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British American Insurance Company sold to Sagicor Life, Inc

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The Judicial Managers of British American Insurance Company (BAICO), together with the Governments of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU),{{more}} have announced that an agreement has been signed to sell the traditional life insurance business of BAICO to Sagicor Life, Inc. (Sagicor), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sagicor Financial Corporation.

The ECCU Governments have undertaken to provide funding of up to US$38 million to assist in restoring value to the transferring policies.

According to a release from the Judicial Managers of BAICO and the Governments of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union, the sale was agreed after a formal sale process, which resulted in strong interest from 7 parties, with 4 final bids being considered.

The business being sold is made up of Group Pensions and the following traditional life policies issued by BAICO in Anguilla, Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Vincent and the Grenadines: Universal Life policies; Term Life; Whole Life; Endowment; Home Service Life.

Approximately 17,500 policyholders are expected to benefit from the sale, restoring the policy values for nearly 2 in every 3 BAICO policyholders, the release said.

It should be noted that under the terms of the sale, all valid and in-force life policies, as at the Scheme Effective Transfer Date, will be transferred to Sagicor without any amendment or change to the respective policy, allowing policyholders to benefit from the terms they historically agreed with BAICO.

The release said the life insurance business will be transferred to Sagicor, once all necessary approvals for the scheme of transfer from the relevant Courts and insurance regulators in The Bahamas (where BAICO is incorporated) and throughout the ECCU countries are received.

It is expected that the approvals for all countries will take a further 3-6 months, at which point the transfer of the business can be finalized. The Governments will work with Sagicor and BAICO to finalize this as soon as possible.

Policyholders whose policies are proposed to be transferred need not take any action at this point, the release said. However, prior to the completion of the sale, policyholders are encouraged to continue to pay and, if necessary, bring up to date their life policy premiums, to representatives at existing BAICO branches within the ECCU, in order to maintain their policies.

Policyholders will be provided with further information (either directly or by local advertising) about the proposed transfer of the business in the coming months, as Sagicor and the Judicial Managers of BAICO seek the necessary Court and regulatory approvals.

Once the transfer is completed, Sagicor will contact affected policyholders to inform them of the change in ownership of this business. On completion, Sagicor will assume BAICO’s place as the legal issuer of the transferring policies, and policyholders will be able to once again operate their policies in accordance with the contract terms.

“The obligation to pay certain unpaid amounts to policyholders under these policies (being claims, maturities, surrenders and bonuses) will transfer to Sagicor with the business, and the ECCU Governments have arranged funding for the payment of these in accordance with the terms of the policies. The payment of claims will be subject to the claimant meeting the requirements of the policy terms, and signing an appropriate release,” the release said.

“The ECCU Governments are mindful that, during the past three years, due to the uncertainty about BAICO’s future, many policyholders may have stopped paying their premiums. In many cases, this will have resulted in them allowing their policies to lapse.

“The Governments, Sagicor and the Judicial Managers of BAICO are currently considering whether it will be possible to offer to reinstate policies that have lapsed in this period and further information regarding this issue will be communicated to affected policyholders prior to the completion of the transfer.

“Many policyholders may not be aware if their policy is current (for example, they may have ceased paying premiums some time ago, but the automatic loan feature of their policy may have been triggered, meaning essentially that the accumulated value of their policy was used to pay their premiums).

If policyholders have queries, they can contact their local BAICO branch to find out the status of their policy.

In conclusion, the sale represents an excellent outcome for traditional life policyholders, and reflects the ECCU Governments’ and Judicial Managers’ continued efforts to work to identify solutions for individuals and institutions affected by the BAICO collapse’, the release, dated June 29 said.

“Although the sale is structured specifically to transfer the ECCU traditional life policyholders to Sagicor, the sale is also beneficial to all other policyholders and creditors of BAICO who are not covered by the terms of the sale by reducing the remaining liabilities of BAICO. The Judicial Managers and the ECCU Governments continue to work on solutions to recover assets of BAICO as well as to pursue those responsible for the collapse,” the release said.

The Judicial Managers and the ECCU Governments reiterated their appreciation to all those affected by the BAICO situation in the region for their patience as this work progresses.

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