In an effort to better protect drivers on Californian and Mexican highways, John Garamendi, California’s insurance commissioner, led a delegation to Mexico to participate in trilateral negotiations with Mexican and Canadian authorities.
“Conflicting and uncoordinated insurance requirements in our three countries have a damaging impact on the flow of trade and create damaging situations for Californian, Mexican, and Canadian motorists,” said Garamendi. “Policies sold in one country can be worthless once you cross the border, so many truckers simply drive without insurance. This confused regulatory state is a ripe environment for fraud to thrive.”
Recently, the California Department of Insurance issued a Cease and Desist order to AEA Insurance Group, licensed in the British Virgin Islands. A DOI investigation found that the company, which is not licensed to operate in California, sold travel insurance policies to Mexican nationals and Californians doing international business. The ongoing investigation has resulted in the filing of 30 felony counts against three corporations and three individuals in San Diego.
During his trip, Garamendi and Eric Serna, New Mexico’s superintendent of insurance, also broached the problem of cargo insurance to protect against frequent hijackings. Presently there is no insurance offering that covers cargo as it crosses the Mexican/U.S. border. In addition, many Mexican drivers who cross into California have no workers’ compensation coverage and, often, no medical coverage. If they were injured, the state’s already strained safety net health care programs could end up footing the bill.