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By Jim Labelle, CEO, www.Mexpro.com

For over 25 years we have had the opportunity to help tourists, property owners, and businesspersons who drive, own homes, or operate businesses or subsidiaries in Mexico to properly protect their assets south of the border. It is ironic that most of us purchase our insurance coverage in the US with great care, yet use a lesser standard of care when purchasing coverage for Mexico.

This article includes a very important update regarding the 2013 change to Mexico Liability Laws.

When purchasing any type of insurance for Mexico, buyers should analyze a number of issues including:

  1. Are the US Broker and Mexican Insurer they represent reputable and in sound financial condition?

  2. Do I need to purchase coverage from a Mexican Insurer?

  3. What are the differences between a US and Mexico Insurance policy?

  4. What type of insurance do I need, and at what limits?

Is the US Broker Reputable?

Hundreds of US insurance agents and brokers offer insurance for Mexico. Logically, a great number of these agents are located close to the border. Some of the important distinctions to keep in mind when choosing an agent or broker are:

Is the Mexican Insurance Company Reputable?

As the global economic environment continues in a state of uncertainty, it may be more important than ever to purchase insurance for Mexico from a financially strong insurer. No matter how reputable your agent or broker, if they are placing your insurance with a troubled insurer you could be in for some unpleasant surprises in the event of a claim. There are over 50 insurance companies in Mexico; similar to the US, "some are good and some are bad".

Although some US insurers have purchased ownership interests in Mexican Companies, these Mexican companies operate independently of the US parent company. Consumers in the US or Canada would never buy insurance from a company that is not A-rated, yet many in Mexico unknowingly buy from unrated or vulnerable insurers who do not carry an A- rating. To check if an insurer in Mexico is A-rated, or has an A-rated parent, visit www.ambest.com

In the event of further economic problems and/or the devaluation of the Peso coupled with a few natural disasters such as a hurricane or flood, how will the insurer fare? (for a list of Mexico insurers ranked by written premium, please feel free to call our office at 1-888-INS-4-MEX.)

Why do I need to purchase coverage from a Mexican insurer?

Mexico law mandates that only insurance companies which are licensed and admitted in Mexico can provide "civil liability" coverage that is recognized by the judicial system of Mexico. Although a few US insurance companies will extend physical damage coverage (collision, comprehensive) on your auto while you are driving in Mexico, they cannot and do not provide Mexican liability.

Similarly, Mexican law requires that any property located in Mexico be insured by an authorized, admitted Mexican company. Some US companies will extend Property coverage to large commercial projects in Mexico; however, for both homeowners and commercial property owners both the underlying "fire" coverage and the Mexican liability coverage must be purchased from a Mexican insurer.

What are the differences between US and Mexican coverage, and what type of insurance and what limits do I need?

There are some tremendous coverage differences between US and Mexican Insurance policies, and far too many "minor" differences to list here. Following are some of the major differences outlined by type of insurance.

As you can see from this brief summary, insurance in Mexico is just as complex as it is in the US. Although all types of insurance are available in Mexico; coverage, terms and conditions vary greatly among insurers. For a free, no obligation coverage analysis and quotation for Auto, Home, or Watercraft insurance in Mexico, please contact Mexico Insurance Professionals at 1-888-INS-4-MEX or visit our website at www.Mexpro.com.

Jim Labelle earned the Certified Insurance Counselor designation, a distinction held by less than 1% of all US insurance professionals, in 1995. Jim has been involved in the US and Mexican Insurance markets for over 25 years. Formerly a manager with one of the world's largest insurance brokerages, Jim, his wife Andrea, and their sons, Jimmy and Mathew, live in Flagstaff, Arizona. Mexico Insurance Professionals is a subsidiary of International Insurance Group, Inc. Mexico Insurance Professionals, which represents Mexico's largest and most respected insurers, has a dedicated staff of licensed agents offering Insurance for Mexico and the United States to policyholders throughout North America. Mexico Insurance Professionals can be reached at 1-888-INS-4-MEX or via their website at www.Mexpro.com.

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