Ecuador Risk Assessment Country Guide 

Doing Business in Ecuador

Ecuador, with its vast array of flora and fauna, is not only one of the most diverse countries in South America, but across the entire globe. Over the years the nation has been able to maintain a steady economy, bolstered by oil and agriculture. Its varied landscape may be a desirable location for expats and foreign travelers alike.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against all travel near the exclusion zone along the Columbian border, excluding the official border crossing town of Tulcan. The FCO also advise against all but essential travel to the Tarapoa region, the Cuyabeno reserve and the El Angel Ecological Reserve.

According to the FCO, more than 20,000 British nationals travel to Ecuador each year. While most visits are peaceful, there are a number of risks present in the country. There are active volcanoes within Ecuador, a rising crime level and a low risk of terrorism.

On April 16, 2016, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck northern Ecuador, followed by a 6.1-magnitude earthquake on April 20. There have been more than 400 deaths and more than 4,000 injuries. 

An appropriate level of international insurance is recommended prior to leaving you home country. Coverage can help reduce the financial costs of life in Ecuador.

  • Health
  • Safety & Security
  • Terrorism

Health care can be expensive in Ecuador. You should contact your primary care physician and discuss any relevant vaccinations and other preventative measures prior to leaving for the South American nation. Private hospitals require a credit card in order to receive admission, and more remote regions like the Galapagos Islands only have limited facilities. The best care is only available in major cities. 

On March 13, 2016, the CDC issued a Watch Level 1 for travel to Ecuador as there have been 1,000 cases reported of the locally transmitted disease Chikungunya in Ecuador. Chikungunya causes fever and joint pain and the CDC recommends that travelers to Ecuador protect themselves from mosquito bites. 

Dengue Fever is common across all of Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Ministry of Health has recently reported cases in Sucumbíos, Guayas, Manabí, El Oro and Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas regions. 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. Cases of swine flu have also been reported across the country.

In May 2015, the first local transmission of Zika virus infection was reported in South America, including Ecuador. There have been 22 confirmed cases and another 67 suspected cases. Local transmission means that mosquitoes in the area have been infected with Zika virus, spreading it to people. Take standard precautions against mosquito bites and practice safe sex. Talk to your doctor or nurse if you develop a fever with a rash, joint pain, or red eyes. Pregnant women should consider postponing travel.

Clements Worldwide provides GlobalCare® health insurance, with USD 5 million in health care benefits. With Clements, you will have flexible payment options, choice of deductible and around-the-clock claims assistance. An optional War and Terrorism extension is available. GlobalCare doesn't require a coinsurance payment following the deductible. Coverage includes prescription drugs, maternity care, mental health treatment and much more. Without a limiting network of doctors to choose from, you can receive treatment from anyone you please outside of the US. All family members abroad are also covered.

While in Ecuador, you may need to travel in order to access appropriate levels of 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 Ecuador.

Source: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Clements Worldwide 

Contact a Clements Representative for Insurance Solutions

The political climate in Ecuador is currently stable, although it has been known to change rapidly. In 2010, a state of emergency was called following a strike by segments of the police and military. That incident has since been resolved. Political protests and demonstrations are fairly common across the country, and some events could lead to violence. You should be cautious while in public near any large gatherings.

A Personal Accident insurance policy from Clements protects your organization’s employees and their families' financial stability following an accident, regardless of whether it occurs on the job or during personal time. Coverage begins at USD 100,000 per person.

The 20 km exclusion zone along the entire Columbian border should be avoided by all Westerners. There is an active presence of guerilla groups, drug traffickers and gangs, and there is a high risk of crime and kidnappings. Targets could include oil workers. 

Road conditions are inconsistent across Ecuador. Some are washed away by rain and landslides, resulting in delays and accidents. Serious crashes are common, mostly due to erratic and dangerous driver behavior. You should take care while driving in the country and the accident rate is one of the highest in Latin America.

Clements offers international car insurance, which includes Physical Damage, Third Party Liability, and Excess Liability coverage. You will have access to stable currency valuation for rates and claims, fast, efficient claims processing and flexible deductible options. Clements insures you at actual cash value for both owned and rented vehicles. You are covered while on the road or parked. In addition, Political Violence cover is included alongside all Physical Damage policies.

Incidents of piracy have also been reported in Ecuador's waters. Mariners should be cautious and take every available protective measure. A Maritime Security insurance policy from Clements ensures compliance with BIMCO insurance requirements and GUARDCON standards that will achieve cost savings, better coverage, and more efficient policy administration.

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 Ecuador.

Source: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Clements Worldwide 

Contact a Clements Representative for Insurance Solutions

There is a low threat of terrorism in Ecuador. However, there is a global risk, and attacks could be indiscriminate and target public locations. These could include hotels, bars and restaurants, as well as other places often visited by expats and tourists. 

A War and Terrorism insurance policy offers the right coverage against the risks of civil unrest, war, riots, looting, and acts of terrorism.

There is also a moderate threat of kidnapping in Ecuador. Express kidnappings - where victims are taken for a short period of time and forced to withdraw funds for release - have occurred. Hotspots include Quito and Guayaquil. 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 Ecuador.

Source: UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and Clements Worldwide 

Contact a Clements Representative for Insurance Solutions