For the last 4 years, I’ve gone without house insurance on my properties in Colombia. I know, not smart. I’ve never had a problem, but this week I did some research on options, coverage and prices, and ended up pleasantly surprised. For all the “danger” and “risk” that you think insurance companies would assess on Colombian assets, the coverage here is broad, premiums are reasonable, deductibles low, and service from the top providers seems to be good.
I started by consulting some insurance industry contacts I had via friends, and some shopping around direct with the usual providers on my own. You have a lot of options here, the big guys are: AIG, Liberty Mutual, MAPFRE, Sura, Colseguros – names that you might already be familiar with. All of these companies come with a range of fairly similar prices and coverage models, but the general consensus is that there are two that standout if you ever have a problem: Sura and Liberty Mutual. Both have a reputation for expedient resolution of claims which if you’ve ever had to file an insurance claim you know can be the most frustrating insurance experience of all.
When shopping for home insurance in Colombia you have 3 basic paths you should research and discuss with your insurance broker:
1) Do you want/need to insure the physical building structure? Or does the insurance policy of the building already cover any damage/replacement value?
2) Do you want/need contents insurance or perhaps as a renter to you want only contents insurance? And do you want to insure “mobile contents” – jewelry, iPhone, etc.
3) Do you want/need earthquake insurance? We do live in a seismically active part of the world after all.
At the end of the day, below is the policy that I went with for $476,000 pesos annually that gets me:
– reconstruction insurance based on the value of the property
– replacement of furniture in event of loss/damage (renters)
– replacement of electronics in case of lightening strike, etc.
– replacement of mobile contents (watch, computer, iPhone, etc.) up to $2,000,000 pesos
Contents only by the way (fixed/mobile) would have been about half this – for the renters.
Adding earthquake insurance would have doubled this to about $900,000 but wasn’t necessary as our building has a basic earthquake policy that seemed to be sufficient.
Brad Hinkelman – firstname.lastname@example.org
Founder/Owner – Casacol SAS