Homeowners Insurance in Nicaragua

insurance

By Mike Newton

The nightly news is filled with disastrous flooding in parts of Germany, devastating tornados and wild fires in the United States resulting in billions in losses. Much of these losses will be transferred to the various insuring companies.

Nicaragua has a relatively new insurance industry, with four private companies that were founded in 1996. The following is a brief synopsis of what type of homeowners’ coverage options are available in Nicaragua.

Homeowners insurance in Nicaragua insurance is issued on the structure of a house and named extensions. So, if you have a pool, make sure your agent has the policy specify it in the declarations.

Homeowners insurance in Nicaragua  is a named perils type of policy and it only covers damages from fire, lightning and explosion, earthquake, tremors, volcanic eruption, tidal waves, hurricanes, tornados, wind damage, labor strikes, student riots, looting as a result of a catastrophic event, collision damage by vehicles, or aircraft (other than your own) and  incredibly flooding.

Note that in Nicaragua water damage to a house is only covered if it comes in contact with the ground before in enters the structure. So leaks from the roof, a faulty air-conditioner, or water damage from a broken pipe in the ceiling are excluded under Nicaraguan policies.

Contents insurance for the above named perils is optional and relatively straight forward.  This would be for your furniture and other belongings. Note that in Nicaragua contents excludes: gold, silver, jewelry, precious stones, furs, paper money, stock certificates, checks, stamps, commercial documents, and the “catch all” rare objects of art or collectibles.

Robbery insurance for the contents inside your home there is another option available under the basic homeowner’s policy. Although this insurance coverage is not as straight forward as one may like – and usually only used in business settings.  Insured’s are often disbelieving when the insurance companies adjusters demand actual receipts of the items stolen to prove that they were in the insured’s possession prior to the robbery.  Really, how many people keep receipts on our kitchen appliances or TV’s or IPods, clothes or bottle of vintage wine?

Other problem areas with Robbery Insurance are that there needs to be a forced entry for the theft to be covered.  So, the police report for robbery must identify the forced entry point (broken window or door) supporting a claim to an insurance company. If the thief entered through an unlocked window, or with a copy of a key – no forced entry – no supportable claim. This is vastly different than coverage in the states which often covers mysterious disappearances.

Additionally, though somewhat incredulously, if no one is home when your house is robbed, then Nicaragua theft insurance is invalid. If you leave your home alone, it is not covered, although that’s when you probably need the coverage the most. Recently two Nicaraguan Insurance companies started including an armed guard clause for insuring beach houses against robbery.  Needless to say, robbery insurance for homeowners provides less than adequate coverage.

Electric equipment insurance is another option offered to protect computers, flat screen TV’s, and other electrical equipment from electrical surges courtesy from the power company. Burned out pool pumps and refrigerator motors are common claims. One of the requirements for this coverage to be in effect is the use of a surge protector. To eliminate the need for unsightly surge protectors (shoe sized boxes plugged into the walls) many homeowners are installing one protector for a whole house.

This device is installed between the breaker box of a home and the electrical feed from the grid.  Installation cost is between 700.00 to 900.00 depending on the distance from Managua.  See link below for more info. A Nicaraguan company that can order and install this device is Morris Sallick Industrial Supplys, Inc.

www.morrisssallick.com

https://www.apc.com/products/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=PMP1XR-B

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CSISA Insurance Brokers work with the five Nicaraguan Insurance companies to find the best coverage options for homeowners, business and commercial, life and health insurance in Nicaragua. For more information, contact us at CSISA Seguros or give us a call at the Managua office (505) 2271-5658.