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CHARLOTTE AMALIE, Virgin Islands, April 8 -- The Lieutenant Governor of U.S. Virgin Islands issued the following news release:
Lt. Governor Francis Meets with USAA to Discuss Expansion of Insurance Products Offered in the Territory
Lieutenant Governor Gregory R. Francis, who serves as the territory's Commissioner of Insurance, announced today that he has reached out to USAA after receiving numerous inquiries from the local military community concerning USAA not offering homeowners insurance policies in the Virgin Islands. USAA is a financial services company that provides a range of products, including insurance, to U.S. military members, veterans who have honorably served and their eligible family members.
According to Lt. Governor Francis, the Virgin Islands military community, many of whom either insure their cars or bank with USAA, have questioned why the company's other insurance products are not available to Virgin Islanders. "Our military personnel and their families do not always enjoy parity in the level of services or products that are available to their counterparts on the mainland," Francis stated. He remains committed to ensuring that veterans and active service members are treated fairly and provided similar opportunities as those offered to personnel residing in the states.
Francis and John McDonald, the Director of the Division of Banking and Insurance, recently met with Robert Henderson, the Assistant Vice-President/Senior Legal Counsel for USAA, while attending the recent Spring meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). Francis reports that Henderson indicated that USAA's position of not writing homeowners' policies in the territory is a policy decision of the company, and reflects their concerns that the cost needed to develop the product and the necessary infrastructure cannot be supported by the number of customers in the territory. Francis is challenging this claim. "In the past, USAA not only offered homeowners insurance to eligible Virgin Islanders, but also utilized local insurance agents to represent their product."
Although the meeting concluded without a definitive answer, Henderson noted that the company would continue to look at the Virgin Islands and may reconsider its current position regarding homeowners insurance.
Lt. Governor Francis is asking local USAA consumers to support his office's efforts to encourage USAA to write homeowners insurance policies in the territory by making their voices heard. "I am asking the military community and all who currently have USAA auto insurance to contact USAA to encourage them to offer homeowner's insurance in the territory," Francis said. "This is an opportunity for consumers to be proactive in demanding expanded products and services. Let's all work together to make a difference."
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