Practical Checklist for Mexico Home Insurance Coverages

A house (or watercraft) is usually the most valuable physical asset people own during the course their lifetime.

It’s possible to lose a great deal money (and even a life’s savings) if you are not insured or discover following an unforeseen event or natural disaster that your policy was not adequate or that the insurer underwriting the policy was not financially sound.

This article highlights practical aspects related to property insurance in Mexico to help you understand home insurance policies and choose coverages which are suitable to your needs and that will be adequate in the event you need to make a claim.

Home insurance if you own or rent in Mexico

You can arrange property insurance whether you own or rent a home in Mexico.

If you own a home in Mexico, you can insure the physical structure of the property as well as arrange coverages for loss of personal property at the home, and third party liabilities.

If you are renting a home in Mexico, you cannot insure the physical structure but you can arrange coverages for loss of personal property situated at the home and third party liability in relation to people visiting or working in your rented home.

Get an online quote and arrange your home coverage

Obtain a online quote and organize coverage for your home in Mexico (whether you own or rent) in minutes with our home insurance associate, MexPro.

Quote and coverage: Get a quote and arrange instant coverage online

Uninsurable residential structures in Mexico

Note that certain physical structures, especially risky ones like wood-framed buildings and palapa (palm or straw) roofing structures are usually explicitly excluded from all policies; if you must insure these, be prepared to pay a high premium to have them included in your coverages (it’s usually uneconomic to do so).

“All Risks” —vs— “Named Perils” insurance coverages

Some policies will offer “All Risks” cover, a form of comprehensive coverage that will pay out in the event of most incidents involving your home.

The better policies offer the option to cover catastrophic incidents such as hurricanes, floods, wind, fire, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes; surprisingly, some Mexican insurers are unable to underwrite some of these events, although specialist US insurers will.

To lower the insurance premium, you can elect to limit certain “Named Perils” assigned to your policy instead of taking All Risks coverage.  When you do this, certain events will be covered while others will not.

Less expensive policies are often the “named perils” type—even though on the surface they might appear to be comprehensive. A good broker will make a clear distinction between these two during its sales offer and demonstrate the cover and price differences between options.

Property insurance —vs— property title insurance

Note that property insurance and property title insurance are different.

Property insurance coverages are paid annually and can underwrite the physical property on the land, your personal possessions at the property, and may also cover third party liabilities related to the property.

Property title insurance is a one-time insurance payment you can buy when you purchase a property that mitigates risks related to unforeseen issues or liens associated with the property’s title.  It must be purchased before you close the property transaction.

Obtaining coverage for all your dwelling spaces

Your policy should cover the main structures of your home space and provide sufficient compensation to rebuild those structures if necessary.

Optionally, you may also cover carports, guesthouses, and other outbuildings including garages, games rooms, cabañas, equipment rooms, bungalows, stand-alone studios, etc.

Some homes in Mexico are composed of several structures (for example, several buildings situated around a central courtyard) and in these circumstances, the insurance rule is usually: everything that is directly connected is treated as one building. Anything that stands alone is considered an additional building.

Get an online quote and arrange your home coverage

Obtain a online quote and organize coverage for your home in Mexico (whether you own or rent) in minutes with our home insurance associate, MexPro.

Quote and coverage: Get a quote and arrange instant coverage online

Insuring your personal possessions situated at the property

A good insurance policy will cover personal goods owned by you, your guests, or domestic employees when they are working at your residence. Coverage for theft of personal property varies, depending on whether it is “scheduled” (specifically listed) or not.

Some policies include coverage for certain valuable property, such as cash, securities, jewelry, fine arts, sporting equipment and property used for business purposes—up to certain limits.

If you need higher limits for specific items of property that you own, this option is available by listing them on a special section of the application and making them a type of ‘named risk.’

Third party liability protection in relation to your home in Mexico

Good home insurance policies provide coverage for personal liabilities to third parties to protect you and your family against any lawsuits or demands presented against you.

For example, if a wall collapses and injures someone who was near it at the time; or the neighbor’s property is damaged due to a falling tree from your garden, a good insurance policy will cover your liabilities in these circumstances.

Policies can also cover injuries to people visiting or working in your home, for example if your housekeeper or gardener injure themselves on the job.

Loss of home use, or rental income

If you rely on your property for work, or to bring in a rental income, you may also choose to include a “loss of use” risk coverage in your policy.

This cover provides for additional living expenses if your house is damaged and cannot be lived in for a time while it’s repaired or rebuilt.

If you rent out your home and rely on this for income, you could take the additional option to cover rental income loss, whereby you are compensated for lost income if your home becomes damaged and unavailable for rental to others (you will need to provide evidence that a rental contract exists).

Rent liability coverage

Some home insurance policies exclude coverage when your home is rented (even occasionally or part time) or add a hefty supplement to the policy’s premium to include renter’s liability as part of the coverage.

If you rent out your home in Mexico (or intend to at some point) and want your coverages to be valid when others are renting the property, check with the provider you get a quote from to see if renter’s liability coverage is included in the premium, or how much more you need to pay in premium to include it.

Important note on “Simultaneous Occupancy” when renting

If you rent part of your home (e.g., a room, or an outbuilding) to third parties while you are living on the property —known as ‘simultaneous occupancy’ in insurance termsthis is treated differently by insurance companies and a personal/domestic policy will not cover you: you’ll need to seek out a commercial policy which is likely to be more expensive.

The reason is that simultaneous occupancy where a commercial arrangement exists creates additional risks (e.g., lawsuits) which a domestic policy does not price into the risk premium.

If, on the other hand, you rent out the entire property and vacate the property while the renters are present, then a personal/domestic policy will suffice.

Insuring your condominium unit in Mexico

Condominium associations in Mexico are supposed to keep a blanket commercial policy in place to cover the entire property.

Typically, this provides insurance coverage for the building as well as communal elements of the property such as pools, garages, the interior walls, fixtures, fittings, and outbuildings associated with the development, or fraccionamiento.

The wording of these commercial insurance policies tends to be very limiting in what they will cover within the terms of a blanket condominium insurance policy and it’s prudent for individual condo owners to arrange separate insurance to mitigate expenses of paying for certain types of damage.

Exclusion of third party liability

Many Mexican-issued insurance policies exclude third party liability and renter’s liability from the standard policy and charge a substantial premium to include these as optional extras. This places an obligation on condominium owners to cover elements not included by the commercial policy on a unit-by-unit basis.

Liability to adjacent properties in the building

Don’t be lured into a false sense of security by condominium blanket coverages: in a situation where an event that happens in your condominium affects an adjacent condominium —for example, a water leak in your shower room that damages your neighbor’s room below— you will be made liable for repairs to yours and your neighbors’ damages.  Having a unit-based insurance policy in place will protect you from the expenses of these sorts of events.

Check the documentation

The key documents to check on your Condo contracts are the ‘Byelaws’ and ‘Covenants’ associated with your condominium property: these are the documents that contain the small print regarding what is and what is not covered by the condominium building’s ‘blanket’ insurance program.

Get an online quote and arrange your home coverage

Obtain a online quote and organize coverage for your home in Mexico (whether you own or rent) in minutes with our home insurance associate, MexPro.

Quote and coverage: Get a quote and arrange instant coverage online

Insurance for beachfront and waterside property in Mexico

It’s possible to insure property near oceans, rivers, and lakes—although premiums may be higher to reflect the additional risks which may arise from storms and flooding that can be more common in these areas.

The online insurance application form will ask you for the Mexican postal code (zip code) of the property, and this is mapped to detailed topographical and statistical data which enables insurers to assess the hydro and meteorological risks that are related to the property and quote accordingly.

Some companies may refuse to insure properties very close to the sea or other bodies of water if historical statistical data show that it’s unviable, although policies may be available from different brokers that will quote for coverage in certain acute circumstances—with higher premiums to reflect the increased risk.

Insurance for homes situated on Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula

If you own —or intend to own— a home situated on Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula, you’ll discover that getting your property insured is more difficult than if it’s situated in other regions of Mexico.

The Yucatán region’s geology, coupled with unique hurricane risks, has made it either difficult or prohibitively expensive to insure homes in this area. However, our insurance associate MexPro offers home insurance coverages in the Yucatán region.

Watercraft insurance in Mexico

A few people live on their boat moored in Mexico, while some people who own homes here near a body of water might also own a boat, a jet ski, or a yacht—and these ought to be properly insured while they are situated in Mexican waters.

The premium you pay for insurance of your watercraft is based on two factors:

  • the number of days the craft will be in Mexico, and
  • the value of the watercraft.

Personal injury and third-party liability cover should also be taken out in case you become involved in an accident on the water. The better policies also offer legal assistance and ‘bond’ cover in addition to the injury and liability cover.

In legal terms, accidents involving watercraft where people are injured or killed are treated in similar fashion to serious car accidents in Mexico.

If you own watercraft and and spend extended periods of time here, or live here, an annual policy may be a better investment than a short term policy covering specific dates.

Check with the broker providing your quote to find out what options they have for year-round coverage of your watercraft in Mexico.

Get an online quote and arrange your home coverage

Obtain a online quote and organize coverage for your home in Mexico (whether you own or rent) in minutes with our home insurance associate, MexPro.

Quote and coverage: Get a quote and arrange instant coverage online

Learn more about property insurance in Mexico

Mexperience offers detailed insights about property in Mexico for buyers, owners, renters, and sellers.

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