If you are planning on visiting Mexico either for a short trip, or an extended stay, and you will be operating a vehicle in this country; then you may want to consider investing in Mexican car insurance. There are different legal systems in place in Mexico, when compared to the United States; and some significant difference in insurance coverage’s that are offered for 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 potential issues.
Research Liability Differences- One of the major differences with car insurance in Mexico compared to the United States is the difference in liability issues between the two countries. According to the civil law in Mexico; there is no liability for any type of emotional distress pain or suffering for those who are in an automobile accident. This means that insurance claims only covers property damage and bodily injury; items that are determined strictly and easily based on their actual cash value. This is important information to know, should you ever be in an accident.
Purchase Separate Legal Aid Coverage- When inside Mexico, there is no liability coverage to pay for your legal defense, should you get in an accident and need to go to court. Typically, there is an option to add legal aid coverage to your policy.
Be Aware of Mexican Accident Laws- When deciding whether or not to get Mexican car insurance; remember, if you are in an accident, the country’s law requires your vehicle to be held within the nation’s borders until all damages are paid off. With this in mind, make sure that your policy will cover the cost of bail, or add an additional coverage first.
Buy a Short Term Policy Online- Don’t wait to purchase auto insurance until you arrive in Mexico, you can purchase short term travel policies online before your trip. While you purchase your online policy; make sure you also purchase a car permit.
Collect the Proper Paperwork First- When you enter into the country, you will legally need to have both Mexican car insurance and a car permit for Mexico, especially once outside the ‘border sector’ of the country. When driving in the country, the insurance claim, title holder and driver all must be owned by the same person. In order to obtain a temporary car permit, you will need your drivers license, registration, ID, major credit card and some type of immigration form.
Consider Auto Insurance Through Your Car Rental Company- Many travelers will decide to rent a car in Mexico after they have crossed the border. Your car rental company will likely be able to offer you high quality coverage. However, if you want to get liability coverage, you will have to get this separately from a licensed provider.
Learn the Difference in Deductibles- Deductibles in the United States are different than deductibles in Mexico. Typically with auto insurance in Mexico, there are two different types of deductibles. First there is the physical damage deductible, that is usually about 2% of the value of the vehicle; with a a minimum of $500. There is also theft deductible that is usually 5% of the vehicle’s value with a minimum of $1,000. With the differences in typically deductibles; it is important for drivers to be well informed of what their deductibles will cover.
Look for Medical Evacuation and Plane Tickets Home- If you are worried about a potential accident impacting 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 plane tickets to the US or Canada, should an accident render you unable to leave.
Vehicle Repair- As a visitor to the country of Mexico, drivers will want to find out if they are allowed to repair their vehicle in their home country, whether the US or Canada. Otherwise, those who are in accidents may have to get their repairs done in Mexico. Not all insurance companies offer this service, but some who specialize in travel insurance will have this option.
Auto policies differ from country to country; but as a responsible driver, it is always smart to know your coverage options. If you should find yourself in an accident, you can feel confident knowing that your Mexican auto insurance can help keep you covered. Your insurance policy may have a number that you can call,or you can call Mexico’s version of 911 (066) in case of an accident, for assistance.