Friday, September 17, 2010

Thousands of Clico policyholders to be reimbursed

A total of 11,290 active policyholders of the distressed Clico Life and General Insurance (South America) will have their policies fully covered, President Bharrat Jagdeo announced yesterday.
Meeting policyholders at the National Cultural Centre in Georgetown, he announced that the government is injecting $3.6 billion to reimburse holders of policies other than long term insurance, including those with investment policies and pension funds, although some of these will be capped to a ceiling of $30 million per policyholder.
A week ago, acting Chief Justice Ian Chang ordered Clico wound up, declaring that the company was in no position to continue operations, not even under judicial management.
At yesterday’s meeting, President Jagdeo said Clico now has just over $600 million and $100 million was needed to proceed with the windup.
“From the actuarial review, 6,924 active policies are in the long term insurance portfolio, the liabilities under that will be just under $500 million. So we anticipate that we can safeguard 6,924 persons…they will be taken care of,” he assured.
According to the President, he met the policyholders because he felt that the government needed to work with the Central Bank since there is a human face to this issue.
“There are people whose lives had to be put on hold because they don’t have access to their money. [There are] people who can’t build their homes because they were saving up to [do this]…people who cannot buy basic necessities, furnish their house, take a trip, pay school fees. Some of these people who write in the papers they don’t see that. For them it is all about numbers and politics,” he said.
“I don’t have any apology to make to anyone in this country for meeting people…I think it is part of my job. And so, I promise you that I will continue to work with the Central Bank to ensure that these promises are kept,” President Jagdeo stated.
He said he is not prepared to let an investigation into any question of financial impropriety at the company delay the payment to the policyholders, since in many cases the investigations take years to be completed while people have to wait for their money.
The President said he is not averse to having an investigation into both Clico and Globe Trust and if people are found culpable actions will be taken against them.
Policyholders were told that in a matter of weeks they can report to the Clico head office on Camp Street to pick up their cheques.

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