Puerto Rican ICMIF member Cooperativa de Seguros Múltiples has now paid 92% of the claims which arose due to Hurricane Maria. They have paid 52,582 claims already said the cooperative with just 4,787 remaining.
The cooperative issued a statement at the close of business on Wednesday 11 April that 92% of the 57,369 claims received had been paid at a cost of USD 152.1 million.
Executive President, Juan A. Lugo Meléndez, said in the statement: "After intense periods of work and complex processes to address the extraordinary number of claims received on 22 September 2018 when we began to operate after Hurricane Maria had passed through Puerto Rico, we have paid over 92% of the cases, paying the highest amount in the history of Cooperativa de Seguros Múltiples.” Juan A. Lugo Meléndez assumed the role of Executive President of Cooperativa de Seguros Múltiples at the beginning of the year. Juan is a member of the ICMIF/Americas Board and also sits on the main ICMIF Board of Directors
According to a spokesperson at Cooperativa de Seguros Múltiples, which is a property and casualty insurer, the management of this great number of claims has been a huge task considering the very challenging conditions in which the country was left after the hurricane and the fact that the company continued to receive claims on a daily basis regarding the damages caused by the devastating hurricane.
Finally, the insurer explained that "given the increase in the attention still required for the resolution of claims, we are continuing to reorganize our Claims Adjustment Centre that has enabled us, in our central offices, to serve the enormous flow of customers." All of the cooperative’s offices had to be shut at one point and these have since been reopening with the announcement this week of the reopening of the Carolina Branch, as well as the upcoming reopening of the Arecibo Branch scheduled for 23 April 2018.
During the forthcoming ICMIF Meeting of Reinsurance Officials (MORO – 23-25 April 2018), there will be a session looking at the 2017 hurricanes (Harvey, Irma, Maria) and the lessons learned from them and other industry losses. The session will include insights into the state of catastrophe models following those record losses, as well as discussing strategies for managing risk and it will feature Dharma Rovayo, Assistant Vice-President, Business Development & Risk Management, Real Legacy Assurance Company (a subsidiary of Cooperativa de Seguros Múltiples) and Tony Phillips, Chairman, Willis Re Latin America & Caribbean (USA).
Six months on after Hurricane Maria, Dharma Rovayo and Anthony Phillips will reflect on the impact of the events on Puerto Rico and the (re)insurance market. The events were undoubtedly a ‘wake up call’ for the (re)insurance industry, highlighting the complex interplay between consumer, loss adjustor, regulator, rating agency and reinsurer in the aftermath. Whilst the loss estimates have drastically reduced from the originals provided by the major catastrophe modelling companies, the potential for loss was nonetheless an inflection point for the industry’s approach to catastrophe risk management.
Image: U.S. Customs and Border Protection photo by Kris Grogan