Ecuador Insurance

Getting the right Ecuador insurance is vitally important if you are working in this fascinating country. Although not considered as dangerous as some South American countries, crime, including kidnapping, is on the increase and there is a risk of political unrest.

Ecuador – quick facts

  • Armed robbery is a constant hazard throughout Ecuador
  • International health insurance in Ecuador is essential, along with cover for emergency evacuation
  • Avoid areas near the Colombian border due to the risk of kidnapping, narco-terrorists and unexploded ordnance.

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Potential problems in Ecuador

Ecuador may be the second smallest South American country but it packs a lot in. It boasts a wealth of history and culture and a natural diversity that includes Amazon jungles, Andean volcanoes and the unique Galápagos Islands.

Although Ecuador doesn’t have a history of terrorism, in 2018 there were a number of bomb explosions and kidnappings in the northern province of Esmeraldas. 

Medical facilities can be expensive in cities and quality care is not readily available in more remote regions, including the Galápagos. Make sure you have Comprehensive Health insurance in Ecuador that includes Emergency Evacuation by air ambulance.

All travel to areas near the Colombian border is discouraged due to the presence of armed militias, drug traffickers and unexploded ordnance. A similar risk is a potential in Esmeraldos province. Kidnapping, always a risk near the Colombian border, is also on the increase particularly in Quito and Guayaquil. We can organise Kidnap and Ransom cover as part of any Ecuador insurance.

Political unrest could present a problem to foreign nationals getting caught up in rallies or demonstrations. While these are usually peaceful, they can become violent. If you are setting up a business or import/export activities here, you might like to consider Trade and Political Risk insurance that will provide protection from confiscation or loss of earnings due to political or legislative changes. 

Crime can be a problem, most commonly ‘sneak’ theft such as pickpocketing, though there is a reported rise in armed robbery, sexual assault, and bus hijacking. Take care when using banks or ATMs, as these are a favourite target for mugging. Where possible leave valuables in a safe, carry a small bundle of cash to hand over quickly if you are accosted and don’t resist thieves as you may well get seriously injured or worse. Be mindful that any food, drink, drugs and even pamphlets offered to you by strangers may be contaminated with powerful sedatives designed to make you easy prey for theft or assault.

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Advice from the FCDO

The Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in the UK regularly updates its advice to British travellers about immediate risks.