Haiti, devastated by a destructive earthquake

The terrible earthquake which hit Haiti on January 12, 2010 has claimed 150 000 lives, left more than 1.5 million people homeless and caused important damages, mainly in Port-au-Prince up to January 25, 2010.

In this small country of 9 million people, 80% of the population are living under the poverty line of two dollars a day, insurance is hardly developed. According to the figures provided by Haiti's first insurer, Alternative Insurance Company (AIC), only 300 000 people have an insurance policy, that is, less than 4% of the entire population.

The 2008 non-life premiums did not exceed 20 million USD, which roughly accounts for 0.29% of GDP.
The natural catastrophe risks have been covered by the pool Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF), an inter-governmental entity which insures risks for the 16 countries of the Caribbean region. In June 2010, Haiti has renewed , with the same pool, its earthquake and storm covers for approximately 385 500 USD. The compensation the country will receive for the January 12, 2010 claim will amount to about 8 million USD, that is, twenty times the premium paid.

The exposure of the reinsurers operating on the Haitian market is very low. Hannover Re has estimated its risk at 29 million USD and Munich Re at 15 million USD.

Located on a zone of fractures, Haiti has witnessed several devastating earthquakes throughout its history. The most violent ones are those which occurred in October 1751, June 1770 and May 1842.

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