British American Insurance Company Sold
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
July 03, 2012 (SKNIS)
Member states of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) have effected an agreement to sell part of British American Insurance Company (BAICO) to Sagicor.
In a meeting of the Judicial Managers of BAICO and Ministers of Finance of the ECCU at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank in St. Kitts recently, an agreement was signed to sell the traditional life insurance business of BAICO to Sagicor Life, Inc. (Sagicor), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sagicor Financial Corporation.
In this agreement, ECCU Governments have undertaken to provide funding of up to US$38 million to assist in restoring value to transferring policies, having given consideration to 4 final bids from 7 interested parties.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister and Chairman of the ECCU’s Subcommittee on Insurance, Dr. Hon. Ralph Gonsalves stated that the business being sold is made up of Group Pensions and traditional life policies issued in ECCU countries.
“The business which is being sold is made up of group pensions and traditional life policies issued by BAICO in Anguilla, Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines” said Prime Minister Gonsalves. “The policies are Universal Life Policies, Term Life, Whole Life, Endowment and Home Service Life.”
Approximately 17,500 policyholders are expected to benefit from the sale, restoring the policy values for nearly 2 in every 3 BAICO policies. All valid life policies as at the Scheme Effective Transfer Date will be transferred to Sagicor without amendment or change.
Once all necessary approvals from the relevant courts and insurance regulators in The Bahamas (where BAICO is incorporated) are given, policyholders can see final transfer of the business within 3-6 months.
Sagicor currently operates across 19 countries in the Caribbean as well as in the United Kingdom and the United States. Its total assets exceed US$6 billion.
Prime Minister Gonsalves also advised that policyholders need not take any action at this time.
“Policyholders whose policies are proposed to be transferred need not take any action at this point” explained Dr. Gonsalves, “However, prior to the completion of the sale, policyholders are encouraged to continue to pay, and if necessary bring up to date their life policy premiums, to representatives at existing BAICO branches within the ECCU in order to maintain their policies.”
“Policyholders will be provided with further information (either directly or by local advertising)” he also said, “about the proposed transfer of the business in the coming months as Sagicor and the Judicial Managers of BAICO seek the necessary Court and regulatory approvals.”
The obligation to pay unpaid amounts with regards to claims, maturities, surrenders and bonuses will transfer to Sagicor with the business and ECCU Governments have arranged funding for the payment of these in accordance with the terms of the policies.