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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, November 29, 2022
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Sustainability is Key Topic at Insurance Conference

The theme of the 32nd annual Caribbean Insurance Conference, Journey to Sustainability, reflected an ongoing effort to sustain insurance companies by allowing them to evolve alongside lifestyle changes as well as natural occurrences in the region.

About 450 people from all areas of the insurance industry gathered on St. Thomas at Marriott Frenchman’s Reef for the three-day conference that ended Tuesday. The conference consisted of plenary sessions in the morning and concurrent sessions in the afternoon.

“From a Caribbean perspective, we want to ensure that it can take care of its capacity,” said Douglas Camacho, president of the Insurance Association of the Caribbean Inc.

In his welcome statement, Commissioner of Insurance Lt. Gov. Gregory Francis wrote, “We all have a combined responsibility to ensure that this business remains viable and sustainable to and for the people of this region.”

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Attendees praised the conference for keeping up with the times as they attended panels discussing social media, networking and risk assessment models, noting that new technology is essential in efforts to sustain businesses.

“Companies primarily in the U.S. are using Facebook and Twitter to reach younger clientele to promote their products,” said conference chairperson Steve Stoute. “Not only are they using it as a marketing tool, but also as a recruiting tool.”

“They’re utilizing social media on life insurance, investment and capital allocation by using economic capital models,” he added.

St. Thomas resident Dushikka Hodge of Nausch, Hogan & Murray Inc. also felt the presentations on advancing technology were important.

“The particular session I found the most relevant was a presentation about what we already have in the Caribbean and what we need to obtain. It’s interesting to hear about the new technologies and what they do in other places,” she said.

Nearly every session also mentioned the impact of climate change on the insurance sector. It is and will likely remain a hot topic at the conference with concerns about an increase in natural disasters and other natural phenomena occurring in the Caribbean.

“The insurance industry is a significant component of the world’s economy, supporting jurisdictions in the Caribbean which periodically face damaging natural disasters,” said Gov. John deJongh Jr. in his welcome letter.

St. Lucia delegate Faye Miller said, “It’s just interesting to know how the various Caribbean islands operate, how they’re trying to strengthen their insurance structure.”

Hodge said, “I look at it as a domino effect. If something happens and an insurance company is not being able to cover clients, it affects the economy and then affects U.S. markets as well.”

According to Stoute, the conference management committee recommends panel themes based on the prevailing climate.

”This year, after a number of natural disasters, it was felt we needed to stress to the industry and companies the need to sustain,” he noted.

“This is a multi-faceted conference,” Stoute said. “There are many things happening at one time. We try to organize a conference to please a diverse group of clientele.”

“Some come for educational opportunities like sessions, some come to exhibit, some to meets clients, many for networking and some come just to have a good time,” he said.

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