Do I Need Mexican Car Insurance?
“Do I need Mexican car insurance?” This is a question that is frequently asked by many Americans wanting to take a vacation in Mexico and bring their car into Mexico.
Well, the answer is absolute YES.
Tourism in Mexico is a massive industry. The country has traditionally been ranked by World Tourism Organization as one of the most visited countries in the world. Besides, it is rated as the second most visited country in the Americas after the U.S. Mexico has many remarkable attractions including beach resorts, colonial cities, cultural festivals, Meso-American ruins and nature reserves. Its temperate climate and unique culture – a blend of the European and the Meso-American all make Mexico an irresistibly attractive holiday destination.
Each year thousands of Americans drive into Mexico on vacation. Driving through Mexico offers one of the best ways to explore the country because your car can take you away from the main tourist spots and large resorts. Although driving in Mexico is comparatively safe as compared to some countries including some parts of the U.S., it is still crucial to know a little bit about how car insurance protects you while in Mexico.
A large number of U.S citizens may not be aware that their American car insurance is invalid in Mexico. Surprisingly, even some insurance agents are not aware of this requirement, hence causing a lot of confusion about this matter. The law is extremely clear; you must have –as minimum – Mexican liability coverage, underwritten by a Mexican carrier.
What You Need To Know About Car Insurance in Mexico
If you drive into Mexico, you are required to have a special type of car insurance. It is important that you know all you need to know about car insurance in Mexico before you travel there.
You could have the most comprehensive auto insurance policy that an American insurance company can provide. However, your U.S. auto insurance provides full coverage only when you are traveling throughout the country. When it comes to driving your car out there in Mexico, it will not cover your liability whether for damages or injury to other drivers. Purchasing a Mexican car insurance policy is a must if you want to shun the high cost of an accident – or even an extended stay in a Mexican prison.
So Why Is Mexican Car Insurance Really Necessary?
American insurance policies are not recognized in Mexico. According to the Mexican law, out-of-country drivers ought to be financially responsible for any physical injury they might cause. Other than having Mexican car insurance, the only way to prove this financial responsibility is either to have enough cash on your person or a pre-arranged bond with a Mexican bank to cover liabilities. With the new death liability in Baja, this can be something like $333,000. Purchasing Mexican car insurance is the easiest way of meeting the country’s proof of liability – and also the cheapest.
U.S. Car Insurance Policies
Although your U.S car insurance policy has various types of coverage, its liability coverage will not have any legal bearing in Mexico. As such, if you didn’t have Mexican insurance and were unfortunately involved in an accident resulting in the injury of another driver or his vehicle, you would be uncovered and probably arrested. Your U.S insurance could be able to provide you with collision and comprehensive coverage for potential damage to your personal vehicle, but this is something that is unlikely. You need to obtain specific information from your insurance company.
Buying Mexican Car Insurance
If you are driving your car from U.S into Mexico, you have to buy liability insurance from a company that is licensed in Mexico. The coverage can be purchased online before setting off to Mexico or at the border. You will need to buy liability insurance that is specially meant for foreign-plated cars. It is also referred to as tourist car insurance.
Without Insurance, You Could End Up In Jail
Driving through Mexico without car insurance is no laughing matter; it is courting trouble. Although your U.S auto insurance policy provides coverage up to 50 or 75 miles inside Mexico, the fact remains that Mexican law requirement for proof of liability duly guaranteed by a Mexican insurance company remains unfulfilled. Your U.S. policy could not pay any damages that you would legally owe to other parties if you got involved in an accident, causing damage to another vehicle. In case you cause an accident, and you are not covered with sufficient insurance, at the minimum you will be slapped with a huge fine in cash, and you could end up in jail also. There have been several incidents of all kinds of tourists who have suffered a great deal after being in car accidents – irrespective of whether or not they caused the accident, to begin with. It is in your best interests to shun any confrontation with Mexican police. The same holds true for violating driving rules also.
Invoking Your Insurance Coverage
In case you get involved in an accident in Mexico, you and the other driver can opt not to call the police. In Mexico, many minor accidents are usually settled between the parties. Still, you will not have coverage for damage to your vehicle unless you get in touch with your insurance adjuster. In the event of severe damage or there were injuries, the majority of Mexican insurance companies will dispatch an adjuster to the scene of the accident to assess the damage, interview witnesses, and to confirm for the police that you have coverage, if necessary. You should ensure that you understand all the information about your policy because it may be necessary for you to remain at the scene of the accident until the adjuster arrives.
If you are planning to drive to Mexico, you will have to purchase a policy to allow you to enjoy not just a safe but also worry-free trip. It is always safer to ensure that all your bases are covered by buying full coverage policy for your car. So, you can buy an insurance policy comprising of legal assistance and bail coverage for you to have assistance just in case you are detained.