Haiti Risk Assessment Country Guide 

Doing Business in Haiti

In 2010, the nation of Haiti was struck by a catastrophic earthquake that left more than 230,000 dead, displaced 1.5 million people, and demolished 250,000 residences and 30,000 commercial buildings. The capital of Port-au-Prince was hit particularly hard and left the infrastructure in ruins. The country is still in recovery and as a result, basic services may not be available and features like streetlights and sidewalks may still be compromised.

Additionally, the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) does not recommend travel to the Carrefour, Cite Soleil, Martissant and Bel Air neighborhoods in Port-au-Prince due to high levels of crime. Given this risk, you should take care throughout the country. 

On July 18, 2016, the State Department issued a travel alert for Haiti due to the lack of adequate emergency medical facilities and security in Haiti. Travelers are encouraged to monitor the emergency response network and consider the continued presence of serious crime and civil unrest.

Haiti also presents several health risks to travelers and visitors, as well as a minor threat of terrorism. Hurricane season also takes a regular toll on the country, typically from June to November. Adequate international insurance cover is highly recommended.

  • Health
  • Safety & Security
  • Terrorism

On October 2, 2016, the United States Department of State issued a warning against travel to Haiti in anticipation of Hurricane Matthew hitting the Island. After the hurricane hit, authorities warned travelers of the limited medical facilities, damaged infrastructure, and threat of injury. Additionally, travelers face threats of civil unrest, crime, kidnappings, and robbery as a result of limited security resources.

In December 2015, the first local transmission of Zika virus infection was reported in the Caribbean, including the Haiti. There have been 5 cases reported. Local transmission means that mosquitoes in the area have been infected with Zika virus, spreading it to people. The most common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon. Talk to your doctor or nurse if you develop these symptoms. Although there is no cure or vaccine for Zika, take standard precautions against mosquito bites and practice safe sex. Pregnant women should consider postponing travel. 

On May 26, 2015, the CDC issued a level 1 watch for Haiti due to the increase of reported cases of cholera. Since October 2010, there has been an ongoing outbreak of cholera with over 734,983 cases, including 419,087 hospitalizations, and 8,761 deaths as of April 3, 2015. In 2015, there were 10,328 cholera cases, including 8,124 hospitalizations, and 106 deaths. Most of the cases occurred in the areas: Artibonite, Centre, Ouest, and Nord. Cholera may result in watery diarrhea, vomiting, and leg cramps, without treatment may result in death within hours. In order to prevent cholera, it is important to take food and water precautions. 

Dengue fever is common throughout Latin America, transmitted by mosquito bites. Expats should take extra precaution against mosquito bites due to the heightened possibility of contracting the Chikungunya virus, which most often causes fever and joint pain. Rabies is also present, so you should seek immediate medical care if bitten by an animal.

Additionally, the UNAIDS/WHO Working Group estimated that roughly 130,000 adults in Haiti are living with HIV. That represents a prevalence percentage of 2.1 percent, compared to the UK's 0.2 percent.

Normal medical facilities are limited in Haiti. The overall standard of care is low, and you should prepare by bringing all necessary medications for specific conditions from your home country. Before leaving for Haiti, you should also see your primary care physician to discuss all possible vaccinations and other preventative measures recommended for Haiti. 

Clements Worldwide provides GlobalCare® health insurance, with USD 5 million in health care benefits. A policy includes flexible payment options, choice of deductible and 24/7 claims assistance. Coverage also extends to all family members abroad. With GlobalCare, you will be able to choose any doctor from anywhere in the world outside of your home country. 

While in Haiti, you may need to travel in order to reach appropriate medical care. A Medical Evacuation and Repatriation insurance policy from Clements covers expenses to transport you to a capable medical facility in case a local medical center isn’t able to provide adequate treatment.

Call us today at +1.202.872.0060 or 800.872.0067 or email request@clements.com to discuss your organization’s travel needs tailored to considerations involved while operating in Haiti.

Source: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, World Health Organization, and Clements Worldwide 

Contact a Clements Representative for Insurance Solutions

The security situation in Haiti can be volatile, and the crime rate is extremely high. Since 2004, a UN stabilization force has been active in the region. Political demonstrations occasionally occur in Port-au-Prince, Cap Haitien and Les Cayes which can result in violent encounters. 

On March 11, 2016, the State Department reissued a travel alert for Haiti from January 11, 2016 due to high tensions surrounding the delayed elections announced for April 24, 2016 - which was originally scheduled for January 25, 2016

On January 23, 2016, just two days before the election, Haiti called off their elections due to increase concerns of escalating violence. The opposition refused to take part in the election, accusing the process to be riddled with fraud, which caused joyous rallying in the streets from the opposition supporters. Soon after the announcement was made police clashed with protesters, but there were no injuries. During the election season, travelers are encouraged to avoid political rallies, demonstrations, and crowds of any kind.

From May to October 2014, there were 64 reported cases of U.S. citizens getting robbed after leaving the airport in the Port-au-Prince area. Although most of the victims were not injured, three deaths resulted from the robberies. In most reported cases, the victims were U.S. citizens of Haitian descent visiting relatives and friends in Haiti. It is recommended that expats get picked up from their host/organization at their airport soon upon arrival and/or have pre-arranged airport transfers and hotels. 

Some roads are still impassable due to the 2010 earthquake. Overall road and vehicle standards are very poor, with a number of streets in a state of disrepair. Flooding is common, especially in rural areas. Roads often lack lighting, and you should drive cautiously at all times. 

Clements offers International Car insurance, which includes Physical Damage, Third Party Liability, and Excess Liability coverage. With flexible deductible options and fast claims processing, your policy will provide coverage for your vehicle fleet whether it’s on the road, parked or transported abroad.

An optional Political Violence extension is also recommended, which broadens the coverage to include strikes, riots, malicious damage, sabotage, war, terrorism or civil unrest.

Call us today at +1.202.872.0060 or 800.872.0067 or email request@clements.com to discuss your organization’s travel needs tailored to considerations involved while operating in Haiti.

Source: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Clements Worldwide 

Contact a Clements Representative for Insurance Solutions

There is a moderate threat of kidnapping in Haiti, especially in Port-au-Prince, targeting both Haitians and foreign nationals. Attacks could occur at cash points, like banks and ATMs. Although kidnappings have significantly declined since 2011, there was one incident involving a U.S. citizen reported to the Embassy in 2014. 

Clements provides a Kidnap and Ransom insurance policy, which ensures financial assistance following a kidnapping, such as independent investigations, negotiations, arrangement and delivery of funds.

Call us today at +1.202.872.0060 or 800.872.0067 or email request@clements.com to discuss your organization’s travel needs tailored to considerations involved while operating in Haiti.

Source: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, U.S. Dept of State, and Clements Worldwide 

Contact a Clements Representative for Insurance Solutions