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Insurance scheme

Friday, December 08, 2017

NUKU'ALOFA - Cyclone Ian destroyed more than 1000 buildings in Ha'apai and about 2000 people were left homeless.

With the cyclone season underway, Tonga is being covered against damage as part of a $US45 million ($F93.8m) insurance scheme.

The Pacific Catastrophe Risk Insurance Company, which was established a year ago, is providing $US45m cover for Tonga, the Cook Islands, the Marshall Islands, Samoa and Vanuatu.

The company, which is owned by the Pacific Island countries, was established with the assistance of the World Bank.

During the pilot period of the scheme, in January 2014, Tonga was hit by severe (Category 5) Cyclone Ian.

A state of emergency was declared for Vava'u and Ha'apai.

More than 1000 buildings in Ha'apai were destroyed and 2000 people were left homeless.

As a result, a payout of $1.27m ($F2.65m) was made to Tonga under the policy on January 27th; an amount equivalent to more than the country's 2013 contingency budget, and more than half of the reserves of the Tonga National Reserve Fund.

This was the first payout made under the pilot scheme.

The official 2017/18 cyclone season began on November 1 and will end on April 30 next year.

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