Why do I need Mexican insurance?
Mexico has traffic laws very similar to the United States. The application of their laws is what accounts for the differences, and the reasons for needing Mexican insurance. The law in Mexico is based on the Napoleonic Code where guilt prevails over the assumption of innocence. In the U.S., the law is based on the English Common Law where innocence prevails over the assumption of guilt. Mexico does not have compulsory automobile insurance. The basic difference between Mexico's and United States financial responsibility law is that anyone involved in an accident in Mexico must have the means to respond to damages or injuries for which they may be responsible....which in Mexico would be in the form of either cash or a Mexican insurance policy.
What's covered on a Mexican auto insurance policy?
Contrary to the more broad coverages of a standard U.S. auto policy, a Mexican tourist auto policy is a named peril policy. More simply stated, exactly what is described as covered is specifically all that is covered - nothing more and nothing less.
There are five (5) basic risks to standard Mexican tourist auto insurance:
1) Collision, Upset, and Glass Breakage
2) Fire and Total Theft
3) Property Damage Liability
4) Bodily Injury Liability
5) Medical Expenses
As an added bonus, our policies include Legal Service, Road Assistance, Emergency Medical Evacuation, and Travel Assistance.
Can I buy the insurance in Mexico?
It’s risky to purchase a Mexican auto insurance policy in Mexico. First of all, you must drive your vehicle to the insurance office, and until you reach the office you’re obviously driving without insurance. Secondly, in the case of a dispute with your claim or your agent’s conduct, you have no formal recourse against the agent in Mexico as you would against the agent in the U.S. (customarily through state regulatory agency, such as Department of Insurance).
Will I go to jail if I have an accident?
If serious injury has not occurred, a Mexican insurance policy might help reduce red tape and allow the motorist to be on his way sooner rather than later, but the policy should not be construed as your “ticket out of jail”.
Some visitors to Mexico are unable to understand why motorists are temporarily incarcerated in Mexico following an automobile accident where injuries or deaths occurred. In the first place, serious injuries or deaths have been committed against innocent persons due to someone's negligence. It is up to Mexican authorities to determine who the negligent person is. While that investigation is in motion, all drivers involved in the accident must be detained. Any person involved in the commission of a crime, and I have stated that an automobile accident in Mexico is considered in principle to be a penal offense (see "Why do I need Mexican insurance?"), must be detained in a secure place to prevent their escape. The only secure place is a holding cell and, therefore, the motorist finds himself detained awaiting the investigation of his involvement. A visitor, if allowed to remain free, may likely flee for the border. This is Mexican law, and foreign citizenship confers no special rights in Mexico.
What are some examples of what is NOT covered on a Mexican auto insurance policy?
As important as it is to know what is covered, it is worthwhile to also know what is NOT covered. Some of the losses and/or expenses which are not covered include pilferage, vandalism, lodging expenses, toll calls, and loss of wages.
Are claims paid in dollars?
At the conclusion of their investigation of an insurance claim the Mexican insurance company settles all insurance claims in U.S. dollars from their claims offices in Mexico.
What are some other important things to know?
The policy is null and void if driver responsible for the accident was under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Policy is null and void if driver does not have a valid drivers license.
A towed vehicle must be described on the policy, otherwise it voids all coverage in case of an accident.
Theft of parts or accessories to the vehicle are not covered, unless the theft of those parts or accessories was the outcome of a total theft of the vehicle.
Should a claim be presented, the insured must declare the existence of any other insurance with another company covering the same risk.
All claims must be reported in Mexico before insured returns to U.S. Failing to do so subjects the claim to a denial by the Mexican insurance company.
In case of total theft of the vehicle, the owner of the vehicle or the person who had possession of the vehicle, must file an Auto Theft report in person with Mexican authorities.
In case of an impounded vehicle, the registered owner of the vehicle is the only one authorized to sign for it’s release, and it must be done in person.
Contact us if you have a specific quesion about Mexico Insurance.