Protect your home, belongings, and family to enjoy peace of mind in paradise.
Owning a home is wonderful. You can customize it to your liking and live in it as you please while potentially earning equity over time. That being said, it also comes with a great deal of responsibility.
To keep your house in good condition for years to come, you will need to quickly repair any damages the house incurs and keep up on maintenance. Many things can go wrong and they are not always easy or affordable to fix.
However, homeowners insurance can offer you the protection you need. Houses are one of the biggest investments people make in their lives, so it doesn’t make sense to leave them vulnerable. Not only will homeowners insurance help you pay for losses due to covered damages to your home, but it will also provide other benefits to protect your family, pets, belongings, and more.
What protections does homeowners insurance offer?
The coverage provided by a homeowners insurance policy in Mexico will vary from one provider to the next and even from one policy to the next from the same provider. A certified local insurance broker and expert here in Cozumel, Irma Cantarell, highly recommends the insurance company AXA for these cases.
To give you an example of what you can expect to be covered in a homeowners insurance policy, here’s a look at AXA’s home insurance product. It can protect you (the policyholder), your family (people who permanently live in your house), your belongings, and your home against the following perils:
- Variations in voltage
- Falling trees
- Broken glass
- Damages and accidents inside or outside of your house (covers expenses from the damages caused or suffered by you, your family, your employees, or your pets)
- Burglary and theft (optional)
- Natural disasters including hail, earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes (optional)
- Loss of basic income as a result of the death or total and permanent disability of the insured (optional)
AXA also includes home assistance services such as PC consultations, veterinary telephone assistance, legal assistance, support for funeral procedures, travel consultations for domestic and foreign trips, concierge service for booking events, discounts, education advice, and emergency services for plumbing, electrical, leaks, locks, and more.
If you can not live in your house due to an unforeseen event, you can also get a cash advance to cover the expenses you incur (such as to pay for a hotel).
Knowing that you and your family are protected in the case of a covered incident can help you rest assured that an unexpected event won’t leave you paying out-of-pocket to rebuild your life. You won’t have to stress if a storm is coming, every time the power surges, if your dog bites someone, etc. In a wide range of situations, you can take a deep breath and know you are covered.
What should I know about hurricane coverage?
Cozumel is on the path where hurricanes from the Atlantic Ocean are known to pass. For example, in 2005, Hurricane Wilma, the largest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded (Category 5), arrived over Cozumel and stayed for 60 hours. While usually not as catastrophic, the threat of hurricanes is present every year. Hurricane season starts in June 1 and continues through November 30th.
Coverage for damage caused by hurricanes is often not included in a standard homeowners insurance policy but it can be added for an additional cost. One important fact to know is that many insurers don’t allow you to add hurricane coverage during the hurricane season, and if they do, it will cost more. Being so, it’s best to plan ahead and sign up during the high season.
Can you insure beachfront property?
This is tricky. Some insurance policies do not cover homes that sit within 500 meters of the ocean. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to read and understand the policy and to ensure that it suits their home.
Unfortunately, in some cases, agents will sell insurance coverage for oceanfront properties even though the policy does not cover the home. The homeowner will only find out when a claim is denied and they are vulnerable. However, there are policies out there (such as those from AXA) that do cover beachfront properties so it comes down to finding an agent you can trust and a policy that suits your needs.
Do you have to pay deductibles on claims?
What can you expect as far as deductibles? You will have to pay deductibles on certain claims but not on others. It will vary according to your specific policy and insurer. For example, according to AXA’s website, the following deductibles apply (although all of these are not applicable in Cozumel):
- Debris removal
- Loss of rents
- Civil liability
- Loss of income
- Assistance services
- Extraordinary expenses
- Property damage ($1500 pesos)
- Earthquake or volcanic eruption (2%-3% of the sum insured)
- Hydrometeorological Phenomena (1%-2% of the sum insured and 5% for risks on the coast)
- Optional assets for Hydrometeorological Phenomena (15% of the sum insured)
- Theft ($1500 pesos)
Note: Hydrometeorological Phenomena includes hurricanes, typhoons, thunderstorms, heavy snowfall, flash floods, cold spells, droughts, heat waves, tornadoes, blizzards, and coastal storm surges.
According to Cantarell, there are typically no deductibles when you experience a loss due to fire or liability but there are deductibles for hurricanes or theft. The amount of the deductible is a fixed percentage of the insured amount. Usually if the home is within 500 meters from the ocean, the deductible is 5% ($5,000 for $100,000 of coverage) and 3% for homes that are more than 500 meters from the ocean.
What to look for in a homeowners insurance agent
So when you are ready to look into your homeowners insurance options, who should you turn to? Ensure the person you trust has the proper credentials and has completed the necessary matriculas/courses.
For example, Irma has a level B certification in Mexico. You’ll also want to check their online reputation and read reviews from past clients about their service.
After living on the island for 13 years, I reached out to Irma Cantarell last month to sign up for homeowners insurance.
She made it so easy as she came to my house to explain the options and answer all of my questions.
In no time, I was all set up and could breathe a little easier knowing I have that extra protection.
If you are dreaming of moving to Cozumel and owning property, don’t take any chances. Protect your home, your loved ones, and your belongings so you can enjoy our paradise stress-free. For help finding the perfect home, reach out to my team at Cedral Caribe and I today. We have many years of experience helping people join our island community and will confidently guide you through every step of the process.