MEXICO CITY Banorte, one of Mexico's leading banks, has begun to offer life insurance to immigrants working in the United States to protect their families back home.
The insurance, being rolled out first in the state of Zacatecas, covers the death of immigrants working abroad and will pay their families up to 50,000 pesos ($3,758) as well as costs and arrangements for repatriation to Mexico and a funeral.
Around 12 million illegal immigrants are thought to be in the United States, most of them working in low-paying jobs in agriculture, the service industry and construction.
"Returning a body from the United States to Mexico is sometimes impossible for families in Mexico, with costs normally reaching between $3,000 and $5,000, Banorte said in a statement on Tuesday.
Applicants need only show official Mexican identification and their birth certificate.
The insurance costs up to 660 pesos ($49) a year and will eventually be offered through branches across Mexico, Banorte said.
($1 = 13.305 pesos)
(Reporting by Noel Randewich)