer,” Anthony Bowen, executive vice president of sales at Sagicor Life Inc., Barbados, told a joint press conference with Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves Tuesday.

Bowens said Sagicor has a long history of incorporating policyholders within the region into its portfolio.

He said that by April 2014 Sagicor expects to establish a new entity incorporated in one of the countries of that Eastern Caribbean that will bring the existing Sagicor Life business and that of British American under one legal entity.

Meanwhile, Gonsalves read at the press conference a release issued by the governments of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union, Sagicor Life, Inc., and the judicial managers/administrator of BAICO.

The release says Sagicor will contact each affected policyholder whose policy has been transferred to confirm how to continue receiving their policy related benefits, pay premiums and make claims.

Sagicor has made interim arrangements with BAICO for BAICO branches in the ECCU to provide ongoing customer support to policyholders.

This means that BAICO will accept premiums and claims, and conduct other customer services on behalf of Sagicor.

Sagicor will also contact approximately 1,500 persons in the ECCU who are owed historical claim amounts, surrender payments, maturity payments, and bonuses by BAICO in order to make these payments.

The ECCU governments have provided funding for these amounts to be paid. Recipients will need to sign an appropriate release as a condition of receiving their payment.

The release said the ECCU governments and Sagicor will now focus on identifying whether a solution can be identified for those traditional life insurance policyholders whose policies lapsed between the commencement of BAICO’s judicial management and the announcement of the sale of the traditional life insurance business to Sagicor.

Once this work has concluded, an update will be provided, the release further said.

“I want to thank the financial secretaries and the cabinets of the various countries for securing approvals necessary to ensure that this arrangement could be implemented,” said Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Finance.

“I want to thank the governor and team at the Central Bank for processing various arrangements and supports. I want to thank the government and people of Trinidad and Tobago for the funding. I want to thank KPMG and the judicial managers who have worked tirelessly on all aspects of the deal. I want to thank very much the general public for their patience and forbearance for believing in their governments that we could bring this to a successful conclusion,” he further said.

“This, frankly speaking, has been extraordinary. This is a tribute to our civilisation. This is an entirely homegrown solution done by Caribbean people for Caribbean people for the individual protection and for the systemic protection and maintenance of the strength of the insurance and financial system,” he said.

“So when some people doubt themselves, we ask you not to and this event should more generally reinforce faith and confidence of the general public, especially of young people in the capacity of our own people to do things, which are good and worthy.”

On June 29, 2012, the governments of ECCU and the Judicial Managers of BAICO announced that BAICO, which is judicial management, had entered into an agreement to sell part of its insurance business to Sagicor the ECCU governments have undertaken to provide funding to assist in restoring value to the transferring policies.

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Discussion

2 thoughts on “BAICO clients see resurrection of policies

  1. This agreement through the efforts of all the relevant stakeholders must be applauded enormously.

    All is still not well financially with the former Financial Advisors of the said BAICO,who funds were also taken as contributions into a Pension Plan Fund with BAICO.

    I-Witness News – this matter is of concern to all the former financial advisors of the Eastern caribbean Countries, namely: Anguilla, St. Vincent, Grenada, Antigua, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and Montserrat. What are the possiblity of us being refunded our pension funds. Have the insurance regulators and courts within the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) and the Bahamas ever had any inclusive plans or solutions in an effort to reimburse such pension contributions to the then financial advisor of BAICO.

    Posted by Phillip E Cambridge | March 20, 2013, 14:48
  2. I don’t believe that Sagicor Life is the rip-roaring corporation that Gonsalves would have us believe it is.
    Although unlike most companies they have made overall profits and been able to keep head above water, their profits are not anything spectacular.

    I just hope that Gonsalves has had a proper due diligence report done on the company. We know he is not very good at that, so thats why I ask. Not just the Insurance but the whole Sagicor Group, we can’t afford another bad decision.

    A cursory look at Sagicor Financial Corporation’s financial statements for the year ended December 2010 is rather revealing. It segments into Sagicor Life Inc (housing most of the Caribbean) Sagicor Life Jamaica, Sagicor Europe, Sagicor USA, and Head Office and other. A look at the net income/(loss) for the year line reveals that Jamaica provided the lion share with US$56.28 million. The total for all the segments came to just US$41.63 million, which in effect means that without Jamaica, Sagicor Financial Corporation would have posted a substantial loss.

    Broken down more specifically Sagicor Life Inc (including Trinidad& Tobago) posted a net income of US$29 million, Sagicor Europe a loss of US$14 million, Sagicor USA just US$3.14 million, Head Office and other made a loss of US$26.14 million and Adjustments a loss of US$7.5 million.

    In 2010 the CEO of Sagicor Financial Corporation Dodridge Miller sought to allay fears that the Group was in financial trouble, after a private placement in which it issued shares to Barbados National Insurance Board in order to raise Bds$39.15 million in fresh cash raised many eyebrows. The deal would see Barbados National Insurance Board’s stake in Sagicor rise to 6.8 per cent.

    I have not been able to look at the 2011 to 2012 figures, so I am unable to report any improvement or degradation of the 2010 position.

    Posted by peterbinose | March 20, 2013, 14:56

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