Lieutenant Governor Osbert Potter, who also serves as the territory’s commissioner of Insurance, on Wednesday warned Virgin Islands property owners not to buy homeowners or commercial property and casualty insurance policies from National General Insurance Corporation (also known as “NAGICO”) N.V. NAGICO’s corporate head office is located in Philipsburg, St. Maarten.
“It has been brought to my attention that NAGICO has issued policies covering property located in the territory,” Mr. Potter said. “However, the records maintained by the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, Division of Banking, Insurance and Financial Regulation do not show NAGICO as being a licensed insurer or surplus lines insurer in the U.S. Virgin Islands.”
According to its website, the NAGICO Group has been in existence since 1982 and provides a myriad of property and casualty as well as life products and risk solutions to its customers, who are situated throughout the Caribbean.
“Through an exceptional understanding of the insurance business, our customers’ needs and the environment within which we operate, combined with the excellent support of our most valuable assets: our intermediary relationships, staff and reinsurance partners, the NAGICO Group has established an impressive and formidable presence in the Caribbean; operating within 21 territories,” the company said.
According to the lieutenant governor, “Title 22, Virgin Islands Code, Section 202 prohibits any person from acting as an insurer and from transacting insurance in this Territory without being so authorized by a certificate of authority issued by the Commissioner. NAGICO is not licensed or authorized to conduct insurance business in this Territory and is thereby not authorized to have any person represent NAGICO for the sale of insurance in this Territory. NAGICO is therefore in violation of the U.S. Virgin Islands Insurance Laws.”
“As commissioner of Insurance, I have issued an order mandating NAGICO to immediately cease and desist issuing any new and renewal policies in the territory upon receipt of the order,” he added.
Although not licensed or authorized to conduct business in the territory, NAGICO, per the order, is obligated to and shall pay each and every valid Hurricane Irma and Maria claim filed by NAGICO policyholders for properties located in the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to the release.
Any person who purchased an insurance policy from NAGICO is encouraged to immediately contact or come into the Division of Banking, Insurance and Financial Regulation at Nisky Center, 2nd Floor on St. Thomas (340-774-7166) or 1131 King Street, 3rd Floor on St. Croix (340-773-6459).
The public is also encouraged to visit the Division’s website at ltg.gov.vi for information on hurricane preparedness and other insurance matters.