Asked Questions

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Am I required to have homeowner’s insurance?

Because your home is likely one of your largest assets, it’s a good idea to maintain coverage even if you do not owe any money on it. If you use your home as collateral or security for a mortgage, home equity or other type of loan, your lender will require coverage.

Are all policies the same?

All policies are not the same. They vary in the extent and scope of coverage. You can purchase Fire only, Homeowners including Catastrophe or Homeowner Excluding Catastrophe insurance to cover your home (s) . We have a special policy designed for condominium owners.

What is a catastrophe?

Hurricane, Tornado, Storm or Flood, and Earthquake are considered catastrophic events under your homeowners policy .

Does my homeowner’s policy cover property that may be temporarily removed from my home?

Contents temporarily removed to a bank safe deposit, another occupied private dwelling or any building where members of your household live or are conducting business within the Commonwealth Bahamas are covered. Contents temporarily removed are subject to a limit of 15% of the sum insured on your Contents.

Does my policy cover damage caused when a tree on my property fell on my car?

No. Your homeowner’s policy will not cover the damage to your automobile. If you have comprehensive coverage under your automobile policy, that policy should cover the damage.

Does my policy cover damage done to inventory for my small in-home business?

No. Your homeowner’s policy does not cover business activities conducted at your home.

How can I calculate the replacement value of my belongings?

Generally, the replacement value of your personal property is the amount it would cost to replace it with like or similar items. To be sure you have enough coverage, prepare a detailed written inventory of all your items, including make, model and the price paid, where available. Videotaping your property is a good idea, and you should also have a written inventory. Keep the inventory in a safe place in case you suffer a loss.

Is my landlord responsible for damage to my personal property if there is a fire?

No, and that’s exactly why you, as a tenant should buy householders contents insurance. This cover will provide protection for your personal property against loss or damage caused by insured perils usually covered in our householder’s policies.

Is the removal of a tree that fell on my roof during a hurricane covered by homeowner’s insurance?

The removal of the tree would also be covered in this instance. You should note that the cost of removal of a tree in the absence of damages to your building would not be covered.

Is the property I have in my car covered for theft under my homeowner’s policy?

No. Property stolen from out of your car will not be covered. The theft cover for property temporarily removed applies only if such property was in a building and there was forced entry into or out of it.

What does my homeowner’s policy pay if a neighbor slips on my property and sues?

We will pay for any injury or property damage (subject to policy limits) suffered by non-residents occurring at your home provided it was your fault that caused such injury or damage. The policy will also pay the medical bills incurred. In addition, we will pay for any other costs, expenses and legal fees which you are legally obliged to pay (subject to our written consent).

Who pays for the rental home or apartment that my family is in while our house is being repaired due to damage by an insured peril?

The Rent & Alternative Accommodations provision in your insurance policy should cover any additional living expenses, such as temporary housing, that you incur while your home is being repaired. However, cover is limited to 10% of the sum insured on your building and if applicable , your contents. Your home must be rendered uninhabitable for this provision to apply.

Do I have to insure my boat?

You are not legally required to insure your boat. However, if you are financing the purchase of your boat, the lender will most often require insurance coverage listing them as a loss payee to cover their interest in your boat. Some marinas may ask you to provide some proof that your boat is insured when mooring it at their marina.

What amount of insurance should I buy?

There are two important covers to consider when insuring your boat. They are , Hull & Machinery (your boat and attached equipment) and Liability. You should insure your boat (hull & machinery) to the current market value. This will ensure that in the event of a total loss to your boat, you will recover what the boat is worth. Liability coverage protects you if you are at fault for property damage and bodily injury claims to third parties or passengers in your boat . The coverage has three key components. It will investigate your loss, defend you if you are not at fault and pay up to the policy limit if you are at fault.

How much will my boat insurance premium be?

Many factors determine what your boat insurance premium will be.

  • The value, size and age of the boat
  • Any other policy limits
  • Mooring location
  • The use of the boat
  • The loss/claims history of the owner/operator
  • Increased Deductible

What is a survey and do I need one?

Boat surveys provide details on the condition and valuation of a boat. A survey may uncover hidden defects, mechanical and structural problems that are not always visible or detectable by the boat owner/operator. Before purchasing an older boat, you should always get a boat survey. We have particular survey requirements and your agent should inform you about them.

Can I buy just liability insurance coverage?

Yes. You can purchase liability insurance only on your boat without insuring it for physical damages.

How does my previous driving record affect my motor premium?

The premium that you pay is a reflection of your driving record amongst other factors. Drivers who have a good or unblemished driving record are entitled to No Claims Discounts. Those who do not may also be granted some discount rate or no discount at all depending on the severity and frequency of accidents.

If my car is “totaled”, will I be paid the insured sum shown on my current policy schedule?

Not necessarily. Your policy pays the market value of your vehicle or the sum insured (whichever is less) at the time of the loss. Simply put, market value is the price that your car would be expected to “fetch” on the open market in its current condition. We determine the exact amount payable by using well established industry guidelines which make allowances for condition of your vehicle and any approved modifications and additions made to your vehicle. The sum insured on your vehicle may differ significantly from its “market value” as most vehicles depreciate in value as time goes by.

Does my private motor comprehensive policy provide coverage for a rental car if my vehicle is disabled following a motor accident?

Yes. The loss of use benefit is a standard part of your comprehensive motor policy. We will pay for the rental of a motor vehicle from a recognized rental car franchise up to limits of $50.00 per day and a maximum of $500.00 in total. This policy coverage also pays for a rental car if your vehicle is stolen or damaged by fire. Special restrictions may apply.

Is anyone who drives my car with my permission covered by my motor policy?

No. Your certificate of motor insurance shows the drivers’ names that are covered or it may specify certain groups of drivers. These authorized drivers must hold licences to drive and must not be disqualified from holding one. You should not allow an uninsured driver to use your vehicle under any circumstance.

If I have a comprehensive or third party, fire and theft on my vehicle, what happens (in the event of a total loss) if the loan on my vehicle is more than the market value determined by my insurance company?

There could be any number of reasons for this including increased interest rates and or pledging your vehicle as security on a personal loan or others. We are only obligated to pay you the market value of your vehicle at the time of loss and not the loan balance payable to your bank. Your bank is likely to hold you personally responsible for any shortfall in such cases.

If I am transferred to another island to work and take my vehicle, will my policy cover still apply?

Yes. Your policy cover applies as long as your vehicle is used within the Commonwealth Of The Bahamas. However, you should notify your agent before taking your vehicle to another island. New Providence rates are higher than Family Island rates so you may be charged an additional premium or be given a credit depending on where the vehicle is taken.

Aren’t all losses covered by my “Comprehensive” motor policy?

No. Your comprehensive policy pays for most losses or damages to your motor vehicle, its accessories and spare parts on it. But, we will not pay for any loss or damage due to the following:

  • consequential losses (except loss of use subject to certain limits and restrictions)
  • depreciation, wear and tear, electrical and mechanical breakdown
  • damage to tires unless your vehicle itself has been damaged
  • damages caused to your vehicle during transit by sea

Am I entitled to a No Claims Discount every year at renewal?

You would be entitled to a No Claims Discount (maximum 60% on comprehensive and 20% on third party)in accordance with our scales provided that no claim was “made” or arose under your policy during that particular policy period.

If I sell my vehicle, can I also transfer my insurance to the buyer?

You cannot do so without our expressed consent In any case, any of the benefits that you were entitled to under the policy (for example, your No Claims Discount) will not be transferable to the buyer. You will no longer have an interest in the vehicle so really the buyer should take out his own motor policy to cover the motor vehicle.

How soon should I notify Bahamas First in the event of an accident or other loss?

You should notify your insurer as soon as possible by giving them full written particulars.

Can I cancel my insurance policy at any time during the policy period?

Yes. However, you must return the policy and the current certificate of insurance to us. You may also be entitled to a refund of the portion of the premium paid.

My car has been stolen/destroyed by fire. Should I get the police report before coming reporting to Bahamas First?

You should immediately report any loss to us. Do not wait to get the police report before doing so. We will formally request a police report. The police will not usually release reports for auto thefts / fires without a letter from us.

Can I claim for personal effects that were in my car when it was stolen or destroyed by fire?

Personal effects are not covered under your motor policy, only the vehicle and any accessories and spare parts attached to it that have been pre-valued are covered.

If I am able to contain and extinguish my auto fire, do I still need to notify the fire department?

Yes. All auto fires must be reported to the police; They will investigate (inspect the vehicle & interview the insured) to determine the cause (e.g. arson, electrical etc.)