#TheBahamas, June 1, 2022 – Less than a week after insurance companies petitioned the Insurance Commission to allow them to invest in US funds, a prominent businessman is calling for similar consumer restrictions to be lifted, stating that Bahamians should be allowed to seek coverage from companies located outside the jurisdiction.
“Laws that govern how and where Bahamians can get health and life insurance hurt middle-class Bahamians the most,” said real estate pioneer and social entrepreneur Mario Carey. “Insurance companies want the right to invest overseas and I think as Bahamians we should have the right to seek health and whole life insurance overseas.”
Carey’s comments came following reports that a prominent underwriter was seeking an exemption from insurance regulations that prohibit Bahamian insurers from investing in foreign entities.
“I understand the well intention of these restrictions given the bankruptcy of an insurer whose holdings outside the Bahamas brought the company down, but if there are lessons to be learned, the consumer does not need to be punished for it. We should insist on insurance rights, including the right to seek competitive rates, terms and conditions, just as the wealthy who have more than one address may do, or the large corporations with many holdings who can be saved elsewhere.
Carey, who founded Better Homes and Gardens MCR Bahamas and is CEO of Mario Carey Ventures, companies focused on social entrepreneurship, said current policies are particularly difficult for caregivers of elderly parents or children with needs. specials. Her adult son is on the high end of Asperger’s, the most functional form of the autism spectrum, and Carey worries about how he will be cared for.
“As it stands now, a policy dies when the insured dies, so for the insured who dies before their parents, who is going to cover health insurance costs if the insured is no longer alive? Who will provide health care coverage for a severely disabled child who requires frequent and expensive medical care if the health insurance policy is only good as long as the original insured lives and breathes, even if he bought it primarily to protect his loved ones? Do they go to their grave knowing they left someone in danger with no lifeboat to grab?”
According to Carey, the answer is twofold: allow funds to buy policies so that the policy lives on as long as the fund exists. Second, he says, allow Bahamians to shop and compare.
“We don’t require people to buy cars only from Bahamian car dealerships, why should we require Bahamians to purchase health insurance – one of the most important investments you can make – only to Bahamas? While everything else around us has changed, we’ve been doing insurance the same way in the Bahamas since the middle of the last century,” Carey said. “I think it’s time we took a hard look at the industry, how it serves customers, what we can do to improve it There are some serious questions we need to ask How do we ensure customer rights What can we learn from other places where there is a more liberal policy on who can own a policy In other places, a policy can be purchased by or through a fund that owns it and it offers options to the beneficiary or the insured.
Carey said he was far from alone in calling for a more responsive insurance industry.
“We all know someone who complains about fighting for their rights to have a claim paid or a policy reinstated, even a policy they may have paid for 20 years but had to drop to put in place. food on the table during COVID-19 when they were out of work,” Carey said.
Carey, who has had a successful real estate career approaching $2 billion in deals, has spent much of the past two years finding solutions to a myriad of problems. Also on the drawing board – a regional disaster recovery center in southwest New Providence that would turn the former Bacardi factory and its 100,000 square feet of enclosed space into a preparedness launch pad from which everything from helicopters to generators, tents to non-perishable food can be dispatched as a disaster strike, saving time and lives.
“Look around you,” Carey said. “Everything has changed in the past 20 years, the phone you use, the computer you type or design on, even the way you get your news. Yet insurance, one of the most important basics of a well-planned life, has remained much the same as 50 years ago, except that you can receive your statement by email. It’s time to take a look, a serious look and see how we can integrate it into the 21st century.”