NASSAU, BAHAMAS — After steadily making progress to meet its commitment to pay out CLICO policyholders over the last three years, the government has significantly reduced those payout allocations over the next three fiscal periods.
The result could be remaining policyholders having to wait a while longer for the completion of their payouts.
The government has allocated $7.4 million in 2020/2021 to payout CLICO policyholders, down from the $12.4 million in allocated in 2019/2020.
The more than $12 million allocation was expected to used predominantly to settler smaller outstanding policies, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest.
According to the budget, the forecasted allocation for these policyholders is $7.4 million in 2021/2022 and the same in 2022/2023.
Between July 2019 and March 2020, the government expended an estimated $8 million settling these claims — a commitment first made and embarked upon by by the Christie administration.
CLICO (Bahamas) underwent a court-ordered liquidation in 2009.
“Then, we are moving on to the bigger ones.
“We have made significant inroads in liquidating those small policies.
“We are starting to bite into the bigger policies now.
“Hopefully, within a reasonable period of time, we’ll be able to liquidate all of these liabilities and put this thing behind us.
“We recognize and we thank the Bahamian public — those who have liabilities outstanding — we thank them for their patience in us getting to resolution on this matter.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have the funds to pay it all out in one shot, but we are trying our best to make as many people whole as we possibly can.”
In 2018/2019, the government spent $12.5 million on the ongoing exercise.
The government was expected to make a final payout of around $38 million in January 2017.
Under the Christie administration, plans were announced to make payouts in April, July and November 2017.
In a July 2019 interview, Turnquest said: “We have set a policy where we’re taking care of the smaller policies first; to try and liquidate those as quickly as possible,” he said.