More about Mexican Auto Insurance
Excerpts from the People's Guide to Mexico
by Carl Franz and Lorena Havens
American and Canadian auto insurance is rarely valid in Mexico, though some policies will repay for collision damage. Mexican law requires you to have at least Civil Liability Insurance, which will cover you in the event that you are involved in an accident and injure other people, whether motorists or pedestrians, or if you cause damage to property.
In Mexico the "Uninsured Motorist" (a dreaded term anywhere) is particularly vulnerable both to imprisonment and costly legal action.
When an accident occurs in Mexico, all parties involved may be detained for investigation and their vehicles impounded. After the claims have been settled, everyone gets to go home. Everyone, that is, but the uninsured motorist who doesn't have enough cash to pay all the expenses of the accident. A Mexican auto insurance policy is considered a guarantee that damages can be paid. A valid policy can keep you out of jail, even when you are at fault. Also, if you don't have a Mexican auto insurance agent to intercede for you, you'll have to deal with the police on your own. Needless to say, the situation could become complicated.
The easiest way to shop for rates and to buy your Mexican auto insurance policy is online.
It is important to understand that Mexican insurance rates are government controlled. Minimum charges cannot legally vary between companies. However, rates are based on a sliding scale and decrease significantly for longer policies. You might find that a year-long policy is only slightly more expensive than insurance for a few months. If you travel frequently to Mexico, take this into account.
Another important point: Theft insurance covers only total loss of a vehicle. Since most thefts involve the contents or accessories, read the policy carefully before buying.
Does your Mexican auto insurance policy cover anyone who drives your car? Again, check it carefully to be certain. You also won't be covered (on most policies) if you have an accident while driving another vehicle.
Towed trailers and boats must also be insured. If you have an accident while towing an uninsured boat or trailer, your entire coverage is invalid.
Do Mexican auto insurance companies actually pay off in the event of an accident? Absolutely! We personally know several people who were involved in accidents and had to call upon insurance agents for help inside Mexico. All of them gave very positive reports of the service and support they received. In one case, an insurance agent made arrangements for a friend and her pet to stay with a Mexican family while her truck was being repaired.