HomeCar InsuranceCINICO offers car insurance, home cover soon come : Cayman News Service

CINICO offers car insurance, home cover soon come : Cayman News Service

CINICO CEO Michael Gayle

(CNS): Almost two years after the government-owned Cayman Islands National Insurance Company (CINICO) announced that it would begin offering more than just health coverage to civil servants and locals who cannot get coverage in the private sector, it has begun offering motor insurance to all Cayman residents. This expansion of services will be followed shortly by home insurance products, given the cost and the precarious future of cover for low-lying properties.

Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson, who has ultimate responsibility for CINICO, said the overall objective of expanding its offerings was to play a role in raising the bar so all insurance consumers in Cayman benefit, regardless of which company they are insured with.

“As a government-owned company, CINICO’s main goal is to facilitate better and affordable insurance coverage for all residents of the Cayman Islands,” Jefferson added.

Officials said the long-planned expansion of CINICO involved significant investment and effort to expand the company’s operational set-up and create new departments and staff. The finance ministry has allocated the funding CINICO needs for the product line expansion. Premier and Finance Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly said the expansion of CINICO services was intended to provide options for residents in Cayman.

“The main challenge now is that in many instances, cover is not available locally at any price. CINICO’s gradual expansion into the property insurance arena is intended to help fill the existing ‘protection gap’ that seems likely to widen in the future,” she said.

CINICO CEO Michael Gayle said it was an important step for CINICO and the long-term sustainability of the local insurance sector. “Part of our remit as the government-owned insurance company is to help ensure that the insurance sector is resilient, and the Cayman Islands has the insurance capacity available in the future to continue to be able to offer property insurance in particular,” he said.

Gayle, who is also on the Board of the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), noted that, both globally and regionally, insurance providers are struggling to provide home and property insurance due to the risks associated with hurricanes and other natural disasters.

“In some areas of Florida for example, we are seeing homeowners unable to obtain any cover at all,” he said. “The new products are also, of course, designed to offer customers more choice in the insurance marketplace, with good cover and product innovations in both home and motor policies.

“Very soon, customers can also expect to find benefits that are exclusive to CINICO in our new motor and home policies. When we launch our home policies, customers can expect to see a type of cover never before available in the Cayman Islands, adding additional security and peace of mind for homeowners,” he added.

Gayle said the expansion aimed to improve the insurance sector in general. “Insurance has for many years been a ‘like-for-like’ product, one which is very similar in scope from one provider to the next. By introducing product innovation, CINICO hopes to raise the bar for insurance offerings in Cayman, and we expect that other companies may well follow suit in due course — or introduce innovations of their own.” 

The expansion has included the investment of public funds to provide the money for insurance coverage and new infrastructure and operations, people and technology. “Offering home and motor cover meant building an entire new department, and we’ve recruited the best in the business to do that, including some of the most well-known names in the local industry,” Gayle said. “Our team has over 100 years of combined experience in the local insurance market across all our islands.” 

CINICO”s website also has a new look, reflecting its role in the future sustainability of the Cayman Islands, though it does not yet offer online quotes. CINICO General Manager Kahlill Strachan said the company had taken “a long, hard look at who we are and what we are trying to achieve” and that the site brought a refreshed, modern approach.

“New technology is a big part of our expansion plans and while customers initially can call or email us to secure quotes and buy motor cover, we will shortly be adding fully online quote and purchase functionality to our website. CINICO members will also be able to login to a members’ portal with their own personal profile and manage all their insurance benefits, payments, renewals and claims for health, motor and home,” he added.

Gayle said the technology would make CINICO better and more efficient and put members in control of their insurance. “We are first and foremost the team of trusted and experienced individuals that our members have relied on to support their insurance needs with our health cover. That focus has not and will not change. People can still call us and visit us directly at our new main office on Elgin Avenue, our Countryside location in Savannah, and our office in Cayman Brac.” 

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