Panama joins Caribbean-wide insurance scheme

  • Rainfall protection: Panama is the 21st country to join the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility. Bermuda is also a participant (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

The Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility, of which Bermuda is a member, has expanded to 21 countries with Panama the newest participant.

The Central American country has purchased parametric insurance cover for excess rainfall. It is the fourth country to join the Caribbean and Central America-wide insurance scheme during the current policy year, the others were British Virgin Islands, Montserrat, and St Maarten

The CCRIF was formed in 2007 as the first multi-country risk pool in the world. A few years earlier the region suffered devastation from hurricanes and the heads of the Caribbean Community and Common Market asked the World Bank to create a fund that could assist small Caribbean countries in the event of natural disasters.

The CRRIF made payouts of $138.8 million from June 2017 to October 2018., with many of the claims relating to excess rainfall associated with hurricanes and tropical storms.

In the past, Panama has had to deal with major excess rainfall events, notably in 2010 and 2012 when it suffered event losses of $270 million.