On september 12th, before it could reckon how much damage Hurricane Irma had caused, Turks and Caicos got some heartening news. Within a fortnight the tiny Caribbean territory would get $13.6m to pay for disaster relief. Days earlier, Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis and Anguilla were pledged $15.6m. The sum, a substantial 1% of their combined GDP, won’t come from foreign do-gooders. It is a reward for home-grown prudence.
Like 13 other members of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) and Nicaragua, the four had been paying into the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF). Created in 2007, it has so far doled out $69m to places battered by storms, floods and earthquakes. Unused funds are retained as reserves. Besides its own resources, CCRIF can draw on around $140m underwritten annually by reinsurers.