Triple-S Propiedad has paid a total of $692 million in claims related to Hurricane María in the past two years for a total number of claims of 17,746. It has closed approximately 96% of those claims, while 709 remain open, company CEO Roberto García-Rodríguez confirmed as part of the release of its third quarter results.
“Triple-S Propiedad has been served with process in 218 lawsuits related to these 709 claims. The company conducted a search of the Puerto Rico core system’s electronic docket to identify lawsuits filed against Triple-S Propiedad that have not yet been served,” García said.
“This docket search identified an additional 178 lawsuits filed, but not served. All of them relate to claims previously registered with and evaluated by the company,” he added, noting that estimated gross losses remain unchanged from the previous quarter at $967 million.
“The total number of lawsuits filed against Triple-S Propiedad relating to Hurricane Maria, including those that have been served and those identified in the public record that have not is 396. This total represents only 2% of all Maria-related claims filed by Triple-S property policyholders,” García told analysts during a call to review the results for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2019.
“Of these almost half involved personal claims which tend to be much smaller in dollar amount than commercial claims. And to our knowledge only 31 involve an assignment of benefits,” he said.
For the quarter, Triple-S Management Corp. — the parent company of Triple-S Propiedad — reported net income of $13.9 million, or $0.58 per diluted share, versus net loss of $17.6 million, or $0.77 per share, in the prior-year period.
It also reported adjusted net income of $12.1 million, or $0.51 per diluted share, versus adjusted net loss of $22.2 million, or $0.97 per share, during the same year-ago quarter.
“With respect to our Property & Casualty segment, our quarterly review of outstanding claims reaffirms our belief that our reserves remain adequate as of September 30, 2019,” García-Rodríguez said.
“Given our confidence in the Company’s long-term strategy and our belief that its stock is undervalued, our Board has expanded our share repurchase program’s availability to $25 million. We anticipate commencing repurchases under the program during the week of November 11, 2019,” the executive said.
During the call, García-Rodríguez also address the issue of Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico, which represents a significant portion of its income related to the government’s public health plan, known as Plan Vital.
“We are cautiously optimistic with the latest news coming out of Congress, as there is now a senate proposal that would provide $9.8 billion in funding over four years for the island’s Medicaid program,” he said.
“Conversations between the House and the Senate regarding the Medicaid spending cliff are ongoing. And our expectation is that, a final agreement will be included in an extender’s package likely to be enacted in the first quarter of 2020,” he added.
This is not the permanent solution that Puerto Rico is seeking, “yet it provides the program with greater stability over the next four years.”