First phase of BAICO payment before Christmas
December 4, 2012
First phase of BAICO payment before Christmas

In preparation for the first phase of the payment to British American Flexible Premium Annuity (FPA) policyholders, persons are being asked to adhere to guidelines to facilitate the smooth flow of business on designated days.{{more}}

Payment is expected to commence in St Vincent and the Grenadines on December 10 and will continue until December 12, at the compound of the National Insurance Services (NIS).

It is expected that 1,327 annuity policyholders in SVG will receive payment on their FPAs, where the principal balance as of August 1, 2009 does not exceed $30,000.

Judicial manager, Brian Glasgow, on November 26 outlined some of these guidelines, beginning with those who may not be able to make it on the days specified.

It is being advised that all hope is not being lost and arrangements can be made for the paperwork to be processed.

“There might be various reasons why people may not be able to attend on the days — it is not the end of the world the money is being held in trust,” Glasgow explained.

There may be an issue with some persons who are not sure if they are FPA policyholders, Executive Flexible Premium Annuity (EFPA) or Flexible Premium Annuity II Policies and they are being advised that they should contact the local office and clarify.

“So, if you are not sure, please call the office before,” the judicial manager said.

There will be certain classes that will not be dealt with immediately during the designated days of payment, one such being policyholders who may have died, Glasgow explained.

These, he said, would be dealt with subsequently.

Claimants for policyholders under the age of 18 are also being advised that they too will not be facilitated immediately.

Arrangements are being made to cater in the New Year for policyholders currently living overseas.

Amongst those to receive payment would be some that were either hospitalised or elderly and who would not want to over-exert themselves, Glasgow said.

“In cases like that we will accept power of attorney; so if you can’t or prefer not to come in, you can contact your lawyer for a power of attorney to be done,” he said.

Glasgow further explained that the application form was designed to be as simple as possible.

“Policyholders have been waiting for three years and four months and we would not want to further complicate their lives by making them go through some application forms,” he said.

He added that the form is two pages long and will be made available on the designated days of payment.

Claimants will also be required to sign a declaration, which Glasgow said was important, as the funds made available for payment were not coming from BAICO, but from a third party.

The judicial manager also said that while there may be a loss of two years’ interest on the policies, when policyholders considered the total liabilities and the few assets that were available, it might seem more than reasonable to ask policyholders to sign a declaration.

“So, we wouldn’t want to expose the estate to the possibility of policyholders getting satisfaction — getting paid and then still having a claim from British American.”

The process may include a few complexities and challenges, some of which would not be resolvable immediately.

“We will work with the people at the local British American office and in Trinidad to solve them,” he said.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, on November 26, announced that the governments of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union had made a breakthrough to refund BAICO annuity policyholders. (DD)