Published On: Mon, May 7th, 2018

Insurance claim pay-out paves way for government building repairs in St. Maarten

Sint Maarten GovernmentPHILIPSBURG -The recent settlement of the insurance claim for repairs to the new Government Building due to the passing of Hurricanes Irma and Maria last year paved the way for the reconstruction of the building with an anticipated completion date before the start of the upcoming hurricane season.

The building is owned by Social and Health Insurances SZV, but rented by Government. Damage was sustained to both the exterior and interior of the building and was estimated at US $2,653,000. The insurance claim for the damage was settled for $2,450,000 after a deducible of $540,000.

The exterior damage was mainly to the roof and shutters. The interior damage is visible on Levels 1 to 4 of the building. The data-writing system, air-conditioning, plumbing and electrical systems of some of the offices were also on the list of damage claimed.

Minister of Health Emil Lee stated on Sunday, “I would like to commend the SZV team that managed its insurance claim. Obviously one of the first and most critical steps is getting the financial resources for the rebuilding process.

“The Government Building, which is rented from SZV, serves as a command post for disasters. I am confident that SZV will work hard to ensure that the building is repaired and repaired to a high standard, with the knowledge of what Mother Nature is capable of.

“With each step, with every reconstruction project, we create job opportunities for our people and much-needed economic activity. St. Maarten thanks SZV for getting another reconstruction project started.”
SZV finalised the construction of the new Government Building eight months ago, just before the passing of the storms. Government has a 30-year lease agreement with SZV and commenced rent payments in July 2017. The move of the various departments to the new building has allowed Government to save on double rents. Despite the challenges of the country after the passing of the storms, Government has consistently been able to uphold its monthly rental agreement.

Fortunately, the building was not severely damaged. After the storms, the building was able to quickly and comfortably house those Government departments that had not yet moved in prior to the storms but were severely damaged. The cooperation of the various project teams allowed for a quick move of those departments into the new building, minimising disruption to critical Government services to the public after the storms.

Directly after the storms, the SZV project team was able to assess the damage and initiate the claims procedures. The estimate of repair cost was completed by Independent Consulting Engineer (ICE) and the insurance claim was submitted to Gulf Insurance, the assigned insurance company for the building.
Currently the project team is nearing the completion phase of the internal repairs. Once completed, exterior repairs will continue, mainly to the roof and shutters. The repairs have been going smoothly, causing no interruption to the Government services rendered to the public.

“SZV thanks the project team for their continued hard work, as well as the insurance company for the efficient processing of the claims procedure to be able to finalise all repairs necessary, in time for the upcoming hurricane season,” according to SZV management on Sunday.

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