CINICO offers car insurance, home cover soon come

| 18/03/2024 | 34 Comments
CINICO CEO Michael Gayle

(CNS): Almost two years after the government-owned Cayman Islands National Insurance Company (CINICO) announced that it would begin offering more than just health coverage to civil servants and locals who cannot get coverage in the private sector, it has begun offering motor insurance to all Cayman residents. This expansion of services will be followed shortly by home insurance products, given the cost and the precarious future of cover for low-lying properties.

Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson, who has ultimate responsibility for CINICO, said the overall objective of expanding its offerings was to play a role in raising the bar so all insurance consumers in Cayman benefit, regardless of which company they are insured with.

“As a government-owned company, CINICO’s main goal is to facilitate better and affordable insurance coverage for all residents of the Cayman Islands,” Jefferson added.

Officials said the long-planned expansion of CINICO involved significant investment and effort to expand the company’s operational set-up and create new departments and staff. The finance ministry has allocated the funding CINICO needs for the product line expansion. Premier and Finance Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly said the expansion of CINICO services was intended to provide options for residents in Cayman.

“The main challenge now is that in many instances, cover is not available locally at any price. CINICO’s gradual expansion into the property insurance arena is intended to help fill the existing ‘protection gap’ that seems likely to widen in the future,” she said.

CINICO CEO Michael Gayle said it was an important step for CINICO and the long-term sustainability of the local insurance sector. “Part of our remit as the government-owned insurance company is to help ensure that the insurance sector is resilient, and the Cayman Islands has the insurance capacity available in the future to continue to be able to offer property insurance in particular,” he said.

Gayle, who is also on the Board of the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), noted that, both globally and regionally, insurance providers are struggling to provide home and property insurance due to the risks associated with hurricanes and other natural disasters.

“In some areas of Florida for example, we are seeing homeowners unable to obtain any cover at all,” he said. “The new products are also, of course, designed to offer customers more choice in the insurance marketplace, with good cover and product innovations in both home and motor policies.

“Very soon, customers can also expect to find benefits that are exclusive to CINICO in our new motor and home policies. When we launch our home policies, customers can expect to see a type of cover never before available in the Cayman Islands, adding additional security and peace of mind for homeowners,” he added.

Gayle said the expansion aimed to improve the insurance sector in general. “Insurance has for many years been a ‘like-for-like’ product, one which is very similar in scope from one provider to the next. By introducing product innovation, CINICO hopes to raise the bar for insurance offerings in Cayman, and we expect that other companies may well follow suit in due course — or introduce innovations of their own.” 

The expansion has included the investment of public funds to provide the money for insurance coverage and new infrastructure and operations, people and technology. “Offering home and motor cover meant building an entire new department, and we’ve recruited the best in the business to do that, including some of the most well-known names in the local industry,” Gayle said. “Our team has over 100 years of combined experience in the local insurance market across all our islands.” 

CINICO”s website also has a new look, reflecting its role in the future sustainability of the Cayman Islands, though it does not yet offer online quotes. CINICO General Manager Kahlill Strachan said the company had taken “a long, hard look at who we are and what we are trying to achieve” and that the site brought a refreshed, modern approach.

“New technology is a big part of our expansion plans and while customers initially can call or email us to secure quotes and buy motor cover, we will shortly be adding fully online quote and purchase functionality to our website. CINICO members will also be able to login to a members’ portal with their own personal profile and manage all their insurance benefits, payments, renewals and claims for health, motor and home,” he added.

Gayle said the technology would make CINICO better and more efficient and put members in control of their insurance. “We are first and foremost the team of trusted and experienced individuals that our members have relied on to support their insurance needs with our health cover. That focus has not and will not change. People can still call us and visit us directly at our new main office on Elgin Avenue, our Countryside location in Savannah, and our office in Cayman Brac.” 

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Comments (34)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The CIG turtle meat economy at work.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Spoiler alert.

    The only way CINICO can offer lower property rates is to assume more risk by buying less reinsurance. They sure won’t be able to do it by running a lower admin cost compared to the private sector.

    And we all know how that ended for Cayman General.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Lets see how this plays out. How much additional capital does CIG have to pump into CINICO to provide capital to support this additional risk?. Are CINICOs rates better than the current market or just competitive in the market? If the latter then it would be a CIG entity operating in the market place with the attendant common risks – perhaps not benefitting consumers and if making losses it could have a consolidated negative impact on CIGs balance sheet.

    It is well known that it is getting more expensive to maintain existing cover and difficult if not impossible to get cover for new property ownership in many cases. If political interference were to become a factor in CINICO writing new policies it would be easy to predict a disastrous outcome both for CIG and possibly policyholders as well! We had better keep our fingers crossed.

  4. Anonymous says:

    A single care provider sounds good in theory but is it practical? Many want freedom of choice to visit a doctor. A single care health provider would bring cost down but limit your choices to receive the best health care. I am by no means putting any local clinics down just stating the obvious. Many of us travel overseas for specialized care and second opinions. We have made strides locally to fill these gaps but still have a ways to go.
    CINICO is a loss making entity as it funds health care for the entire civil service. Not sure how a capital injection will solve their woes unless they intend to do what Marco Archer spoke about years ago ie to start getting civil servants to pay part of their health insurance premiums.
    Not today BoBo cause if they did that there would be an uproar and the politicians wouldn’t get re-elected.
    It will be interesting to see how they manage the motor and property insurance when they have no control over the health insurance.
    This country can’t afford to subsidize more losses.

    • Anonymous says:

      2:34, could that be the same Marco Archer who pushed for the salary restrictions on statutory authorities as set out in the Public Authorities Law then accepted a post in the Stock Exchange at a colossal salary way way way beyond those restrictions when he lost his seat in the general election?

      • Anonymous says:

        Anonymous 7:54 what crock of you know what are you spewing??? The public authorities were given a timeframe to bring salaries in line with the civil servants. There are a few that didn’t and for good reason.
        These same few don’t have the same retirement packages as a civil servant and are treated like the private sector.
        Have you ever heard of the term brain drain???
        Some of these authorities need to be able to attract and keep top talent. We keep complaining that expat get the top jobs but when it is our own we criticize.
        If people like Marco Archer and Roy McTaggart were in charge of this country’s finances we wouldn’t have a half billion debt and growing.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Ooh, CINICO style motor insurance. Covers NAU for free, claims may take months to be paid.

    I’m happy being ripped off by my current insurer right now.

    I did try that online quote from Indigo, and they were several hundred dollars more, but you know, ‘convenience’! Needless to say, I didn’t opt for this cutting edge Internet based quote.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Until we can see full details of the coverage and the premiums its too early to celebrate just yet. But I hope at last we can all escape from the price gouging and profiteering from the insurance companies. Keeping fingers crossed.

  7. Anonymous says:

    does cinico run a profit for health insurance?

    • Anonymous says:

      They do. Every time someone gets added to the medically indigent rolls (because they can’t afford to get sick in Cayman under current private insurance costs) CINICO increase the rate they charge Govt for Civil servants. Hey Presto, books balanced.

      It will be interesting to see how they rob peter to pay paul with these other ‘lines of business’.

  8. Bluff Patrol says:

    This is a good move. Insurance is one of the leading cost drivers of Cayman’s cost of living. Good to see the government offering an alternative to the rip-off policies offered by private sector.

    • Anonymous says:

      cig can’t run a parking machine at the airport…so what are you happy about?

    • nagrom says:

      Hmmm…I wonder who their reinsurers will be..or if they will even have any. How to guarantee reliable coverage without reinsurers? Just thinking out loud.

    • Anonymous says:

      Does CINICO have an AM Best rating? Then again most vehicle/property insurance companies in Cayman don’t or their rating is abysmal. Sounds like another CIG money sinkhole just formed. Cayman is full of ‘em.

  9. Anonymous says:

    every single Caymanian should support Cinico. why are we pouring our insurance money into companies that don’t invest in our country? this is something we collectively own and can develop it to be something great.

    • Anonymous says:

      100% except for corruption and incompetence.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agree. If we don’t give our own our all, we have nothing to complain about. That said, I hope no ideas even develop that try to utilise CINICO’s profits into other “schemes”.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Ah. Insurance. The scam of ages.
    Uphold the law properly.

  11. Anonymous says:

    What a pile of F***ERY. Another entitlement for civil servants

  12. Anonymous says:

    What could possibly go wrong?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Is anyone underwriting this?

    • Anonymous says:

      yep…private sector…through government taxes and fees

    • Anonymous says:

      probably us.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good point. Who is reinsuring this because if they are cheap there’s a real chance of them defaulting on claims in the event of a major event. All very well to point the finger at high insurance costs locally but most are underwritten by reputable insurance firms that have increased their prices recently

  14. Anonymous says:

    Home insurance is so expensive these days I look forward to hearing more about the coverage. This could be really good for people looking for a more affordable option!

  15. Anonymous says:

    A CEO and a General Manager…., and what else: COO, CFO, CMO, CIO, CPO, CBO…..


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