By Humphrey Carter

THE Balearics was one of the regions of Spain worst affected by severe weather last year but the majority of businesses trashed by the hurricane and flash floods which battered Majorca four months ago are still waiting for their insurance companies to pay out.

It appears that only 3'317 out of the total 9'835 claims have been processed and paid out on, which means nearly two thirds of the storm victims are still eagerly awaiting compensation, and in some cases, are facing a crisis situation.

Businesses worst hit by the slow compensation process appear to be on the Can Valero industrial estate near the ONO football stadium. The delay has forced some of the affected businesses into an even more precarious situation because they have had to take out bank loans to cover the interim costs, while others have remained closed since the storms hit, waiting for the insurance companies to cough up before reopening their doors. Some businesses have also been forced to relocate as they have been unable to repair their damaged retail premises.

Sources for the insurance companies have admitted that the delay is because of the complexity of the operation, but an effort is going to be made to speed up the process, and the bulk of the outstanding insurance claims should be paid out on by the end of March.

However, the small business sector has criticized the insurance sector for its sluggish response to a critical situation, and has said that, unless signs of an improvement are witnessed over the next two weeks, a meeting will be called to reassess the situation. What is more, it appears that the pledged central Government aid has not filtered through to the Balearics either. Apparently, the central Government will not be able to start calculating how much cash aid is needed until the insurance companies have compensated all their clients, a situation which some of the damaged businesses claim is unacceptable, because they are continuing to lose money.


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