Is Mexican Insurance Required by Law to Drive in Mexico?

Is car insurance required by law in Mexico? Absolutely. If you're driving to Mexico from the U.S. or Canada, it's important that you obtain car insurance for Mexico. U.S. and Canadian policies aren't recognized in Mexico, and you must purchase a policy from a Mexican insurance company before you cross the border.

What Type of Insurance Is Required in Mexico?

icon depicting two cars in an accidentLiability insurance is the type of insurance required, it covers damage caused to other vehicles, property or individuals by you. In other words, it refers to paying parties other than those in your vehicle or yourself.

Liability insurance must be provided by a Mexican insurer. You can only purchase the insurance through a U.S.-based insurer if they offer insurance through a Mexican insurance company.

When you find an insurer that offers liability insurance through a Mexican insurer, you want to be sure they use top rated insurers.

A.M. Best ranks insurers by financial stability and history of paying claims. So look for Mexican insurers that have an A-rating.

Be sure your Mexican policy is written in English, so you can read the terms and conditions and know what coverage you have. If you purchase directly from a Mexican insurance company, you will likely not find an English policy. And this could be true for many U.S. insurers, as well.

You will also want to choose an insurer that offers bilingual claims representatives, including adjusters. If you get into an accident in Mexico, your best bet is to be able to call your insurance company and have them available to help you at the scene of the accident. Including translating your conversation with the police and other drivers.

In some cases an American policy may provide coverage for a certain amount of miles into the interior of Mexico. Most American companies only offer coverage up to 25 miles or less into Mexico. However, it's not advisable to use your existing U.S. or Canadian-based insurance in lieu of a Mexican policy to cover you in Mexico. It may cover damage to your own vehicle, but liability coverage to others is not accepted by Mexican authorities.

Mexican police officer calling in an accident on a walkie talkie

The Consequences of Not Having Mexican Car Insurance

What happens if you don't have Mexican liability insurance and you do have an accident? The short answer is, nothing good. Not only are U.S. and Canadian policies not recognized as valid in Mexico, but Mexican states can set a death liability amount as high as $500,000 in American dollars that you would be responsible for. Large monetary costs aside, jail time might also result if you cannot show the ability to pay at the time of the accident. Remember that in Mexico, one is considered 'guilty until proven innocent.'

Don't risk driving south of the border without Mexican car insurance. Each year, stricter laws arise in Mexico, and the simple solution is purchasing Mexican insurance before you cross the border.