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Baja California Information Pages

Automobile Insurance

There are two primary reasons for having Mexican automobile insurance when driving in Mexico:

  1. 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.

  1. 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 resolved.)

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*
Value Premium
Under $5,000$120
Each $5,000
over $35,000
* 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.

Item Premium
Liability only$78
Boat liability$115
Medical evacuation$50
Excess liability
(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 matter at


I find driving in Mexico to not be a problem once I get back into the swing of driving as the Mexicans do:


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 (


    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 "" 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 finish.

    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 available online.

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Contents Page: Copyright 1999-2001 Fred T. Metcalf