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Insurance Month 2019

Posted by on Jan 25, 2019 in BIA In The News | Comments Off on Insurance Month 2019

Embracing...

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BIA Elects New Chairman and Secretary

Posted by on Jan 23, 2019 in Member News, Press Releases | Comments Off on BIA Elects New Chairman and Secretary

NASSAU, BAHAMAS, January 15, 2019. The Bahamas Insurance Association (BIA) recently announced the election of Warren Rolle as Chairman and Felicia Knowles as Secretary of the Association. They join the BIA executive team comprised of Anton Sealey, Deputy Chair (Property & Casualty), Tina Cambridge, Deputy Chair (Life & Health) and Cardinal McCardy, Treasurer. “I am honored to have been elected by members of the BIA to serve as the Chairman at this juncture in our Association’s history. The BIA serves as the chief advocate for the insurance industry in The Bahamas and acts as the main liaison with the Government of The Bahamas on matters impacting this important sector of our nation’s economy,” said Mr. Rolle. Mr. Rolle acknowledged that the industry is facing several crucial issues that require ongoing collaboration between the BIA and The Government. “Our industry faces a number of uncertainties in relation to proposed tax reforms and the requirements stemming from Anti-Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism/Proliferation Financing legislation. These initiatives will necessitate close collaboration with the Government and regulators to successfully implement. We look forward to maintaining our working relationships with the Government and relevant agencies and departments to better serve our members and the protect the interest of our clients, the Bahamian public,” concluded Mr. Rolle. About Warren Rolle Warren Rolle is the Managing Director of NUA Insurance Agents & Brokers Ltd. He is also a Director of the Bahamas Entrepreneurial Venture Fund. He most recently served as Secretary of the BIA for four years. Mr. Rolle holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Palm Beach Atlantic University and a Diploma from the Chartered Insurance Institute in London, United Kingdom. About Felicia Knowles Felicia Knowles is co-owner and Chief Operating Officer of Lampkin Knowles and Company Insurance Brokers & Benefit Consultants. She is also the President of the Bahamas Coalition of Service Industries and previously served as President of the Bahamas Insurance Brokers Association. Ms. Knowles holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Marketing from Barber-Scotia College in Concord, North Carolina and MBA in Business Management from Nova Southeastern University, United States of...

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BAHAMAS INSURANCE ASSOCIATION PARTNERS WITH ROYAL BAHAMAS POLICE FORCE

Posted by on Nov 13, 2019 in BIA In The News, Press Releases | Comments Off on BAHAMAS INSURANCE ASSOCIATION PARTNERS WITH ROYAL BAHAMAS POLICE FORCE

To support the use of technology by the Traffic Division of The Royal Bahamas Police Force, The Bahamas Insurance Association (BIA) recently donated to the purchase of Diagramming & Animation Software and Crash Data Recording Software. According to the Traffic Division, the purpose of this project is to prepare scaled drawings to assist with expediting investigations and bringing closure for affected persons. We believe that this software will be very beneficial for the Police Force and our country as a whole. Photo by Bradisha Fraser The cheque was presented to Inspector Coran Jennings, Traffic Police Division, by Ms Felicia Knowles, Secretary, BIA. L-R are Dr. Rhonda Chipman-Johnson, Coordinator, BIA; Ms. Knowles; Inspector Jennings and Sargent Jerone Thompson, Traffic...

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Bahamas Insurance Association Supports Dorian Relief

Posted by on Nov 12, 2019 in BIA In The News, Press Releases | Comments Off on Bahamas Insurance Association Supports Dorian Relief

The Bahamas Insurance Association (BIA) recently donated ten thousand dollars ($10,000) to the National Emergency Management Agency to support ongoing Hurricane Dorian relief efforts. “The Bahamas Insurance Association’s thoughts and prayers remain with those who have been impacted by the passage of Hurricane Dorian. We also extend condolences to all those who have lost loved ones. The loss of life and the level of devastation in Grand Bahama and Abaco is unprecedented in our country’s history. However, as an industry, we remain committed to meet our contractual obligations to our clients, as we have done in numerous disasters over many years, which will aid in the recovery and restoration of our beautiful islands. We also recognize our responsibility to give back to our community and hereby present this donation to NEMA on behalf of our members. ” Photo by Ronnie Archer Pictured L-R are Tiffany Knowles, Finance Officer; Captain Stephen Russell, Director of NEMA; Warren Rolle, BIA Chair; Felicia Knowles, Secretary, BIA; Dr. Rhonda Chipman-Johnson, Coordinator, BIA; Cardinal McCardy, Treasurer,...

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Position Paper on Revised NHI Framework

Posted by on Nov 4, 2018 in Policy | Comments Off on Position Paper on Revised NHI Framework

Partnership and Collaboration in the Delivery of Universal Healthcare in The Bahamas Overview The National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) formally issued a policy paper entitled National Health Insurance: A Shared Responsibility on October 23, 2018. The aforementioned policy paper outlines the proposed policy framework for the revamped NHI program. The NHIA has commenced a 45-day consultation period during which it is anticipated that stakeholders will be engaged and feedback obtained. The expectation is that stakeholder feedback will be reviewed and where appropriate, incorporated into the policy paper before it is finalized.   Statement of Purpose The purpose of this Position Paper is to provide feedback to the NHIA with a view to enhancing the proposed framework. This paper acknowledges the significant work that has been done by the NHIA and its consultants to develop a plan for the revamping of the existing NHI scheme. The BIA met with the NHIA on October 30, 2018, to discuss the Policy Paper for the first time and the feedback received during this meeting has been incorporated into this Paper. It is our view that the contributions of stakeholders particularly the general public will be pivotal to the success of an overhauled NHI plan. The BIA has reviewed the Policy Paper in detail and has produced this document in good faith to assist the NHIA fulfill its mandate. For the purposes of this document, we have assumed that all references within the Policy Paper to private insurers are to be interpreted as private health insurers duly licensed by the Insurance Commission of The Bahamas under the Insurance Act, 2005 (as amended).   General Comments The BIA supports the concept of universal health coverage and shares the vision of the NHIA that residents of The Bahamas should not suffer financial hardship in gaining access to quality and affordable healthcare. We believe that universal access to healthcare in The Bahamas is a noble and attainable goal in The Bahamas. We endorse the NHIA’s philosophy of collective and shared responsibility while supporting the notion that NHI should care for those who need it most. It is against this backdrop that the BIA and private health insurers welcome the opportunity to not only comment on the policy paper but also partner with the NHIA in the implementation of a viable and sustainable NHI plan. We have assumed that the NHIA’s request for feedback is genuine and does not constitute tokenistic engagement. Hence, we expect that comments, observations and proposed amendments to the Policy Paper will be considered, scrutinized and if considered prudent, utilized in the enhancement of the document. We believe that it would have been in the NHIA’s best interest to have shared a draft of the Policy Paper with the BIA prior to releasing it for public comment. This would have ensured that any areas requiring clarification or revision within the document were addressed prior to being put in the public domain. Additionally, it would have mitigated against the risk of raising public expectations and subsequently having to temper the same with more realistic targets. Nevertheless, our specific comments are provided in the ensuing paragraphs.   Timeline for Launch of Standard Health Benefit According to the Policy Paper, the Standard Health Benefit (SHB) is scheduled to be launched between April and July of 2019. It...

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Bahamas Insurance Association Calls on Attorney General

Posted by on Nov 10, 2017 in BIA In The News, Press Releases | Comments Off on Bahamas Insurance Association Calls on Attorney General

The Bahamas Insurance Association (BIA) continues to build relationships with and dialogue on issues affecting the sector with the Government of The Bahamas. Most recently, executives of the BIA paid a courtesy call on the office of the Attorney General, The Honourable Carl Bethel. The BIA contingent, led by chairman, Emmanuel O. Komolafe, sought to introduce the Attorney General to the BIA and its objectives. In addition to highlighting the stability of the insurance industry and its consistent contribution to the local economy, the team stressed the need for a liberalized exchange control regime and a number of other legal concerns affecting the industry’s future growth potential and ongoing operations. The meeting also provided the opportunity to discuss the proposed amendments to the AML/CTF framework for the industry via the Financial Transactions Reporting Bill, a priority for both the Attorney General’s office and the industry. Both parties committed to engaging in further dialogue on this matter. Ultimately, the Attorney General acknowledged the significant role of the insurance industry to The Bahamas and its economy and committed to addressing the concerns of the BIA and its members. Pictured L to R  front are Dr. Rhonda Chipman Johnson, Coordinator, BIA; The Hon. Elsworth Johnson, Minister of State, Ministry of Legal Affairs; The Hon. Carl Bethel, Attorney General; Emmanuel Komolafe, Chairman, BIA; Back L-R are Cassandra Nottage, Consultant; Tleca Rolle, Consul; Bede Sands, Orry J Sands, Member of Legislation Committee; Marco Rolle, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Legal Affairs; DeAndrea Lewis, Colina Insurance; Charlyne Sealy, Summit Insurance, Member of Legislation; Michelle Dean, Assistant Director of Legal Affairs; Tina Roye, Director of Law Reform & Revision. L-R Charlyne Sealy, Summit Insurance, Member of Legislation Committee; Dr. Rhonda Chipman-Johnson, Coordinator, BIA; Emmanuel Komolafe, Chairman, BIA. ABOUT THE BAHAMAS INSURANCE ASSOCIATION: The Bahamas Insurance Association (BIA), formerly known as the Bahamas General Insurance Association (BGIA), is a trade association of insurance companies, brokerages, and agencies licensed by the Insurance Commission of The Bahamas, dealing in all lines of General (property and casualty) and Long Term (life and health) insurance business. Its main purpose is the representation of the interests of the Insurance industry to the Bahamian Government and People, and to other local and international bodies. ### For further information: Leah R. Davis Group Marketing & Communications Manager Bahamas First Corporate Services e LeahD@bahamasfirst.com t 242.302.9000 d 242.302.3989...

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NHI Secretariat may be acting illegally as an Insurance Company

Posted by on Jul 24, 2017 in Press Releases | Comments Off on NHI Secretariat may be acting illegally as an Insurance Company

The Bahamas Insurance Association (BIA) concurs with the Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Duane Sands’ position that in the absence of a National Health Insurance (NHI) Authority Board, actions taken to implement NHI including enrolment and the execution of contracts with medical service providers were unlawful. We also agree with his view that the NHI scheme as it is currently being operated is susceptible to significant fraud; principally because it is operating outside its intended legal framework. We are concerned however that the identified breaches of the NHI Act and Insurance Act are ongoing and have not been addressed to date. One such breach of the NHI Act is that the NHI Secretariat may be acting illegally as an insurance company. The NHI Act anticipated that Regulated Health Administrators (RHAs) would be responsible for the management and administration of NHI benefits. The eligibility and functions of RHAs are addressed in sections 25 and 26 of the NHI Act. We note that an RHA is required under Section 25(2) of the NHI Act to among other things, be a company carrying on long-term insurance business and registered with the Insurance Commission to carry on long-term insurance business for sickness or health insurance in accordance with the Insurance Act (Ch. 347) be certified by the Insurance Commission as an Administrator in accordance with the provisions of the Insurance Act (Ch. 347) enter into an agreement with the Authority in accordance with the provisions of the NHI Act; and satisfy such other requirements as may be determined by the NHI Authority in order to be registered by the NHI Authority for participation in the Plan. It is our understanding that no RHA has been contracted to administer the NHI benefits. Instead, the NHI Secretariat presumably under the guise of purporting to act as the NHI Authority has taken on the functions of an RHA as defined in Section 26 of the NHI Act. It is noteworthy to state that the functions of the NHI Authority are clearly stated in Section 6 of the NHI Act and do not overlap with those of an RHA. The BIA contends that the NHI Secretariat acting on the premise that it can function as the NHI Authority (which has not been formally constituted), may have illegally taken on among other things the following functions of an RHA as defined in Section 26 of the NHI Act: providing beneficiaries with access to benefits paying providers for benefits processing beneficiary claims case management monitoring the provision of health care benefits This would violate the NHI Act and as the Secretariat would be carrying on insurance business, is also a violation of the Insurance Act. The recently reported complaints regarding non-payment of medical providers seems to illustrate one of the practical consequences of violating the law. Had an insurance company failed to make payment, a complaint could have been filed with the Insurance Commission who has the legal power to investigate the complaint and to direct the company to resolve it. The insurer in question could also have been sued for breach of contract. Under these circumstances where the payments themselves violate law, the affected medical providers may not have any legal redress available to them. We submit that it is highly improper for the NHI scheme to be violating...

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BIA Questions Legality Of Actions On National Health Insurance

Posted by on Jul 15, 2017 in Press Releases | Comments Off on BIA Questions Legality Of Actions On National Health Insurance

“Stop, review and make it right” The Bahamas Insurance Association (BIA) concurs wholeheartedly with the position stated by new Health Minister, Dr. Duane Sands, during the recent budget debate. The BIA concurs that the nation now has an opportunity to make right the structure of the Universal Health Care Program to ensure best outcomes for our nation and welcomes the opportunity to meaningfully engage in the process for the good of all.  The BIA therefore feels it necessary to question in the first instance, the legality of actions taken in the haste to implement National Health Insurance (NHI) prior to the 2017 general elections. On April 5, 2017, the government enforced Parts I, II and Section 45 of the National Health Insurance Act (see attached National Health Insurance Act, 2016 (Appointed Day) Notice, 2017).  These parts of the NHI Act provide for the establishment, functions and powers of the NHI Authority, the establishment of the NHI Fund and other financial provisions.  All other aspects of the NHI Act have not yet been given the force of law including the parts that establish the NHI plan, outline the eligibility for NHI, provide for enrolment for NHI and establish the framework as well as functions of regulated health administrators (or health insurers) and health care providers. The fact that NHI was implemented without key elements of the relevant Act enacted, brings into question the actions that were undertaken prior to the general elections.  We were advised by the NHI Secretariat that the Minister responsible for National Health Insurance had delegated specific authorities to the Permanent Secretary for NHI.  It was stated that the PS under the aforesaid delegation could cause the National Health Insurance Authority to enter into contracts with medical providers, begin enrollment for NHI and perform other functions.  We have examined this and find it to be questionable and potentially lacking in legal basis under the empowering legislation. As far as we understand, the Board of the NHIA which pursuant to Section 4(3) of the NHI Act is the governing body of the NHI Authority, has not been appointed. Further, Section 8 of the NHI Act empowers the Board to appoint the Managing Director; hence, in the absence of a board, the recruitment process for the appointment of a Managing Director could not have commenced. This calls into question all acts taken in the name of the NHI Authority in an effort to implement the scheme as they may have been carried out ultra vires of the law. We also note that the NHI Act anticipated that regulated health administrators manage and administer NHI benefits under the NHI Act.  Such Administrators are required by the NHI Act to be companies duly licensed under the Insurance Act (Ch. 347). It appears that no such company was contracted with to administer NHI benefits and that the government via the NHI Secretariat has taken on these responsibilities. NiceEven if the NHI Authority Board had been properly established and a Managing Director appointed, the management and administration of benefits under the NHI Plan by an entity not duly licensed by the Insurance Commission of The Bahamas and in accordance with Part IV of the NHI Act would be unlawful and possibly a violation of both the NHI Act and the Insurance Act. During...

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Traffic Safety System – Approval ‘Nod’ By Bahamas’ Insurance Agents

Posted by on Jul 4, 2017 in BIA In The News, Press Releases | Comments Off on Traffic Safety System – Approval ‘Nod’ By Bahamas’ Insurance Agents

Do you agree that our country needs to do something about the many persons driving at dangerous speeds and running red lights with little regard for other motorists, pedestrians and property? This was one of the questions posed during a recent presentation to 18 members of the Bahamas Insurance Association (BIA) by Intelligent Enforcement Ltd. (IntelEnforce) principal, Donovan Paul, and Chief Information Technology Officer, Michael Arteaga. The presentation was to inform the agents and to access their level of support for the possible implementation of a new traffic public safety system on New Providence roads; one designed to curb road traffic infractions for a reduction in casualties and deaths and vehicle and property damage. With almost 1,000 traffic fatalities on our roads since year 2000, and a staggering 1,000 consecutive hit and run annual reports, topped by reports of thousands of traffic accidents annually causing lifetime bodily injuries, inconveniences and significant vehicle and property damage, IntelEnforce is spearheading the move to have a modern traffic public safety system implemented. Donavan Paul, IntelEnforce CEO said that the new traffic public safety system is a Public-Private Partnership Agreement (PPP), one that enables both the government and the private sector investor a revenue stream. “Considering the revenue projections attached to the one-month pilot test we did on one stretch of road near our office in central New Providence, we believe the government could recover their initial stake or investment in about a year and garner an immediate effect on the traffic public safety system without having to worry about management costs or hardware expansion.” Chief Information Technology Officer, Michael Arteaga, explained that the system is a third generation radar speed meter police tool. “This tool not only records the speed of a vehicle per lane, but also records video of the entire scene taking two still pictures, just seconds apart. Based on the offence, the offender may receive a traffic violation ticket,” Mr. Arteaga said. Attendees learned that the benefits of the new system would include reduced traffic accidents, reduced traffic fatalities, better traffic flow, prevention of property damage, increased revenue for the country, reduced burden on the judicial system, automatic and digital record keeping eliminating warrants being issued for paid tickets, and a more attractive tourism product. Chairman of the BIA, Emmanuel Komolafe agreed with attendees that the proposal, if adopted by the government will benefit the nation: “It seems fair to state that there was a consensus among our members that attended the presentation by IntelEnforce that the proposal if adopted and properly implemented could significantly benefit the country. Apart from the obvious advantages in relation to safety on our roads and an expected reduction in the loss of life and casualties, there are potential benefits to our members and the economy. The likely decline in traffic violations and road crime statistics could result in reduction in insurance claims and potentially lower insurance renewal costs. However, these benefits can only be maximized and the system fully utilized to achieve the set objectives via a public private partnership. In the case of the insurance industry, access to pertinent information and the system will determine how much our members as well as their clients benefit from this new paradigm.” Executive Director of the Bahamas for NAGICO Insurance, Vibert Williams agreed with other...

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Bahamas Insurance Association Calls on Minister of Health

Posted by on Jul 4, 2017 in BIA In The News, Press Releases | Comments Off on Bahamas Insurance Association Calls on Minister of Health

Pledging to be ‘partners in health’ the Minister of Health, the Hon. Duane Sands recently welcomed the Bahamas Insurance Association (BIA) for a courtesy call. Minister Sands described the meeting as positive and productive noting, “Organizations such as the BIA will be key partners for the Ministry of Health as it works to transform and enhance healthcare in The Bahamas.” The Minister also underscored the need for meaningful input from the insurance industry and suggested there were opportunities for the BIA to participate in a significant way and to provide new products. “I look forward to a mutually respectful relationship with the BIA and suggest regular meetings to maintain the dialogue,” said Sands. Executives of the BIA, led by chairman, Emmanuel O. Komolafe, sought to meet the new Minister and introduce the BIA and its objectives. Thanking the Minister for the meeting, Komolafe emphasized the stability of the insurance industry and noted that gross written premiums amounted to about 9% of the nation’s GDP. He remarked that industry has significant interest in the financial health of the country while highlighting the correlation between The Bahamas’ sovereign rating and the credit rating of BIA. The Minister was also advised of a number of outstanding issues including exchange control restrictions which limited insurers’ ability to invest outside The Bahamas and the challenge with asset liability matching for long term insurers. Komolafe expressed, “Overall the BIA is optimistic about working with the Ministry of Health and the NHI Authority once formally constituted and looks forward to collaborating on the refinement of the NHI model and advancement of both the health and insurance industries.” ABOUT THE BAHAMAS INSURANCE ASSOCIATION: The Bahamas Insurance Association (BIA), formerly known as the Bahamas General Insurance Association (BGIA), is a trade association of insurance companies, brokerages, and agencies licensed by the Insurance Commission of The Bahamas, dealing in all lines of General (property and casualty) and Long Term (life and health) insurance business. Its main purpose is the representation of the interests of the Insurance industry to the Bahamian Government and People, and to other local and international...

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