In the US, we insure everything, sometimes, we buy insurance for our insurance policies, down here in Ecuador, the people don’t have that “insure-everything” mindset.
In fact, a very small percentage of the locals even have home insurance. It could be due to Ecuador being a poor, developing nation, or simply a difference in culture. Locals simply don’t see the need.
It is true that Ecuadorian housing structures tend to have a much larger percentage of concrete than American ones, making them more solid, and that Ecuador is nicely tucked out of hurricane paths and rarely hit by strong earthquakes or wild fires.
This has created a buyer’s market where insurance is still relatively cheap and the companies are constantly recruiting heavily with discounts and promotions.
Home insurance works similarly to that in the US, with a few twists and turns.
First off, it is difficult to get an exact figure of how much you will pay before you purchase a property, because how much you pay is entirely based on the assessed value of your home by an inspector for that specific insurance agency, and they don’t tend to be willing to assess a home before it is purchased.
Which leads me to the first big difference between Ecuador and the US…in Ecuador, the insurance companies do NOT insure the market value of the home, taking into account how much you paid for the place due to the area, they insure purely the cost it would take to rebuild the structure of the home.
With AIG, the leading home insurance provider (and one I recommend) in Ecuador, a building with an assessed value of $30,000 would pay $90 in premiums annually. A $70,000 structure would pay $195 anually, and a $100,000 structure would pay $270 anually. (Figures as of 2010)
With payment of the premiums you receive coverage against fire, natural disasters, earthquakes, the falling of trees, floods and all the other normal stuff.
In the event of a disaster, you would have to pay a 2% deductible (minimum $800).
But it is important to note that the figures mentioned above are to insure the structure of the home or apartment only, the belongings within the home would require a whole separate policy.
As my mom said of her time in Venezuela, if its not tied down, forget about it. It is pretty much the same in Ecuador, a peaceful place indeed, but robbery is common.
So, to insure $8000 worth of belongings against fire, and $4000 against robbery (they can’t take everything) you would pay an annual premium in addition to the one for the structure itself, of $90.
To insure $25,000 of belongings against fire or flood, and $12,500 of that against robbery, you would pay $270 annually.
In the case of robbery, you would have to pay a deductible of 10%, minimum $200.
To inquire further or to hire a policy, I recommend my bilingual personal contact, Katty Mejer in Quito, 099822232, kmasesores at hotmail.com (tell her Domenick sent you).
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