Insurance issues focus of NAFTA meeting

| 6/4/2002

Mexican and U.S. officials in San Antonio, TX, last week ironed out rules on insurance before the Texas and California borders are opened to Mexican trucks this summer. Mexican officials scheduled to talk on customs and immigration reportedly failed to appear. However, about six Mexican officials were present to discuss insurance issues, said David M. Golden, director of commercial lines, the National Association of Independent Insurers, who attended the meetings.

Under the rules, Mexican trucking companies must have valid insurance from a U.S.-licensed insurance company. Also, vehicles will only be able to enter the United States at commercial border crossings when a certified inspector is on duty. In addition, carrier insurance will be provided by both standard and surplus lines insurance companies.

The three-day conference also included a review of the new database created by the Mexican Transportation Agency that will track Mexican drivers' hours of service, valid drivers licensing and safety records and other factors required of American truckdrivers."The challenge now is to make this information available to American underwriters as they evaluate the insurance risks associated with Mexican motor carriers operating in the United States," Golden said.