Premier Paula Cox Responds To Bob Richards

October 20, 2012

Premier and Minister of Finance Paula Cox responded to comments made today [Oct 19] by the Shadow Finance Minister Bob Richards regarding cost savings on Government’s insurance.

Speaking at a press conference today, Mr Richards said: “Bermuda is one of the world’s three risk capitals, yet the government pays a huge $12 million annual insurance bill the old fashioned way.

“An OBA government would use Bermuda based risk management expertise to significantly lower this cost. Government has paid lip service to this idea but, in dithering for so long, they’ve wasted millions of dollars in insurance premiums. We would expedite this idea forthwith,” said Mr Richards.

Premier Cox said she was “puzzled as to why the One Bermuda Alliance was attempting to showcase an original Government idea and programme which was already in place and pass off as one of their own.”

The Premier said:”Though we welcome Bob Richards’ remarks today about saving money on the Government’s insurance bill, I would refer him and the people of Bermuda to my comments given in the House of Assembly on March 16, 2012.

‘Mr. Chairman, we continue to investigate ways to find efficiencies and realise further savings. One such example is a pending review of the structure of all of Government’s insurance programmes, with the possibility of forming a captive or other opportunities for cost savings on Government’s $13 million insurance bill.

With property assets of over $2.5 billion and revenues of over $900 million, the Bermuda Government is by far the largest risk in Bermuda. Insurance purchased currently includes property, public liability, personal accident, motor fleet insurance, marine fleet insurances and professional indemnity.

‘The Government currently engages an insurance broker with respect to any and all of Bermuda Government’s portfolio of insurances. Some governments choose to self-insure many or all of their asset and liability risks. Aside from most infrastructure assets, at this time the Bermuda Government does not self-insure.

But, Mr. Chairman, in order to reduce Government’s insurance costs, the Government sought proposals from qualified insurance professionals for the review of, and advice on, the structure of all its insurance programmes. An RFP was sent out seeking a suitably experienced and qualified team to lead in the request for the insurance review and advice, and a successful service provider has been selected.’

Premier Cox concluded, “In short, we’ve already acted on this and countless other efficiency plans that have and will save the people of Bermuda millions of dollars. And we will continue with our plans to make the Government more efficient.

“Since March, there has been action and demonstrable progress. They say imitation is the most sincerest form of flattery so I guess it is a compliment that the Opposition wishes to take a leaf out of our book to distract from their lack of real solutions for Bermuda. That said, we thank the opposition for their endorsement of our actions.”

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  1. Bob Richards Responds: Insurance Premiums | Bernews.com | October 22, 2012
  1. swinging fromchandoliers!!! says:

    This debate needs to be televised!!Ping Pong! I await a reply from Mr. Richards that will probably gosomethin like this----" but we agree with you butt we will be more expeditious,Madam Premier"......Paula leading so far..hmmmm

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  2. Ringmaster says:

    What the Premier didn't say was whether any action has been taken, or if she is merely committed to acting. All she said was an RFP was sent out. So what was the result?

    What is interesting is that within hours of Bob Richard's saying this, as part of many other points, the Premier responds. Many weeks have passed with absolute silence from the Premier, or anyone else, to the announcements from Carl Bazarian that he will shortly commence some construction in St George. Nothing said, except that the lease had lapsed.

    Madam Premier, what is the situation with this development?

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  3. Fumb Duck Spooner says:

    Is the broker also a minister?

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  4. Sandgrownan says:

    Hey Paula, how you going to grow the economy? How you going to get the oerseas investment back?
    How you going to repay the equity you destroyed? Can i get my land license money back?

    /crickets/

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    • Yes Aye says:

      And the fact that stats show IB jobs are up in the last 2 years....... Crickets......

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      • Rick Rock says:

        Yes, and the "facts" show the number of jobs in tourism have doubled in the past two years. Doubled. I guess these "facts" couldn't possibly be lies could they?

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        • wcydwylias says:

          "double the jobs in tourism" lets explore this. So I used to make $25 an hour in an office where I was laid off so now I HAVE to take a "tourism job" where I now make $10.50 per hour so I now have 2 "jobs" to make ends meet. Does that qualify for doubled??? look through the BS of numbers and seek the real story.

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      • Truth (Original) says:

        If you look at the stats from the last 4 years, I think you see a realistic representation of our current situation. The number of vacant apartments does not lie.

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      • Sandgrownan says:

        That's bullsh$% and you know it.

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  5. .am says:

    "Premier Cox said she was “puzzled as to why the One Bermuda Alliance was attempting to showcase an original Government idea and programme which was already in place and pass off as one of their own.”"

    Pot calling kettle black?

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  6. Judge Dredd says:

    She b:+<# slapped him on both cheeks. Sound of crickets from the Oligarchical Bankrupt Alliance aka Old Brokendown Appliance.

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  7. Victor says:

    One of the issues that Mr. Richards could perhaps attempt to quantify is how much investment has not happened because the greasiness of the PLP Government has scared legitimate investors away, ergo in the Master's own words - "Pay to Play". Another is how much more business will pack up and go in the event of a PLP victory. And finally under a fourth PLP Government, how long before there is nothing left to take other than perhaps a few used cedar post office beams (oops, those were already taken).

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  8. Truth is killin' me... says:

    Charlie Brown...front of the class...mwah...mwah...mwah...mwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!

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  9. Triangle Drifter says:

    Anyone else catch the figure that Government has $2.5B in property assests against, what is it now, $1.5B in debt? The majority of that debt created under her stewardship as Finance Minister.

    How about this one, the insurance bill for a year is $13M. $13M only covers the interest paid on the debt for less than 80 days, less than 3 months.

    Good going there Premier/Finance Minister/PLP Government, you all really have a solid handle on the Islands finances.

    Had enough of this good Governance yet?

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  10. Familiar says:

    Dear Premier Cox, I believe you failed to full grasp what Mr. Richards said.

    He did not say it was his, or the OBAs idea. He said you were wasting time and money because you're futzing around not getting the job done, where the OBA would be dedicated to actually moving things forward.

    So, instead of being condescending and patronising, perhaps you'd like to clarify exactly what action has been taken and show us what that 'demonstrable' progress looks like.

    It would be a much more effective means of showing your accomplishments.

    Signed,
    One of the people who pays your salary.

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    • rusty says:

      on another note I would love for one of our journalist to interviw the premiers husband ,we do not know a thing about him !!! and how he likes his life in Bermuda....Tari Trott in my opinion is the man to get this interviw...

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  11. Truth (Original) says:

    Has the Govt insurance program been placed in the market through a broker? Or has the government simply "committed" to do it?

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  12. Hon. Premiere tries (but fails in the end) to answers one minor point raised by Hon. Bob Richards and also fails to mention $1.5B in Govt. debt (and counting to the tune of $350M+/year) and never says that savings, if any were actually made.

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  13. Craig looby says:

    How is it that a tiny place with a native pooulation of 50k people....be in over a billion in debt?......debt created to deal with bda social economic issues......and the issues still existing and expanding

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  14. elementary says:

    Privatise! Put everything out to tender!

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    • Wheerzs Waldo? says:

      I agree.

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      • Vulpes says:

        Absolutely, including education - we should consider a voucher system that allows parents to pick which private school to send their kids. Good schools will thrive, bad ones will go away.

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  15. Sick of the Spin says:

    Madam Premier - as noted in your own quote from Mr. Richards "Government has paid lip service to this idea but, in dithering for so long, they’ve wasted millions of dollars in insurance premiums"

    He never tried to say the idea was an OBA idea. Indeed, he clearly stated that your government has noted this idea in the past. What he is saying is that no demonstrable progress towards this has been made, and that money is continuing to be wasted in the meantime.

    Although you note that a RFP has gone out, and you SAY that demonstrable progress has been made, we, the people of Bermuda, see none of this progress. Please stop wasting time with sarcasm and call an election so we can see what the people of Bermuda really want

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  16. Mad Dawg says:

    " In order to reduce the governments insurance costs we sought proposals...."

    Translation: 'yes, we have been faffing around paying too much for insurance and now that you brought it up we have called some people who can give us some ideas how to reduce costs'.

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  17. John Zuill says:

    The rub here is that the premier has not actually done it. A government can pledge to do anything. Can it actually get it done? Can in fix education? Can it run a budget? Can it build a pool? The government can pledge to turn the moon into yogurt. Whether it will happen in another story. We've been waiting for government insurance reform since the PLP was elected so many many many years ago now.

    Make a list of what the PLP has accomplished. Its not very long.

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  18. Really Though? says:

    Everybody talking like the OBA and/or UBP can do any better....Delusional much? PoliTRICKS, no matter which party, will have this island stilllll going down the drain!! Everybody wants change, then stop looking to the government to be the change. Stop blaming government for everything that happens and start looking in the mirror at yourselves to see what you can do to make a difference and how you can help whatever government is in power to make this country a better Bermuda. Like really, everybody so reliant on the Government seems like you've all forgotten how stand on your OWN 2 feet!

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    • Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

      because they are controlling{spending} our money thats why ....i do my part ,dont you ..? every legitimate employee has taxes TAKEN from them every payday....now the people who you entrust to control bda finances leaves alot to be desired from what i see...but then again i cant blame her ...she's not in control.

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      • Keepin' it Real...4Real! says:

        1 billion dollars put into perspective for you all that dont know..

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=um0guhNGPPM

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  19. Mryron smith says:

    The question here is , would you let the PLP manage your money in your family household of buisiness ?

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  20. Jeff says:

    I do feel that the PLP will win the election. It does sadden me as I do not think that the PLP MP's are interested in their own people. They are out to get what they can get for themselves. I will be off this island in a year so the outcome of the election is not that important to me personally. But I love my fellow Bermudians and I am very scared for the furture of the average Bermudian as I feel the government only care about lining their own pockets. God bless you all!

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  21. street wise says:

    The plp cannot help us, they are too busy helping themselves.

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    • rusty says:

      They sure have helped themselves,and will continue to line their pockets,,cause they can get away with it !!!no one cares about the poor people who have hell to povide food for their family...what a mess we are in.
      I can not think where Bermuda wil be in if this present Gov are elected again.
      Think about it we have the likes of Zane,Commisiong and Curtis to represent us !!!!!!!!! Bermudians we need get out of dodge.

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  22. Vote for Me says:

    Once again, the posts are interesting but avoid the facts.

    Bob Richards is strongly suggesting that government should use on island expertise to optimize its insurance premiums. The Premier has called him out because the process has already been started.

    The question that has not been asked is who currently gets the insurance premium and who has done so for the past several years?

    Enquiring minds want to know!!

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    • elementary says:

      The insurance costs are a drip in the ocean compared to the national debt. Sure it could be a cost saving but in reality we need to cut government costs across the board, get more value for those tax dollars and increase government revenue. The latter can either mean privatization of government departments, redundancies, increasing taxes or having more tax payers.

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    • Mad Dawg says:

      The question, VFM, is why the process got started just a few weeks before the election. And why wait until we're $1.5bn in debt before they started thinking about taking steps to save money.

      More amateur incompetence.

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  23. Petra says:

    I don't think Premier Cox has answered the question! In March they pledged to do a review and uncover savings - she even says a company has been identified to assist through an RFP - what was the result Madam Premier? How much did you save - once you'd paid the company of course!

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  24. The nitty gritty says:

    LINE 5 of her March speech... and I quote " The Bermuda government is by far the largest risk in Bermuda"
    Talk about hitting the nail on the head.
    Time to neutralize that risk via the election, before we see a Premier Burgess ascend the throne.

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