SUNBIZ

Intense Cyclones Remind Construction Companies Of Insurance

The increasing intensity of cyclones in Fiji is making local construction companies aware of the need to be insured. While cyclone damage is covered by insurance companies, it is conditional
17 Jun 2018 15:49
Intense Cyclones Remind Construction Companies Of Insurance

The increasing intensity of cyclones in Fiji is making local construction companies aware of the need to be insured.

While cyclone damage is covered by insurance companies, it is conditional on building quality standards set by the Insurance Council of Fiji (ICF).

Whether a building is compliant to these standards is determined by ICF-endorsed engineers who can issue seven-year cyclone certificates.

The criteria of these standards was outlined in a Government booklet labelled ‘Our War Against Cyclones,’ which it published after Cyclones Oscar, Eric and Nigel in the 1980s.

But, according to Sarah-Jane Wild general manager of Tower Insurance Fiji, the certification requirements “are fraught with a number of issues.”

This is why, Ms Wild says, only six per cent, some 15,000 properties in Fiji, are cyclone insured.

Ms Wild was speaking on the second day of the inaugural Construction Industry Council conference at Warwick Fiji, Korolevu.

Contractors say they take their chances or go without insurance cover because special coverage can be expensive.

They are also worried that special insurance policies can also be complex and sometimes only cover certain types of damages.

Adish Naidu, Independent Director of Pacific Green Industries, says there is still confusion around how engineers are selected and which certificates are valid.

If the certificate is not issued by an ICF-approved engineer, there is no cyclone cover.

This causes problems for companies looking for bank loans.

“When we go to the bank for loans, one of the requirements is we need cyclone insurance cover, even if we have engineers certification,” says Himen Chandra Vice President of the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation.

Ms Wild also said that requiring all buildings to be re-certified every seven years was “expensive and challenging.”

She also said there were not enough engineers in the country to meet the growing demands of the number of certificates being re

quired.

It is also “impossible,” she says, to certify  buildings as fully compliant, which has led to standard waivers that put insurance companies at risk.

Feedback:  sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj



Laybuy it 5squares


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Covid 19 - SPC
Total
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper