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Home insurance In Jamaica For Wooden Houses?

by Christy

Can you still get home insurance for wooden houses in Jamaica? Can you send me a list of insurance companies that do provide insurance for them? Thanks

ANSWER: by Wellesley

Hi Christy, Interesting question, thanks for asking!

The short answer is yes, we still do, but I noted two things..

  1. A lot of factors and considerations that are taken into account, and
  2. Only an extremely few insurance companies in Jamaica that does it right now (at least from my research)

So I reached out both to insurance companies and insurance brokers today, a number of them.

And the message was clear; For them to provide coverage for board houses, it was almost next to impossible.

But there was one exception, Jamaica National General Insurance, formerly NEM insurance (contact below). They appeared, at least at this time, to be the most accommodating, but even so, they needed several pieces of information as well, mainly,

  1. Information on the condition of the house and
  2. The valuation report

Note that for both concrete and timber houses, the list of key requirements remains the same, both for the insurance brokers and insurance companies.

top insurance_companies_in_jamaica

They seek information on/ or require...

  1. An updated copy of the house valuation report
  2. The location of the house (urban vs rural etc), residential vs single dwelling, gated or not etc.
  3. The type of construction
  4. The size of the house
  5. The type of roofing
  6. Is it near the sea?
  7. Was/Is the building occupied?
  8. What is it used for? eg. Rented?
  9. Was it damaged during any hurricane or fire prior?
  10. Is it part timber and part concrete, or full timber? &
  11. The replacement cost.

All of these are questions and considerations for the insurance companies before they make a decision.

By the way, do bear in mind that the replacement cost, is separate and apart from what they call the market value, which is also different from the 'forced sale' or realization value.

The replacement value is simply the cost to replace the house, but the market value usually includes the cost of the land that the house is situated on.

So let's say that the market value of a house is 25 million JMD, the replacement value of the house could be 18 or 20 million, as according to the insurance companies, the land cannot be damaged in the case of accidents or perils.

Get it? Great!
So in the case of the insurance brokers, they take all this information and send it to the insurance companies for them to make a decision or obtain a quotation. They then communicate back to us with a response.

By the way, the contact information for JN General Insurance is...

Head Office: 9 King St, Kingston
Phone: (876) 922-1460

Check them out, but don't limit yourself, continue to check around, a good place to start is with a broker, for example, Jamaica Citadel Insurance Brokers Ltd, they have a good reputation. Their phone contact is (876) 979-9590.

I hope this helps, and good luck1


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