NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The insurance regulator acknowledged the local insurance industry will see some fallout as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the impact on insurance premiums being monitored.

Michelle Fields, the Insurance Commission’s superintendent, while addressing a Risk and Regulatory Outlook virtual seminar, noted: “We will see some fallout. There could be increased death claims for life insurers, an increase in medical claims for health issuers and loss of medical coverage benefits because of the economic climate.

“There could be some reduction in motor claims because [of] the lockdowns. We do not have data at the moment as to what the effect on insurance premiums has been, however, many businesses and individuals have less income.

“While we anticipate a fallout in the premiums, there is likely to be a six-to-nine-month lag in our returns. We will monitor and analyze returns from the end of 2020 and 2021 to see what is happening.”

Fields noted that discretionary insurance coverage is often one of the first expenses reduced or removed from personal budgets when individuals have income challenges.

She also noted that there are “large looming risks” for insurers emanating from both Hurricane Dorian and COVID-19.

“Whether or not we subscribe to the belief that climate change is real, what is real is that the frequency and severity of storms continue,” said Fields.

“The recovery from the severity of storms is prolonged and the probability of out-of-season hurricanes is now increasing particularly as waters are warmer.”

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