[Press Release] A spirited ecumenical service, an engaging Annual General Meeting and a highly interactive panel discussion were among key activities undertaken as the island’s main insurance advisory body, the Insurance Council of St. Lucia (ICSL), brought the curtains down on the first ever installment of Insurance Week.
The inaugural Insurance Week of activities was originally scheduled for September 23 to September 29, but the passage of Tropical Storm Kirk forced a postponement of the September 27th AGM to October 4, 2018. The rationale for the week of activities was to draw attention to the work of the Council in terms of its public advocacy efforts, while at the same time helping to set, guide and regulate standards for the business of insurance here on St. Lucia.
The Service, held at the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Castries on September 24, 2018, set the tone for the rest of Week’s activities and was seen as an opportunity for members to gather and celebrate their achievements and blessings for the year to date.
Yet another highlight of the Week was the staging of a live radio panel discussion on September 26, as part of the talk show Straight-UP, where an esteem panel chaired by Insurance Council President Claudius Francis and including panelists Ms. Gillian Polius and Messrs. Leathon Khan & Milton Haripaul, delved into an animated discussion that centered around the theme of this year’s 43rd Annual General Meeting “Catastrophic Events – The New Reality Or Cyclical”?
Newly elected Chairperson of the Public Relations/Education Sub-committee Kirk Maraj, lauded the inaugural panel discussion, noting that it provided members an opportunity to make meaningful contributions via telephone. More so he said, “It underscored the need for them and the wider body of the Insurance Council to continue to play their parts in providing a major boost to the insurance industry, all in an attempt to bring together local and regional players of insurance who are involved in bringing back some semblance of normalcy to the lives of persons following catastrophic event, both man-made and natural.”
Meantime as part of the 43rd AGM held on October 4, 2018 at the Sandals Regency Golf Resort & Spa, a new executive has been elected to oversee the affairs of the ICSL for the next twelve months. Claudius Francis remains as President with Fred Malakyhan as Vice President and Waren Montgomery as Secretary/Treasury. Other members of the executive include Immediate Past President Royer Felix, Chairperson of the Motor Sub-committee Ursuline Mitchel De Beauville, Chairperson of the General Sub-committee Joralia St. Louis, Chairperson of the Public Relations/Education Sub-committee Kirk Maraj, Chairperson of the Social committee Anne Marie Herman, Chairperson of the Broker’s Sub-committee Tamara Dantes, President of the Insurance Institute of Saint Lucia ex-officio Dione Simon and Chairperson of the Life/Medical Sub-committee Sabina Kirton Charles.
Guest speaker at the event was Prime Minister Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica who delivered a rousing address while highlighting the need for greater insurance coverage among the region’s populace, in light of the $1.3 billion destruction heaped upon his country following the passage of Hurricane Maria in 2017. According to P.M. Skerrit, insurance must increasingly be seen as a prime means of mitigating the impacts of climate change. Skerrit told his audience, “Radical solutions are required; new instruments; new premium models. We know that the industry is keen to play its part; we must all work together to overcome these challenges; we are eager to begin the dialogue, and that is why I am here today.” He also called for more resources to be made available to vulnerable small island developing states in order to build resilience and to respond to catastrophic events.
The formation of the Insurance Council of St. Lucia dates back to 1975 when insurance industry players came together primarily to lobby government over the provision of the proposed amendment to the 1968 Insurance Act, in particular the proposed amendment of section 61. In an effort to give back and contribute to the lives of the employees of its members, the Insurance Council of St. Lucia started a scholarship programme in 2002.
The ICSL still maintains its original function as a body to act as a medium for consulting with government and now also lists amongst its objectives as being a body to foster the development of insurance on the island. The ICSL maintains regular and close contact with the Registrar of Insurance on matters pertaining to the industry and a system of regular quarterly meetings between the Executive of the Insurance Council and the Registrar’s office has been in place for many years.