Another experience reported in April '03:
I Purchased a Mexican insurance annual policy for my truck and
5th wheel trailer from Vagabundos Del Mar Boat and Travel Club.
They quoted me a price for collision and liability with a
deductible over the telephone. They took my credit card number
and mailed me the policy.
I of course had an accident in Mexico. I followed the
instructions provided me and called an 800 number. After much
difficulty an adjuster was dispatched to examine my damaged 5th
wheel trailer. He took pictures, and I filled out a report. He
suggested I take the vehicle back to the U.S. for repairs
because there were no businesses that specialized in R.V.
repairs in that part of Mexico (Guaymas, Sonora).
When I returned to San Diego I contacted the broker for the
insurance company (Seguros El Potosi S.A.), ADA VIS Global
Mexican Insurance Services.
They sent me claim forms and I filed a claim that included three
estimates. After I filed the claim they informed me that the
insurance company would only pay a labor rate of an hour on
R.V.'s and an hour for autos on repairs made in the U.S.
This was fact not divulged in advance by Vagabundos Del Mar.
Labor rates in San Diego for R.V.'s range from to an
I complained to E.B. Adair, President of ADA VIS Global. He
basically told me I had no recourse, but he was willing to help
me out. He gave me the name of a repair facility in Santee, CA.
that he said would work at a reduced rate. I talked to the
owner of this business and discovered that this was just a scam
by ADA VIS Global to further reduce the amount they would have
to pay out.
This business was not listed in the Yellow Pages under R.V.
repair, and it turned out the majority of their work is auto
body repair. Also, the owner wanted to see the estimates of the
other bidders before he would submit a bid. When I asked the
owner about the amount of his work that was R.V. repair, he
became defensive and refused to provide an estimate.
I asked ADA VIS Global for a copy of the rules they are required
to follow when dealing with a claim. They said they would mail
me a copy, but I never received it.
The claim was filed on February 7th. I was told by ADA VIS
Global that the insurance company had 30 days to review and pay
the claim. When I last checked on April 11th they said that the
insurance company had misplaced my claim.
They provided me with the email addresses of several contacts at
Seguros El Potosi S.A.:
I emailed all three on April 14th. I have yet to receive a
I also contacted Vagabundos Del Mar on April 7th and asked to
speak to one of the company officers (Fred Jones) regarding them
not disclosing up front that the labor rates were not disclosed
when I purchased the policy. Their office manager's response is
they are all traveling and cannot be reached. Supposedly they
are all still traveling as of today April 23rd.
Anything you can do to warn others traveling to Mexico will be
These people are running a scam. They know upfront that most of
the repairs by people that purchase their policies are performed
in the U.S. They also know that most other reputable Mexican
insurance companies sell collision that covers the repair
performed by U.S. companies at the standard U.S. rates (I
checked this out). They are able to sell insurance based on
Vagabundos Del Mar supposed reputation at a rate 25% lower than
the competition. Most people don't file claims so there is only
a minority that finds out they have been mislead.
These types of policies were common years ago, but the seller
always divulged upfront that the labor rates were different for
repairs made in the U.S.
Response from the Vagabundos Club (October 27, 2005):
Several times he asserts that labor rates were not divulged to
him by us. Each policy is accompanied by a sheet entitled
Specifications of Risks. In Section 1 a) Collision, Upset and
Glass Breakage; it is stated, "The cost of repairs, both for
labor and replacement parts shall be settled in accordance with
the current costs in the Mexican Republic."
[He] states, "These people are running a scam." In a
letter dated May 27, 2003, Ada Vis Global President E.B. Adair
stated, " In a nut shell, when we discovered [he] had his
vehicle repaired and he paid for these repairs out of his pocket
the claim took on a new life. He became quite upset when we
wouldn't insist that the Mexican insurance company pay him off
of now invalid estimates. In addition, we discovered that he had
dual insurance with Progressive and we told him to present a
claim to them. We informed him that if they pay for his repairs
Progressive could subrogate against the Mexican company. This is
a standard procedure within the insurance industry, in and out
of the United States. We also informed him before the Mexican
insurance company would consider any payment on his claim, we
needed a letter from Progressive declining any acceptance of the claim.
"In addition, we informed [him] that receiving double
payment from two insurance companies for the same claim is a
felony regardless of the country and even though it's a Mexican
company they would file criminal charges."