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#247483 - 08/26/07 07:34 PM Interesting Stuart Krohn commentary  
Joined: Oct 1999
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Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
from a friend...

Interesting Stuart Krohn commentary. Most people that own wooden homes (majority of Belizeans) are not able to buy insurance even if they had the money.

Commentary: Insurance and savings mitigate disasters
Itís been a busy week in the media business and now that our vehicles have finally slowed down a bit on their many runs to Corozal, news director, Stewart Krohn found some time to reflect on a few of the many lessons the most recent hurricane experience has hopefully taught us.

Stewart Krohn
"A lot of words and pictures have been broadcast over the last week, by ourselves and our media colleagues, in the course of our coverage of Hurricane Dean. I have not seen or heard all of it and will not try to judge its quality or bias, other than to remind viewers that reporters are human. And just like the folks working around the clock to provide relief to the Corozal District, they eventually get tired. Itís not easy to move into an emotionally charged environment in which people are suffering and produce reports that accurately reflect both the reality of the destruction and context of what can and canít be done to improve the situation. I have nothing but respect for all those who have laboured so long and hard. But my concerns coming out of this turbulent week are not cantered on journalism or even on how to solve the problems up north, which I believe are being sorted out as I speak. No, my greatest fears involve the next hurricane. The one that will hit next month, next year or next decade, or maybe all three. The experience of Dean has exposed some major flaws, not necessarily on how we respond to disaster, but how we prepare.

Both of the suggestions Iím about to make have been made many times before, but it seems very few people are listening. The first involves insurance. Yes, it can be costly and sometimes the fine print is intimidating but if you can afford to own a home, you can probably afford to insure it. on the morning after the storm when youíre sitting in front of what used to be your house, the difference between waiting for a cheque from the insurance company and waiting for a free piece of zinc from NEMO is the difference between hope and despair.

The second suggestion involves the concept of savings. There was a time when the phrase Ďsaving for a rainy dayí meant just that. You set aside a portion of every pay check and put it in an account, either for a particular future purpose or just in case. Today it seems, saving is for suckers. Belizean families prefer to max out their credit cards, owe as much as possible, and when disaster strikes, complain that government isnít giving them enough. Of course, government can never give enough because government behaves no differently than its citizens. It borrows like crazy for asperous projects, maxes out itís credit lines, and when disaster strikes goes begging to Taiwan, Venezuela and the European Union. The truth is that saving, by individual families or governments, is an essential part of disaster mitigation. I strongly believe that parents should open a credit union account for every child as he or she is born, and keep adding to it regularly, even if itís only five or ten dollars a month. When the children grow up, they take over the saving habit; and when disaster strikes their families, at least they have the means to pick up the pieces and access emergency food and shelter.

Of course, both the buying of insurance and maintaining a savings account, assume that you have a job and are not poverty stricken; a situation in which far too large a minority of Belizeans find themselves. For those disadvantaged people, the concepts of insurance and savings means little in the face of the daily struggle to survive. But thatís just the point, if those of us with the ability to plan ahead did so, then government could direct itís relief where it belongs, to those who really need it."

#247496 - 08/26/07 11:19 PM Re: Interesting Stuart Krohn commentary [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Nov 2002
Posts: 3,035
Pedro1 Offline
Pedro1  Offline
I would look carefully at this -I own a very well built wooden house and am insured with RFG-Atlantic Insurance have quoted me-and IFG have asked if I want to be insured with them-on this island everyone can get a job if they speak first english and obviously spanish is a bonus which means that at least in SP no Belizeans should be poverty sticken

#247515 - 08/27/07 08:30 AM Re: Interesting Stuart Krohn commentary [Re: Pedro1]  

I have a (part) wooden house and have had absolutely no difficulty getting insurance from a variety of providers - other than paying for it!

#247521 - 08/27/07 09:51 AM Re: Interesting Stuart Krohn commentary [Re: ]  
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Amanda Syme Offline
Amanda Syme  Offline
I have a wooden house and insure it with RF&G. It's not cheap - but having gone through Hurricane Keith, and having experienced roof damage and water damage in my wooden home, it was such a relief when Regent Realty (now RF &G) delivered my insurance cheque with 4 days of my claim! I had repaired the roof damage and replaced the ruined sheet rock within a month of the storm.

As the saying goes, God helps those who help themselves. As home owners we do need to be fully responsible and consider insurance as a necessity not an option. Anyone that has a bank mortgage is insured so although many believe they cannot afford to insure their homes, in many cases they have been insuring the whole time they were mortgaged - so when the mortgage is paid off they should realize that a portion on their monthly salary should still be used to purchase insurance.

The hurricane season runs for 6 months of the year - every year. Storms are a real threat and even a squall can severly damage a home.

Remember too that a well built and securely fastened roof can withstand some immense winds. So buying the hurricane straps to tie the roof beams together, extra nails to hold the zinc down and cutting the overhangs of the roof to prevent the wind coming up underneath the eaves are all simple and fairly inexpensive ways to reduce your risk of losing your roof.

#247522 - 08/27/07 09:56 AM Re: Interesting Stuart Krohn commentary [Re: Amanda Syme]  
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Posts: 6,670
Amanda Syme Offline
Amanda Syme  Offline
Perhaps we all consider poverty in different extremes. If a man working on San Pedro takes home $250 Bz per week - an inexpensive "room" is $150 Bz per week, then the cost of food, clothes,and school supplies will surely eat up the rest of his pay cheque. There is little hope of savings or "fun" money.

I would consider the above scenario poverty stricken.

#247523 - 08/27/07 10:08 AM Re: Interesting Stuart Krohn commentary [Re: Amanda Syme]  
Joined: Dec 2006
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elbert Offline
elbert  Offline
I live in a wooden house and decided Insurance on it was unreasonably high and unpractical. I told myself that it was so high that building it back after a storm would be cheaper. Keith blew it down. Kate and I pulled nails, stacked wood and rebuilt an even better house.
I still feel like hurricane insurance on a wooden house is unreasonable.

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#247530 - 08/27/07 10:54 AM Re: Interesting Stuart Krohn commentary [Re: elbert]  
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Sir Isaac Newton Offline
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#247568 - 08/27/07 12:04 PM Re: Interesting Stuart Krohn commentary [Re: Sir Isaac Newton]  
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Sir Isaac Newton Offline
Sir Isaac Newton  Offline
Just because one can get a job here on AC, does not exlude one from being under the poverty level. It has never been what you take home in a paycheck, but rather the basic cost of living in relation to earnings. Poverty can be found throughout Belize (including AC) and fortunately, not as extreme as our neighboring nations. Thus, the influx of Guatemalan laborers.


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#247913 - 08/30/07 09:59 AM Re: Interesting Stuart Krohn commentary [Re: Sir Isaac Newton]  
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DGrefreshed Offline
DGrefreshed  Offline
And just who did Belizeans pick up these bad habits from ie: no longer saving money but living large? Us - the Entitlement set. Me wan now an' me don care hows I gets it. Many of us are guilty for having lived beyond our means at least once in our lives. After all, the attainment of a certain kind of lifestyle is advertised constantly on television and I believe that if one watches enough of that tripe they will eventually buy into the notion that for just a few thousand dollars more (OAC) they too can live like a Trump.

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