The Government of Jamaica has decided to extend the coverage it receives from the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) to include cover for flooding and periods of unusually heavy rainfall. The Minister of Finance told the press that he expected the extension to the facility to come into effect by the end of January 2011.
Jamaica cites the damage caused by tropical storm Nicole in September as the reason for extending the cover. “This is an important point of departure, because we have always tended to feel that the big problem is hurricanes, and we first thought, well, the big problem was a direct hit…but with the flooding now with Gustav and with Nicole, we now find that we have to now widen it to accommodate the effects of flooding and rainfall and so on,” Minister of Finance Mr. Shaw stated.
It’s always been apparent that the CCRIF was not covering the disasters that actually most frequently affect the Caribbean islands (less powerful tropical storms bringing inches of rain) and that it would have to extend the cover available if it was to stay effective. The CCRIF have been saying all year that they would have a rainfall cover product ready by the end of this year and this confirmation from Jamaica suggests they will be close to that timetable.