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All 16 CCRIF member countries renew hurricane and earthquake insurance for 2013/2014

Cave Karst

The sixteen member governments of the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) renewed their hurricane and earthquake insurance for the 2013/14 policy year that started June 1. Since CCRIF’s inception in 2007 – and despite increasing economic and financial pressures – member countries have recognised the value of including CCRIF’s parametric hurricane and earthquake coverage in their national disaster risk management strategies.

This year was no different, especially given that the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted an active 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season with more and stronger hurricanes than usual. For the six-month hurricane season, which began June 1, NOAA stated there was a 70 percent likelihood of 13 to 20 named storms – well above the seasonal average of 12 named storms.

In light of the budgetary constraints felt by countries across the region, CCRIF sought again this year to minimise premium costs. For the 2013/14 policies, CCRIF provided a 25% discount on premiums because no payouts were made by CCRIF in 2012/13, resulting in an underwriting surplus for the organisation, which is run as a not-for-profit entity. Also, countries could apply a portion of their Participation Fee (a deposit paid when they initially became a CCRIF member) toward their premium payment and had the option to lower the minimum attachment point for tropical cyclones (hurricanes) from a fifteen-year to a ten-year return period. These all led to a reduction in the effective cost of coverage to countries this year by at least 25% but in some cases up to 50%.

The Facility also added the new excess rainfall product to its portfolio of offerings to Caribbean governments for 2013/14. This product specifically covers extreme rainfall events, from both cyclonic systems and from non-cyclonic systems. It should be noted that rainfall is not included in CCRIF’s current hurricane policies, which trigger based on damage from wind and storm surge. Many countries have consistently expressed interest in excess rainfall coverage and in fact, the new product is of interest to countries which are not yet CCRIF members since they are not vulnerable to hurricanes or earthquakes but have significant extreme rainfall risk.

CCRIF recognises that rainfall is a leading cause of damage in the Caribbean – not only during hurricanes but throughout the year, and is seeking ways to enable countries in the region to obtain this coverage. Earlier this year, CCRIF, in collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank, Sustainability Managers held a meeting with international development partners to explore ways in which they could support the roll-out of this product. These donors were very interested and committed to examine how they could provide support.

Since the inception of CCRIF in 2007, the Facility has made eight payouts totalling over US$32 million to seven member governments on their hurricane or earthquake policies. All payouts were transferred to the respective governments within 14 days after each event.

The payouts made by CCRIF since 2007 are listed below.

 Event                                      Country               Payouts ($US)

Earthquake, 29/11/07                Dominica                           528,021

Earthquake, 29/11/07                Saint Lucia                        418,976

Tropical Cyclone Ike, 09/08   Turks & Caicos Islands    6,303,913

Earthquake, 12/01/10                   Haiti                             7,753,579

Tropical Cyclone Earl, 08/10       Anguilla                       4,282,733

Tropical Cyclone Tomas, 10/10  Barbados                     8,560,247

Tropical Cyclone Tomas, 10/10   Saint Lucia                  3,241,613

Total for the Period 2007 – 2012     —                           32,179,470

For more information, please send an email to pr@ccrif.org or visit the CCRIF website at http://www.ccrif.org.

Source: CCRIF Press Release

COMET Publishes Weather Forecasters’ Module on the Caribbean Sea

gulfmexico_carib_thumbnailThe COMET Program recently published a module called “Forecasters’ Overview of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea”.

This module provides an introduction to the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea for weather forecasters. It focuses on major aspects of the region’s geography, oceanography, and climatology. With respect to Geography, it covers major political boundaries, cities, ports, topographical features, rivers, and volcanic areas. The oceanography focus includes major bathymetric features, mean sea surface temperature and surface salinity, ocean currents, and tidal ranges. While the climatology section covers the seasonal climatology of jet streams and synoptic weather systems, extratropical cyclones in the Gulf of Mexico, and monthly and seasonal statistics of tropical cyclone activity.

Visit the MetEd website for additional information and  sign up for the module here.

Learn more about how we’re working to make the Caribbean more climate resilient by perusing The Implementation Plan for “Delivering transformational change 2011-21″.

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