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Story Highlights

  • The Senate, on Friday, January 15, passed the Insurance (Amendment) Act, 2015, which is intended to strengthen the legislative framework governing Jamaica’s insurance industry.
  • The Bill, which was piloted by Justice Minister, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, aims to streamline and harmonize the procedures for hearings, appeals, and unclaimed balances with the provisions contained in other pieces of fiscal legislation.
  • It was amended by the Senate to include a provision mandating insurers to periodically publish a notice of the average clause in policies, stipulating that where assets are insured for less than their value, the owner will be required to stand a percentage of losses incurred.

The Senate, on Friday, January 15, passed the Insurance (Amendment) Act, 2015, which is intended to strengthen the legislative framework governing Jamaica’s insurance industry.

The Bill, which was piloted by Justice Minister, Senator the Hon. Mark Golding, aims to streamline and harmonize the procedures for hearings, appeals, and unclaimed balances with the provisions contained in other pieces of fiscal legislation.

It was amended by the Senate to include a provision mandating insurers to periodically publish a notice of the average clause in policies, stipulating that where assets are insured for less than their value, the owner will be required to stand a percentage of losses incurred.

In this regard, the average clause is required to be clearly indicated on the policy document’s cover page, otherwise it (clause) will become void.
Other amendments to the Bill include – exemption of persons or categories of persons from the regulatory requirements of the Act; and provisions for risk management procedures, in accordance with prescribed standards, which must be adhered to by insurers.

Speaking during the Senate’s sitting at Gordon House, Minister Golding explained that the amended Act will enable aggrieved parties to air their grouses with the Financial Services Commission (FSC), instead of having to proceed directly to a designated appeals tribunal, as obtains in the legislation’s current provisions.

He advised that the Bill has been reviewed “extensively” by the Ministry of Finance and Planning, Financial Services Commission (FSC), and, “importantly, key stakeholders in the insurance industry”, adding that “their suggestions have been taken into account.”