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Mexico insurance industry says few carry policies, have coverage

Cancun, Q.R. — Amid growth in the Mexico insurance industry, less than half of vehicles and even fewer homes carry any form of insurance.

During a recent meeting, Mexican Association of Insurance and Surety Agents (Amasfac) president Carlos Latorre López, said that less than 30 percent of vehicles on the road in Mexico carry insurance. He added that of a mere 6 percent of homes carry insurance and that of the working population, less than 8 percent has proper medical coverage.

He explains that in Mexico, the rate of insurance does not grow with the same dynamism as in other countries where there is economic equality.

The general director of the Mexican Association of Insurance Institutions (AMIS), Recaredo Arias Jiménez, announced that they are currently working on a micro-insurance policy that would be charged through property taxes.

Arias Jiménez says a proposal is to offer a discount on property taxes, with the difference in savings being put toward the purchase of home insurance beginning next year, a system that could see more people with home protection.

In regard to vehicle insurance, Elizaberth Ortiz Ríos of Amasfac Cancun says one problem that needs to be solved first is the fees of tow truck companies, who she says, charge thousands of peso once they learn the client has auto insurance. She says normally, the fee for towing should be between 500 and 1,000 peso. This inconsistency, she notes, can cause an increase in insurance premiums beyond accidents.

Cruz Diaz Islas, regional Mérida delegate of the National Insurance and Bonding Commission, says that after the September earthquakes, life insurance and real estate insurance purchases began to increase in some states, similar to the situation in Quintana Roo after Hurricane Wilma.

However, there is a lot of cultural promotion that needs to be done in Quintana Roo. “The effects are obviously generating awareness in society.

“Culture must also change in the region, especially because of the effects of hurricanes. It is instrumental that people have the knowledge so that the population can be prepared for these types of events,” he explained.

He pointed out that ignorance of what it means to have insurance is the main reason people don’t buy it. He says the majority of people consider insurance to be more of an expense than an investment, and it is not until they face loss that they give meaning to the value to an insurance policy.

“It is important that the culture is educated so that we as individuals understand the benefits of these types of protection that can save an entire family’s heritage,” he concluded.