Buy Insurance before entering Mexico
Driving into Mexico your first time can be an interesting experience. Road signs are in Spanish, you are distracted by the sights and sounds, road side vendors are jumping in front of your moving vehicle and you are trying to find your way. The best advice is to be prepared. Know your route and destination, make sure your vehicle is well maintained, and absolutely have Mexican auto insurance before you enter Mexico. Mexican law requires that you have at minimum Mexican liability auto insurance underwritten by a Mexican insurance company. The insurance that is issued must be from an insurance company that is licensed and admitted in Mexico and must be recognized by the Mexican judicial system. You have an option of buying what is commonly referred to as a Driver’s License Policy that will follow the driver regardless of the car driven. This type of policy will cover civil liability and can be used in conjuction with your U.S. auto policy if it covers collision within Mexico.
In Mexico, you are considered at fault until you can prove otherwise.
If you are involved in an accident in Mexico you will be brought to the police station and detained until the authorities determine who was at fault. You are considered guilty until you can prove otherwise. The Mexican authorities want to know that you can pay the bill if you are found to be liable. This is why is is so important for foreigners to carry Mexican civil liability auto insurance. U.S. auto insurance will not and cannot provide Mexican liability coverage. They may provide collision, but check first, many U.S. insurance companies do not.
How and where to purchase Mexican Auto Insurance.
There are approximately 50 Mexican insurance companies that are authorized to issue auto insurance contracts. However, only do business with companies with at least an A rating by A.M. Best. The following companies are licensed and admitted in Mexico as of 2008. They are: SABA/Sergos - A GMAC company, Grupo Nacional Provincial (GNP) - a Genworth Company, Zurich Z-Mart - A Zurich Financial Company ACE Seguros - Switcherland.
There are several ways of purchasing auto insurance for your trip to Mexico. You can purchase Mexican insurance through a U.S. insurance brokerage firm that specializes in Mexican auto insurance. A good start is Mexpro out of Arizona. They have been specializing in Mexican auto insurance since 1999. They have extensive information online about driving in Mexico, ratings of Mexican insurance companies and most importantly they explain the various types of coverage available to you. Mexpro is available by phone and online. You can buy and print your policy online if you wish. Click on the Mexican Insurance banner on the left to purchase Mexican auto insurance from MexPro. Mexpro has some very useful information on Mexican Insurer Statistic and Comparable Coverages. Download their insurance information from the PDF files below. Also, see their article entitled Purchasing Mexican Auto Insurance on our site.
AAA of Arizona also sells Mexican auto insurance. You can purchase and print your policy online. They offer coverage from two of the above listed companies. You can select the time period and coverage you desire. Be sure to have your vehicle information handy.
Additionally you can purchase insurance with a brokerage/agency firm in Mexico. In the tourist areas, most insurance firms will have representatives that deal with tourist and speak English. These brokerage/agency firms offer the same selection of insurance companies as those in the states, but usually give more competitive rates.
Educate yourself on the quality of the insurance company first.
Buy from brokerage firms in the states first. That way you can become educated on Mexican auto insurance, you can ask questions, and be relative confident you have the proper coverage before driving into Mexico.
Once you become accustomed to driving in Puerto Penasco and are visiting the town regularly , you should visit the local insurance brokerage or agent in town and investigate a better deal when your current coverage is up for renewal. A brokerage firm you may want to try is Rosie Glover of ProAlliance Insurance. Her office is located on Bonita Juarez as you come into Rocky Point. ProAlliance offers Auto, Home, Condo, Boat and Life Insurance. Read Rosie’s article on Auto and Home insurance.
We bought our first year Mexican insurance policy in November 2008 from Portugal Insurance. It cost us ruffly $250 dollars for $300,000 dollars in liability and collision coverage. Upon our annual renewal in 2009, Steph and I elected to go with the Driver’s License Policy. This policy cost approximately $160.00 dollars for two persons. Both Steph and I were issued an insurance card with the policy number to carry in our wallet. See Portugal’s Insurance Website.
Drive safe and have a happy trip in Mexico!