There are two primary reasons for
having Mexican automobile insurance when driving in Mexico:
- U.S. auto insurance is not recognized in Mexico!
If your U.S. insurance agent tells you that your U.S. insurance
will cover you in Mexico, it is simply a sure sign that the
agent is out of touch with the reality of the situation.
- Under Mexican law the police detain all parties in an
accident until guilt has been determined, and some sort of
financial settlement reached. This law applies equally to Mexican
citizens and foreigners.
An insurance policy will demonstrate financial responsibility,
even if guilty, and will allow you continue on your way (if possible).
Just to protect yourself from the hassle of dealing with the Policia and
their jail, it's a good idea to have at least basic liability coverage.
(Jail is a common detainment area while accident issues are being
It's easy to get Mexican vehicle insurance at most border areas.
The insurance is rather expensive when purchased on a daily
basis (about $5-$8US per day for an auto). There are plans
other than the daily ones available at the border - ask about
them. I believe that what they do at the border is charge you
for the most expensive car on their list, unless you clearly
negotiate the appropriate rate.
If you will be traveling for two weeks or more, it probably pays
to get an annual policy. Request a policy which covers the
smallest region within which you'll be traveling.
What I do is purchase annual insurance through an agency in Los
Angeles. The coverage is good for all of Baja California and
the northern states of mainland Mexico. This Mexican insurance
is written through:
Lewis & Lewis Insurance Agency
8929 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 220
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
(310) 657-1112 (Voice)
(800) 966-6830 (Voice)
(310) 652-5849 (FAX)
In June, '00 the insurance carrier was Reliance National
de Mexico, a subsidiary of Reliance National Insurance
Group headquartered in New York. The costs for "Limited
Territory Coverage" (states of Baja California, Baja California
Sur, Sonora, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Durango, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon
and Tamaulipas) were as follows (all amounts in US dollars):
* Full coverage includes: collision, fire,
total theft, glass, liability: $150,000 Combined Single Limit,
medical payment: $5/25,000; Legal Service (approximately
$74,611 of coverage - defined to be 21,000 days of Mexican
minimum salary). There are deductible amounts which apply to
the various catagories.
(increases CSL to $300,000)
They also offer a policy with coverage throughout Mexico, but
the cost is considerably higher.
Regarding your rights in Mexico following an accident, Hank
Morton, the developer of the Bajabound Insurance site (see the
link at the bottom of the page), is creating a couple of pages on this
I find driving in Mexico to not be a problem once I get back into the
swing of driving as the Mexicans do:
BE ALERT AND SLIGHTLY AGGRESSIVE.
Especially, watch for obscure or missing (!) stop signs - the
missing ones are spotted by the presence of a matching, and
present, stop sign on the diagonal corner (or writing on the
street). Don't expect other drivers to come to a complete stop
at these stop signs (or even a partial stop!).
Here are some links to insurance-related sites. If you come upon sites
not mentioned here, please send me some email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Bajabound Mexican Insurance: A service which can provide
insurance directly over the web - once your application is
accepted you are able to print out the insurance certificate on
your own printer using either HTML or PDF format. A neat idea,
and I'd like to hear from anyone using this service.
The insurance underwriter is Seguros Comercial America (the
largest insurance company in Mexico), and the company sponsoring
this site is International Gateway Insurance in Bonita, California.
Reported by Roger Kelley (February 26, 2000):
I checked under auto insurance and obtained my
vehicle coverage through Bajabound's on-line program.
It is straight forward and easy to get the coverage
needed. I had one question about obtaining motorhome
insurance and a "towed" Jeep. The "towing" coverage does
not cover driving the Jeep, and a second insuraqnce
policy is required. Hank Morton answered my e-mail
question directed to "email@example.com" in
less than 30 minutes, and was extremely helpful over the
subsequent phone call. The insurance was ordered over
the web and the Certificate of Insurance printed to my
printer. It took less than 10 minutes from start to
Mexico Insurance Professionals: Insurance for travelers to Mexico
Oscar Padilla - Mexican Insurance Services
"Instant" Mexican Insurance Services
Lewis & Lewis - Long-term insurance policies for travel in Mexico
(this is the same link given with their address above)
ADA VIS - Global Enterprises, Inc.
Bauer and Watson Insurance Services (this site is reported to be
in the process of adding services for tourists heading south).
offering online services - quotes and a printed policy are said to be