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JAMES HOPEFUL ABOUT INCREASED CAPACITY

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June 14, 2001 – Hopes are high for an increase in the availability of insurance coverage according to Lt. Gov. Gerard Luz James, II, commissioner of Banking and Insurance.
James cited "positive developments" as a result of some networking at the conference of the Insurance Association Caribbean, Inc. held in Antigua last week.
Attorney Maryleen Thomas, director of Banking and Insurance, and Martin Emanuel, Banks and Insurance examiner, represented the Virgin Islands at the conference.
They reported positive discussions with several companies and agents.
An "A" rated insurance company expressed an interest in obtaining a license to write property insurance in the territory, according to a press release from the lieutenant governor. "The company was supplied with the application documents and anticipates filing the application with supporting documents within the next two to three weeks."
Thomas and Emanuel "also worked out the final details with one of the companies that is interested in writing the (Bank of) Nova Scotia's forced placed program," according to the release. The bank recently reported that its forced place insurance provider was dropping coverage, leaving hundreds of homeowners without coverage.
Following a meeting between the V.I. representatives and one company already licensed to do business in the territory, "its representatives immediately started to explore reinsurance capacity with brokers at the conference, in order to increase the company's writing in the territory." And an agent representing another company licensed in the Virgin Islands indicated that company is willing to write more coverage once it has adequate reinsurance.

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