Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Homeowners Insurance - Ecuador

       Property, Casualty & Liability Insurance 

Now, let’s consider the largely ignored insurance coverage in Ecuador – homeowners and liability. Yes, our apartment has brick walls and concrete walls and floors. Try hanging a picture on these walls! Most of us have little fear of fire and pay cash for our homes. Mortgages are expensive (10-15%) and rarely cover over half the value of homes. So insurance is rarely required. Most homeowners “go naked.” Apartment associations usually have coverage for the building (elevators, structure, common areas) amounting to less than half the property value.
? However, who can sleep at night if our uninsured home is empty when we visit the states?

 Some of us have noticed the tremendous increase in “earthquakes, famines, wars and rumors of wars”, to use a Biblical phrase. And we live near the “ring of fire” volcano and earthquake zone of the Andes. Yesterday our hometown of Asheville NC experienced a tremor!
Now the usual problems arise. Who can you trust, especially when you do not speak the language or understand the subtleties of the culture? Will the insurance carrier pay the claim? How do we obtain coverage at reasonable cost?
You know I would not be writing this wonderful, informative article if I lacked an excellent answer (drum roll^^^).
Presenting… the group with the highest rating in Ecuador, conducting worldwide business in 53 countries.  The “ACE group” is AAA by Ecuador’s Bank Watch Rating and AA- by S & P (same as the good old USA, but that’s a long foolish political story). My agents are Daniel Gonzales who speaks excellent English and Pedro Valdivieso. Pedro’s assistant speaks English and his wife speaks German and French. And his brother is a plastic surgeon – need and little tuck or enhancement?

Quickly now, what coverage did we obtain?    OK… read fast:
Earthquake, volcanic eruption…fire,  lightning, smoke damage…windstorm, hail, rain, flooding…burglary, robbery…explosion…vandalism and malicious mischief…riot, etc.

Optional coverages:  Liability (our pipes rupture, damaging neighbor’s walls) , contents,etc…glass breakage..water damage.
Deductibles vary with the type of loss here, rather than one comprehensive deductible. You know, the greater of x% or y$ per incident. You understand by now that I am frugal. Our  $100,000 coverage has a premium = $ 39 per month.
Coming soon, another exciting topic - automobile coverage.  Hang on,      Gary