Cebu-based Plantation Bay Holdings Corp. filed a criminal complaint against Standard Insurance, after the latter allegedly ignored the former’s insurance claim amounting to P550 million about 14 months after its resort sustained extensive damage from the onslaught of Typhoon Odette in December 2021.
PBHC, which owns and operates the 280-room Plantation Bay resort in Cebu, filed a revised criminal complaint at the Office of the City Prosecutor in Makati City on Jan. 19, 2023 against Standard Insurance for alleged 12 counts of estafa; Philpacific Insurance Brokers & Managers Inc., the insurance broker of Standard Insurance as a co-conspirator to estafa; and the Philippine office of US-based claims adjuster Crawford & Company as an accessory and co-conspirator.
PBHC said in its complaint the respondents allegedly tried to apply depreciated or sound value, instead of replacement value of the insured properties.
Standard Insurance, Philinsure and Crawford & Company, which were contacted by email and social media for this story, had yet to issue their statements, but an earlier report in another newspaper quoted Standard Insurance chief executive Patty Echauz-Chilip as saying that based on their assessment, Plantation Bay was “underinsured” for the damaged facilities, and it failed to update its insurance values for the properties.
Typhoon Odette brought catastrophic devastation to some parts of Visayas and Mindanao on Dec. 16, 2021, leaving PBHC’s five-star resort property in Mactan—Plantation Bay Resort and Spa—damaged.
PBHC said that as it had an active insurance policy with Standard Insurance—one with an “All-Risk, Replacement Value and Instant Payment” clause, the resort operator filed a claim for P550 million to help recover from the damage in March 2022.
PBHC said Standard Insurance and Crawford & Co. allegedly ignored the claim for five months before making an offer to settle for only P108 million—or less than 20 percent of what PHBC felt was owed to them. This was raised in November 2022, or 11 months after the typhoon to P174 million, which was still short of PBHC’s claim.
PHBC said in its complaint that Standard failed to deliver on the instant payment stipulation of their policy, which they believe entitled them to an immediate payment of P300 million. PBHC said Standard had only paid P80 million as an “instant payment” of the PHBC claim so far.
PBHC said that according to the Insurance Code, all reasonable claims are supposed to be fully settled within three months. It noted that four days after Typhoon Odette, the Insurance Commission issued a directive to all insurance companies that payments to victims were to be prioritized and expedited.
PBHC said despite the IC order, Standard Insurance had yet to settle its claim, more than a year after the incident.
PBHC also accused Standard Insurance of violating the Insurance Code by demanding that PBHC sign an absolute release of claim before any funds would be released, even those that Standard already acknowledged it owed.
PBHC said Plantation Bay was already struggling because of the impact of COVID-19. PBHC said while it had restored 80 percent of the guest rooms and most facilities of the resort, full rebuilding, especially of back-of-house structures, could take another two years because of the non-payment of its insurance claim.