(CMC) – The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) Friday said it has made its first payments of the 2023 Atlantic Hurricane season, totalling US$3.4 million.
It said that the payments were made to the governments of Antigua and Barbuda and the British Virgin Islands following the passage of Tropical Storm Philippe earlier this month.
The storm had made landfall on Antigua and Barbuda on October 2 and passed near the British Virgin Islands two days later, causing heavy rains and flooding in both countries. CCRIF said the payments were made under the countries’ parametric insurance policies for excess rainfall with Antigua and Barbuda receiving US$2,880,424 and the British Virgin Islands US$552,297, the island’s first payout from CCRIF.
Antigua and Barbuda had received payments in 2017 and 2022 and CCRIF said that all payments were made within 14 days of the event.
CCRIF chief executive officer, Isaac Anthony said that each country can use its payout to address urgent priorities and is advising all countries in the region that “investment in CCRIF’s catastrophe risk insurance each year is an important part of their comprehensive disaster risk management strategies, as CCRIF payouts help to close the protection gap, reduce budget volatilities associated with exogenous shocks and allow governments to address the country’s most urgent needs.
“Whilst payouts are often used to address immediate needs after a disaster, governments can also implement activities to increase resilience against future hazard events, build back better and enhance social protection systems to become more shock-responsive,” Anthony added.
CCRIF said that the latest payments bring the total CCRIF payouts since its inception in 2007 to US$265 million to 17 of its 26 members.
“Throughout the years, CCRIF member governments have used payouts to address immediate needs post disaster – from providing food, water, and medicines to the most vulnerable, to clearing roads and fixing bridges etc. Payouts have also been used for repairing and improving critical infrastructure such as schools and water treatment plants and supporting sectors such as tourism and agriculture,” said the CCRIF, a segregated portfolio company, owned, operated and registered in the Caribbean.
CCRIF said it would continue to monitor the hurricane season which, according to Philip Ktotzback from Colorado State University, has now produced 91 named storm days.
It said it is watching closely Hurricane Tammy which is expected to impact several CCRIF member countries this weekend, including Antigua and Barbuda, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla, and St Maarten.