Island Heritage is a well-known name within the field of home and contents insurance in Cayman and now has branched out further to offer customers a brand new service in the form of motor insurance. Business Editor Lindsey Turnbull speaks with the company’s new Product Development Manager Judith Harvey to find out more and reports.
Although established in 1996 it was just after Hurricane Ivan’s exit from the Cayman Islands back in September 2004 that Island Heritage’s business grew at a rapid rate.
Harvey, a veteran of the insurance industry who oversaw New Zealand’s Automobile Association’s motor portfolio for fifteen years, states: “Since the devastation caused to homes and businesses caused by the 2004 Category 4/5 storm, the name Island Heritage became synonymous with integrity and stability and homeowners therefore felt safe insuring their home and its contents with us. The business has been growing from strength to strength ever since.”
Last month the company launched a new product in its insurance range – motor insurance – which, Harvey believes, will give customers the ability to neatly house all their insurance needs conveniently under one safe and reliable roof.
“We’ve opened up a brand new service centre in the Strand shopping complex on the West Bay Road which allows customers to simply walk in and discuss their insurance needs with a customer service representative, which will make life a lot easier for any customer – new or existing,” she explains.
Having face-to-face contact with customers will be an important new step for Island Heritage.
“We are moving away from the traditional separate roles of underwriter and claims clerk and so we are really excited about this new development because our customer service representatives will be able to deal with any and all insurance queries that our customers may have,” Harvey confirms. “Our customer service will definitely set us apart from the rest and we see this as an integral part of our insurance offering.”
She adds that having such service structures in place will mean it is easier for clients not only to obtain the insurance they need, but also to make a claim as well.
“The insured can simply call upon us to provide them with immediate roadside assistance if an accident should take place. When you are involved in an accident insurance is often not a high priority so we can take care of this for customers quickly and efficiently,” Harvey explains.
Immediately post accident, the Island Heritage representative will not only help to arrange medical attention, but they will also help the insured decide as to whether the car is road worthy or not, take photographs of the accident for insurance claim purposes and arrange to have the vehicle towed away if necessary.
A special offering unique to Island Heritage is the benefit that the insured and their spouse receive, should one or both of their injuries be severe.
“After a motor accident and even if the spouse is not named on the insured’s policy we will pay the insured and/or their spouse CI$150 per day if their stay in hospital lasts longer than five days. This payment lasts for 60 days or until the limit of CI$15,000 is reached,” Harvey explains.
Another important benefit for existing Island Heritage customers who have built up four year’s no claims bonus is the ability to purchase protection of their no claims bonus.
Harvey states: “As long as the customer has had no claims on their motor insurance for four years they can purchase protection for just $25, which means they can still make a claim once a year and their no claims bonus will be unaffected. And as a special bonus, qualifying customers can have that protection for free for the first three months of this year.”
On the cost side, Harvey says that their rates will be competitive but not necessarily the cheapest.
“We aim to offer value-for-money for our customers: they will get an excellent service from an excellent brand,” she says. “Customers know that when they obtain their insurance from us it is backed by considerable financial strength. Island Heritage is rated by A- by A.M. Best which is excellent and we are well capitalised with substantial reinsurance protection which holds us in excellent stead financially.”