ICWI removes third party excessesPOSTED: 03/21/12 1:23 PM
St. Maarten – Insurance Company of the West Indies (ICWI) has removed the third party excess from all its policies with immediate effect. The decision applies to both new and existing policies in Jamaica, Bahamas, St. Maarten, St. Kitts & Nevis, The British Virgin Islands and Turks & Caicos.
An excess is the portion of a loss that an insured must bear him/herself with the insurance company settling the balance of the claim. Excesses were designed to ensure that the millions of very minor, very inexpensive claims are not passed on to insurers since the manpower and systems needed to process so vast a number of small claims would require so much manpower and systems that insurance premiums would become virtually unaffordable.
A car has, for a long time, been regarded as a dangerous thing and its owner and/or driver is personally legally responsible for any damage done or injury caused to others as a result of his/her negligent operation of the vehicle. Legislators worldwide have come to recognize that, quite often, individuals cannot personally afford to pay for the damage they caused so they have made third party motor insurance compulsory in order to ensure that injured parties can be properly compensated. The situation in St. Maarten is no different.
There have been several problems associated with third party excesses. Firstly, since it has nothing to do with the repair of his own car, many insured parties simply refuse to pay their third party excess. Others may not be able to afford the payment at the time of the accident or have limited funds and prefer to put the money towards the repair of their own vehicle. Both these circumstances often lead to delays in insured parties reporting claims to their insurers and in turn the innocent third parties are often left waiting unnecessarily before the insurer can begin dealing with the third party’s claim. Secondly, an insured may report an accident and even admit he is wrong but isn’t able to pay his excess.