Navigating Cinco de Mayo Insurance Needs: From House Parties to Restaurant Rushes

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Various types of insurance can benefit you during a Cinco de Mayo gathering whether it’s homeowners insurance to protect your personal assets if you plan on hosting a house party or commercial insurance to protect your business assets if you’re expecting large crowds at the Mexican restaurant you own.

Check out the rest of the article below to learn about the history of Cinco de Mayo and to see examples of why insurance is necessary to keep your finances safe this May.

Key Takeaways

  • Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican-American holiday that traces its roots to a Mexican military victory in the 1860s but is more widely celebrated in the United States than in Mexico.
  • Home insurance can cover your property and protect you from liability lawsuits if you decide to host a house party on Cinco de Mayo.
  • Drunk driving accidents are more common on Cinco de Mayo than on the average day, meaning it’s especially crucial to practice safe driving habits and maintain sufficient car insurance coverage.
  • You need several types of commercial insurance to operate a Mexican restaurant such as general liability, commercial auto, workers’ compensation and liquor liability insurance.

What Is Cinco de Mayo?

Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that takes place on May 5 each year. This holiday honors Mexico’s improbable triumph over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. It is sometimes confused with Mexican Independence Day, which is actually a separate holiday that occurs on September 16.[1]

Where Is Cinco de Mayo Celebrated?

Despite tracing its origins to a major event in Mexican history, Cinco de Mayo is predominantly celebrated in the United States, often (but not exclusively) by people with Mexican heritage. Within Mexico, the holiday is only largely celebrated in the state of Puebla.[1] In fact, unlike Mexican Independence Day, Cinco de Mayo is not even a federal holiday in Mexico.[2]

Cinco de Mayo History

The conflict that led to Cinco de Mayo began in 1861 when Mexico was invaded by Spain, England and France after it paused paying off its foreign debts. While England and Spain had withdrawn from the war by April of 1862, France continued to fight with the intent of setting up a monarchy under Austrian archduke Maximilian I in an attempt to limit the influence of the United States in North America.[1]

In May of 1862, Mexican forces killed 1,000 French troops to win a battle in the city now known as Puebla de Zaragoza despite the fact that Mexico was severely underequipped compared to the French army. Mexican troops did not drive France out of Mexico completely until 1867 but the victory at Puebla proved to energize the nation by encapsulating its opposition to foreign rule.[1]

How Is Cinco de Mayo Celebrated?

In Mexico, residents of Puebla celebrate Cinco de Mayo by reenacting the 1862 Battle of Puebla, attending parades and listening to speeches from public officials.[1] Meanwhile, some communities in the United States host parades and festivals that honor Mexican-American culture on Cinco de Mayo, while other individuals simply use the holiday as an opportunity to party or eat at their favorite Mexican restaurants.[3]

Cinco de Mayo celebrations in the United States are particularly closely associated with alcoholic beverages such as tequila, which originated in Mexico, and beer. Some years, beer sales in the United States are higher on Cinco de Mayo than on other days associated with high alcohol consumption such as St. Patrick’s Day.[3]

What Types of Coverage Do I Need on Cinco de Mayo?

Depending on your circumstances, you may benefit from making sure you have the following types of insurance coverage on Cinco de Mayo.

Home Insurance

A standard homeowners insurance policy includes multiple coverage types that can protect you if you plan on hosting a Cinco de Mayo house party. For example, personal liability insurance can cover medical expenses if a guest is hit by a bat while someone else is trying to break open a piñata or gets sick after eating expired salsa. It can also cover repair bills if someone’s belongings are damaged on your property and legal expenses if a bodily injury or property damage claim escalates into a lawsuit.

Meanwhile, dwelling coverage insures the structure of your home and personal property coverage insures your possessions in case a kitchen fire causes substantial damage to your property during your Cinco de Mayo celebration. In addition, if a fire leaves your home temporarily uninhabitable, then your loss of use coverage can help you cover additional living expenses like hotel stays and laundromat costs.

Auto Insurance

Auto insurance is required by law in most states and protects both yourself and others on the road with you when you are on your way to or from a Cinco de Mayo gathering. For the most part, car insurance policies must include liability coverage that takes care of other people’s expenses if you are responsible for a car accident that injures or kills them or damages their property.

In addition, your own medical bills may be covered by personal injury protection (PIP), medical payments coverage (Medpay), uninsured motorist coverage (UM) or underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) depending on the situation. Similarly, your vehicle repair costs may be covered by collision insurance, UM or UIM after Cinco de Mayo accidents.

It’s especially important to practice safe driving behaviors due to the prevalence of drinking on Cinco de Mayo.

There were 47 traffic deaths in the United States involving drunk drivers on May 5, 2019, so you should either opt not to drink on Cinco de Mayo or make sure you don’t have to drive by appointing a sober friend or family member as your designated driver, using a rideshare service like Uber or taking public transportation to protect yourself and others from drunk driving crashes.[4]

Commercial Insurance

If you run a Mexican restaurant, you need to make sure you have various types of commercial insurance to protect your business as you plan ahead for large crowds on Cinco de Mayo. In particular, it’s crucial to have workers’ compensation insurance and commercial auto insurance since these are required by law for most businesses.[5][6]

Additionally, restaurant owners should strongly consider purchasing coverage types such as these from an insurance company:

  • General liability insurance: General liability insurance is the most foundational type of business insurance because it covers medical bills if a patron is injured on the premises of your business, repair bills if their property is damaged and legal fees if they sue you because of their injury or property damage. In addition, some general liability policies automatically include product liability coverage, which protects your business in case a guest contracts food poisoning after eating at your restaurant.[7]
  • Commercial property insurance: Commercial property coverage insures both the physical structure of your restaurant as well as the equipment, furniture and inventory stored inside of it against certain perils such as fire and theft.
  • Business interruption insurance: If a covered peril damages your restaurant so severely that you can’t operate at your normal location on Cinco de Mayo, business interruption insurance can make up for lost revenue or cover temporary relocation costs. Many small business owners opt to purchase a business owners policy (BOP) that combines general liability, commercial property and business interruption coverage.
  • Liquor liability coverage: Liquor liability insurance can cover medical expenses, property repairs and legal costs if you are held liable for the actions of a drunken individual who bought alcohol from your restaurant.
  • Contamination and spoilage coverage: If your food goes bad due to a power outage or mechanical breakdown, contamination and spoilage coverage can help you take care of the costs of cleaning equipment like refrigerators and freezers, replacing your inventory, procuring medical tests or vaccines for employees who may have been exposed to contaminants and more.[8]


What does Cinco de Mayo mean?

“Cinco de Mayo” is Spanish for “fifth of May.” 

Are car accidents common on Cinco de Mayo?

More than 120 people died in fatal car accidents on Cinco de Mayo in 2019, while there were less than 100 traffic fatalities on the average day across all of 2019.[4][9]

Does my home insurance policy cover Cinco de Mayo gatherings?

A standard home insurance policy includes multiple coverage types that may cover you if you host a Cinco de Mayo party such as dwelling, personal property, loss of use and personal liability coverage.


  1. Britannica. “Cinco de Mayo | History, Celebrations, & Facts.” Accessed April 12, 2024.
  2. Bank of Mexico. “2024 Bank Holidays.” Accessed April 12, 2024.
  3. National Geographic. “Cinco de Mayo: How a Mexican Holiday Became a Party in the USA.” Accessed April 12, 2024.
  4. Mothers Against Drunk Driving. “Designate a Non-Drinking Driver Before Heading Out for Cinco de Mayo.” Accessed April 12, 2024.
  5. National Federation of Independent Business. “Worker’s Compensation Laws – State by State Comparison.” Accessed April 12, 2024.
  6. Nationwide. “Commercial Auto Liability Insurance.” Accessed April 12, 2024.
  7. The Hartford. “Product Liability Insurance.” Accessed April 12, 2024.
  8. Allstate. “Food Spoilage and Food Contamination Coverage.” Accessed April 12, 2024.
  9. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “NHTSA Releases 2019 Crash Fatality Data.” Accessed April 12, 2024.

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