No take-up for fisherfolk insurance policy
THE SAFETY Net insurance policy launched two years ago to provide coverage for registered fisherfolk vessels, engines, and equipment has had zero uptakes, a representative from Advantage General Insurance Company, the entity that provided the insurance, has disclosed.
According to the representative, who requested anonymity, the first of its kind policy, which was launched by then Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Floyd Green, became fruitless after he was removed from the portfolio.
The representative also admitted lapses in the agency’s public education push.
“After it was launched we went around the island because we have salespersons, and we went to a number of those locations for meetings. And they also had a big thing in St Elizabeth and our people were there as well. But of course the guys were not going to keep going if they were not getting anything from it,” the spokesperson said.
The representative admitted that not much focus is on the policy now, but said that the company has not given up and will be looking to see how best they can refine the product.
Some fishermen who spoke with The Gleaner recently shared ignorance about this policy.
“It wudda benefit mi fi know seh mi have insurance and mi have sumn fi get from mi insurance, but mi neva aware of it,” Ato Sinclair, a fisherman from the Greenwich Town Fishing Village, said.
His colleague, who gave his name only as ‘Chubby’, said he heard about the insurance policy via the media, but does not know the details as no one has directly approached them at the fishing village.
Meanwhile, Winston Monroe, chairman of the Fisherfolk Federation, described the news of the uptake as “bad”. He blames the lack of marketing of the policy for this.
“When it come to the boat and ting insurance, we have never had a meeting for this. It (was) only announced on the radio, but we never ever did have a meeting,” he said.
Lamenting that a lot of fisherfolk are often lackadaisical when it comes to issues of this nature, Monroe believes cutting out some of the bureaucracy involved in this process would help to spur interest.
“You have to go in and spend a whole heap a time inna di line fi deal wid tings and some a dem just look at those things and dem nuh mek no move towards it,” Monroe explained.
He asserted that his association is in the process of reorganising to include adding a secretariat portfolio that will be the bridge between the various agencies by performing administration duties.
The protection provided by the Safety Net policy includes accidental loss or damage to fishing vessels and accessories by fire, explosion, malicious acts, flood, hurricanes, and other such perils, as well as theft of vessel or outboard.
Monroe also noted that insurance for fisherfolk vessels is an important initiative, and is encouraging the current minister of agriculture and fisheries, Pearnel Charles Jr, to have direct discussions with them on this issue.