Two days after Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said $25 million would be made available to help flood victims, Finance Minister Colm Imbert announced that Government was now seeking to get additional funds from the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF).
In a tweet yesterday, Imbert wrote, “MoF has requested the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) to urgently disburse funds under our catastrophe insurance policy. CCRIF usually deals only with hurricane relief, but two years ago the MoF paid for additional coverage for damage from excessive rainfall.”
It is uncertain how much the coverage will be, but payments are usually made within 14 days of application.
Last year, following two days of heavy rains in October, the CCRIF SPC (formerly the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility) paid US$7,007,886 (approximately TT$47.4 million) on its Excess Rainfall policy.
T&T has been a member of CCRIF since 2007 and has purchased CCRIF policies for tropical cyclone and earthquakes since 2007.
On its website, the CCRIF said in 2017 the Government purchased a CCRIF policy for Excess Rainfall (XSR) and has two separate XSR policies in place—one for Trinidad and one for Tobago.
The CCRIF SPC is a segregated portfolio company, owned, operated and registered in the Caribbean. It limits the financial impact of catastrophic hurricanes, earthquakes and excess rainfall events to the Caribbean and—since 2015 Central American governments—by quickly providing short-term liquidity when a parametric insurance policy is triggered.
On Sunday, Couva North MP Ramona Ramdial had called on Rowley to establish a National Disaster Relief Fund, saying the $25 million allocated by Cabinet was “woefully inadequate” to compensate thousands of flood victims who lost everything.
She said the Ministry of Social Welfare still owes flood victims compensation cheques for the years 2016 and 2017, adding that “tens of thousands of citizens lost their vehicles, appliances, groceries, clothes, school books and in some cases their entire houses.”
Ramdial called on Rowley to increase the “Flood Relief Fund to an initial $100 million to be properly managed and distributed by the Ministry of Finance.”