driving in mexico can be anything from routine to exciting, but one thing you don’t want to be without insurance when driving south of the border. the country has strict auto liability insurance requirements and does not recognize US policies. Whether you’re taking a quick visit to the country or a multi-day trip to its heartland, here’s what you need to know about getting Mexico car insurance.
Do I need separate auto insurance for Mexico?
To legally drive anywhere in Mexico, you must have liability insurance issued by a Mexican auto insurance company.
The auto liability coverage you have in the states is not recognized in Mexico.
You can be fined or detained if you cannot show proof of Mexican liability insurance during a traffic stop or after an accident.
Mexico endorses that some United States insurance companies generally only cover damage to your car, but not civil liability. Liability covers injuries and property damage that you may cause in a car accident.
You can buy Mexico auto insurance in person from a physical seller near the border, but it’s often more convenient to get it online before you leave home.
how can i get car insurance before traveling to mexico?
Several Mexican auto insurance companies offer short-term or temporary tourist insurance policies that you can purchase online before you travel to Mexico. Options include liability-only policies that meet country legal requirements and comprehensive packages that also cover damage to your car and injuries to you and your passengers.
american family, geico and progressive are among the US insurance companies that offer Mexican auto insurance for tourists on their websites, albeit through independent providers.
Specialized companies like bestmex and mexpro also offer Mexican car insurance for tourists online. mexpro is particularly well known for operating the online shopping platforms used by several US insurance companies.
The companies that provide the online shopping platforms do not write policies themselves. Rather, their platforms provide quotes and allow you to purchase policies from licensed Mexican auto insurance companies.
You can typically get quotes and activate a Mexican auto insurance policy in about 15 minutes, provided you have the following information and documents ready:
- the dates of your trip
- the make, model and year of your vehicle
- the market value of your vehicle, according to the kelley blue book or the national association of automobile dealers
- your existing auto insurance declaration page
- a general idea of the coverages and deductibles you need
- the vehicle identification number (vin) of your car
- your credit card
Mexican insurance companies typically require you to pay for a tourist auto policy in full, up front. You generally must pay a fee to cancel the policy before its start date, and you have very few cancellation rights after the policy becomes effective.
what types of coverage does car insurance offer in mexico?
All Mexican tourist car insurance policies include liability protection and optional coverages are available for damage to your car and injuries to you and your passengers.
These different coverages are usually offered in tiered packages rather than a la carte.
Online platforms for Mexican auto insurance also offer insurance for motorcycles, RVs, and ATVs. Motorcycle coverage is typically offered for liability only.
best Mexican auto insurers
Based on financial strength ratings and policy offerings, the following Mexican auto insurance companies are generally considered the best for tourist policies.
- aba insurance
- ace insurance
- el aguila
- provincial national group (gnp)
All four companies are rated excellent or better by am best, and their products are available on most Mexican online auto insurance platforms.
While shopping, make sure the insurance package you choose includes roadside assistance and medical evacuation coverage. The best mexico auto insurance companies include these and basic medical coverage on all of their tour packages, including your responsibility -packages only.
am i eligible for car insurance in mexico?
Americans with a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration, and an existing auto insurance policy are generally eligible for tourist car insurance in Mexico. most companies add a surcharge for those under 21.
Certain factors about your car and existing US auto insurance policy can affect the type of coverage you can purchase.
- If your vehicle is over 20 years old, you may only be eligible for liability coverage.
- If your insurance policy in the states does not include collision and comprehensive coverage, generally not eligible for physical damage and theft coverage in mexico.
how much does auto insurance cost in mexico?
The cost of Mexican auto insurance for tourists can range from $50 to $80 for liability only coverage and $150 to $200 for full coverage.
The specific price you pay depends on factors such as the value of your car, the length of your visit, and the coverages you choose.
Our review of quotes shows that the average cost of a 10 day liability only policy for a 2014 Subaru Forester with a $15,000 blue book value is $85. the average cost of an extended coverage package with physical damage, theft, and partial theft coverage is $169.
if you only plan to be in mexico for a few days, a short-term policy is usually your best option. However, if you plan to visit us for several weeks or repeat visits, a six-month or one-year policy may be better for you.
The Mexican auto insurance companies we review offer liability limits ranging from $50,000 to $500,000, with a combined single limit for bodily injury and property damage. A $50,000 liability limit meets Mexico’s minimum auto insurance requirements. However, it’s usually worth spending a little more for a liability limit of at least $300,000.
insurance for rental cars in mexico
Mexico auto liability insurance requirements apply to rental cars, but the process for purchasing auto insurance in Mexico is different for a rental car than it is for a car you own.
- if you rent a vehicle in mexico, you can purchase liability insurance and other coverage at the car rental counter.
- major credit cards generally provide a damage waiver for collision (cdw) for rental cars. a cdw covers damage to the car, but not liability. if your credit card provides a cdw, you may not need the cdw or loss damage waiver (ldw) the company offers car rental. it’s best to check with your credit card company ahead of time.
- if you plan to drive a rental vehicle in the us. uu. across the border, you need to let the rental car company know of your plans. They may require you to purchase the Mexican car insurance package they offer.
Car rental companies often offer medical coverage as well, which is nice to have, especially if your health insurer excludes or limits coverage outside the US. uu. however, if you have travel medical insurance, you may not need additional medical coverage from the car rental company.
tips for driving in mexico
If you are unfamiliar with driving in Mexico, it is important that you understand the country’s documentation requirements and driving protocols.
The following documents are required to enter Mexico by car:
- valid passport
- state issued driver’s license
- proof of registration
- permission letter from your lender (if you have a loan )
- proof of Mexican liability insurance
After entering Mexico, you must obtain a visitor’s permit from an office of the National Migration Institute. the document is called a multiple migratory form, or fmm.
It’s also important to understand how restrictions change when you leave the hassle-free zone, which typically includes areas within 12 to 15 miles south of the border, as well as much of Sonora and all of Baja California.
If you plan to drive beyond the hassle-free zone, you also need to obtain a temporary import permit or tip for your vehicle. You can obtain a tip online from Banjercito Mexican Bank or in person at a banjercito office near the border. no tip is required within the hassle-free zone.
if you are involved in an accident anywhere in the country and do not need medical treatment, stay put and notify your car insurance company in mexico. In Mexico, insurance companies typically send a claims adjuster to the scene of the accident for immediate evaluation.
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