Automobile Insurance
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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 and Lewis Insurance Agency
   2950 31st Street, Ste. 140
   Santa Monica, CA 90405
   (310) 399-0800 (Voice)
   (800) 966-6830 (Voice)
   (310) 450-0700 (FAX)

In July, 2011 the insurance carrier was Qualitas Compania de Seguros. 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
12 Months 6 Months 90 Days
Under $5,000$203.22$168.56$160.74
Each $5,000
over $35,000
* Full coverage includes: collision, fire, total theft, glass, liability: $300,000 Combined Single Limit, medical payment: $5,000 per person/$25,000 per accident; Legal Service (approximately $100,000 of coverage - defined to be 21,000 days of Mexican minimum salary). There are deductible amounts which apply to the various catagories.

Item Premium
12 Months 6 Months 3 Months
Liability only$188.67$153.65$145.13
Boat liability$125$109$98
Uninsured Motorist plus
Waiver of Collision Deductable and
Increased Medical Payments
(increases to $20,000 per person,
$100,000 per accident)
Excess liability
(increases CSL to $500,000)
Business use20% surcharge
VIP Endorsement
(vandalism, partial theft)
15% of base premium

They also offer policies 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), has created some 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. Please note that I can offer no information on the quality of these agencies - you're on your own!. If you come upon websites not mentioned here, please send me some email (ftm @

Clubs providing insurance coverage to their members (at a lower cost according to their advertising):

Copyright 1999-2011 Fred T. Metcalf

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