BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - THE importance of being insured is the central focus for the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) as it kicks start Financial Information Month (FIM) in the Currency Union.
FIM is an initiative used by the ECCB to education citizens and residents about crucial financial information.
Governor of the ECCB Timothy Antoine lauded the Planning Committee for the focus on insurance as part of the activities for the FIM, describing the theme timely since it brings financial protect into focus.
Speaking at the launch of the 18th Edition of the Literacy Month, the Governor welcomed the theme: “Plan for uncertainty, make insurance your priority”.
He noted that the FIM has the potential to become a grassroots movement through which citizens of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union could be educated and empowered to achieve their potential.
“I welcome this particular focus and commend the planners for their foresight in bringing this issue to the fore, to continue a regional conversation about insurance, and frankly, more importantly, financial protection.”
Financial resilience is of paramount importance, the Governor underscored, when it comes to dealing with resilience in areas of natural disasters within the region.
Antoine noted that two-third of the people who are affected by natural disasters are uninsured.
Against that backdrop, he disclosed that insurance is essentially risk-transfer and is important.
“…two-thirds of natural disaster losses in the Caribbean are uninsured. At the household level, many homes are uninsured or underinsured. Some suggest only about 25 percent of our household stock may be adequately insured. At the level of the individual and the small businesses, many of the people have no form of health insurance. This situation means that a difficult problem can easily morph into a financial crisis.”
Governor Antoine lamented that the financial gap in the region presents a major impediment to the sustained development and the goal of shared prosperity.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we cannot start over our development every time we experience a natural disaster, medical problem or financial reversal. Instead, we ought to position ourselves to bounce back quickly after we have been hit by the storms of life which inevitably comes.”