If you are planning to visit Mexico for a short trip or a longer stay and you are driving a vehicle in this country; then you should consider investing in Mexican auto insurance. There are different legal systems in Mexico, compared to the United States; and a significant difference in insurance coverage offered to drivers. When buying a plan for an upcoming trip to Mexico, it is usually best to purchase a short-term policy online before entering the country; to avoid any problems.
Research Liability Differences- One of the main differences with auto insurance in Mexico compared to the United States is the difference in liability issues between the two countries. Under civil law in Mexico; there is no liability for any kind of emotional pain or suffering to those who have had a car accident. This means that insurance claims only cover property damage and personal injury; items that can be strictly and easily determined based on their actual cash value. This is important information to know should you ever have an accident.
Purchase separate legal aid coverage – If you are in Mexico, there is no liability coverage for your legal defense should you have an accident and have to go to court. Usually there is an option to add legal aid coverage to your policy.
Be aware of Mexican Accident Laws – When deciding whether or not to purchase Mexican auto insurance; remember that if you have an accident, the law of the country requires that your vehicle be kept within the country’s borders until all damages are paid. So make sure your policy covers the cost of bail, or add extra cover first.
Buy a short-term policy online – Don’t wait until you arrive in Mexico to buy car insurance, you can buy a short-term travel policy online before your trip. While purchasing your online policy; make sure you also purchase a car license.
Collect the correct papers first- When you enter the country, you are legally required to have both Mexican car insurance and a Mexico car license, especially if you are outside the “border sector” of the country. If you are driving in the country, the insurance claim, title holder and driver must all be owned by the same person. To get a temporary car permit, you will need your driver’s license, registration, ID, major credit card, and some sort of immigration form.
Consider car insurance through your car rental company – Many travelers will decide to rent a car in Mexico after crossing the border. Your car rental company can probably provide you with quality coverage. However, if you want to get liability coverage, you need to get it separately from a licensed provider.
Learn the Difference in Deductibles – Deductibles in the United States are different than deductibles in Mexico. Usually there are two different types of deductibles for car insurance policies in Mexico. First, there is the deductible for physical damage, which is usually about 2% of the vehicle’s value; with a minimum of $500. There is also a theft deductible which is usually 5% of the vehicle’s value with a minimum of $1,000. With the differences in typical deductibles; it is important that drivers are well informed about what their deductible covers.
Search for Medical Evacuation and Airfare Home- If you are concerned about a potential accident affecting your trip; consider adding medical evacuation coverage. This will pay for air or land ambulance services. You can also add coverage to cover the cost of your airfare to the US or Canada should you be unable to depart due to an accident.
Vehicle Repair- As a visitor to the country of Mexico, drivers will want to know if they can repair their vehicle in their home country, be it the US or Canada. Otherwise, those who have had an accident will have to have their repairs done in Mexico. Not all insurance companies offer this service, but some who specialize in travel insurance have this option.
Car policies vary from country to country; but as a responsible driver it is always smart to know your coverage options. If you have an accident, you can rest assured that your Mexican auto insurance policy can help you stay covered. Your insurance policy may have a number you can call, or you can call the Mexican version of 911 (066) in the event of an accident, for assistance.