Tourism Minister urges property owners to get insurance

Tonge spoke of the importance of insuring properties

In the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, Tourism Minister, Robert Tonge, has called on property owners in the tourism sector to makes sure that they have proper insurance.

Speaking at a signing ceremony for amendments to a loan facility at the AID Bank which targets those in the tourism and manufacturing sector, he said properties must be insured in order to be certified.

“As a prudent operator, as a prudent business person one must insure their property and you should not only insure your building, you have to insure your stock, you have to insure for the removal of debris and you also have to insure for loss of profit,” he stated.

He stated that property owners should not self-insure.

“So we ask persons to ensure that they do not self-insure,” Tonge remarked. “It is practically impossible for you to save money and self-insure and be able to compete and completely repair your property. As you can see some of the damages are very extensive and there is no way persons going to have that amount of money in their business account to repair the property, for all the business that they have lost, all the stock that they have lost.”

Hence, he said it is important that property owners get insurance.

“As a matter of fact, going forward this is the recommendations that we will be making that as part of the certification process, one will have to have property insurance, one has to have insurance on their stock and even including loss of profits,” he pointed out. “That way when you have a storm, you will have no issues unless you under-insured.”

Tonge urged property owners to make sure that their property is insured for the right amount, “so that you are not penalized in any way, shape or form.”

The loan facility had an original rate of 3 percent interest but in a bid to stimulate the economy after Hurricane Maria, the government has made a number of amendments to it, among them a reduction of the rate to 2 percent.

Tonge also said the amendments include the repair and renovation of existing hotel and restaurant facilities; renovation of facilities providing accommodation for medical students; the financing of renewable energy and climate-smart components of operations; the financing of local capital of no more than 20 percent of the amount.

He stated that the loan moratorium will be in effect for six months.





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  1. Truth Be Told
    December 14, 2017

    Thank you for your advice which will serve your insurance company well. Now, with that said, can your insurance company stop reducing the assessments by the independent assessors of those insured? Why are you reducing the payments by more than a quarter in some instances? If an independent assessor values the damage to be ES$ 100,000.00 why then are the insurances trying to value down that independent assessment to say ES $ 60,000.00 or anything less then the independent assessment? Please explain. This is my present dilemma with my insurance and the assessment for payments for damages. I am sure many more people are experiencing similar. Please speak up people!

  2. UKDominican
    December 14, 2017

    Is mr. Tonge promoting his own business here in his capacity as a Minister of tourism?

  3. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    December 13, 2017

    “Robert Tonge, has called on property owners in the tourism sector to makes sure that they have proper insurance.”

    Robert, should one assume you are only referring to those who own so called hotels, if not what sort of property are you implying. I encourage insurance on every house and building in the country, considering that the country is undoubtedly prone to hurricanes and other disasters.

    However, in an economy such as ours, I doubt that even those you suggest in the tourism sector should have proper insurance will struggle to make the payments; if their dependency, and source of income is on tourism, and the flow of tourist into the country!

    Without money, we might remain silent: Insurance is not going to be a cheap thing in Dominica, its not cheap anywhere anyway; I can tell you about that!

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