UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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¡Víva La México! Unfortunately, though, your bank account won’t be “viviendo” for very long if you don’t make sure you have adequate insurance coverage should you take your vehicle south of the border.
Believe it or not, there are some serious restrictions as to what your auto insurance policy will and won’t cover once you drive it into a foreign country like Mexico.
We can help you figure out what type of Mexican car insurance you need to make sure you have safe Passage, no matter what side of the Rio Grande you are driving on.
The Reason for Mexican Car Insurance
Think of how complicated it would be if the insurance policy you purchased in your home state was considered invalid in the next state over – or in any of the other 49 states, for that matter.
Each state would still have their mandatory minimums for driving legally, but the particular insurance provider you are working with, or the fact that you purchased it in another area, means that your company won’t pay out any claims, and you won’t receive any funds from third-party claims of your own if you’re caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
So what would you do in this hypothetical situation, especially if you knew in advance that you would have to leave your home state?
For some people, the answer is as simple as “Well, I’ll just never drive outside of my home state, duh!” And for many, that may be a feasible solution. Indeed, many US drivers may never want or need to drive their vehicle (or a rental car) outside of their home country.
But for those who do, the hypothetical scenario we just presented is, in fact, the reality between Mexican car insurance companies and American car insurance companies. And you need to be protected on both sides of the border.
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Higher Car Insurance Requirements in Mexico
Depending on how long you are staying (and, buy extension, driving around) in Mexico, your Mexican car insurance could either be a financial life saver or a financial burden.
Unlike in the states, where minimum liability coverage is in the low tens of thousands of dollars, you will have to purchase substantially more liability coverage from a Mexican car insurance provider (via an American middle man, of course) to the tune of $100k/$300k/$100k for bodily injury and property damage liability.
Furthermore, you’ll have the option of adding additional coverages – like comprehensive and collision – if you already have such coverage on your current American auto policy.
Lastly, some companies offer additional options that can be potentially helpful – such as medical payments, travel assistance, and legal assistance coverage – for a small additional cost.
*Average monthly premium equivalent for the top 3 Mexican auto insurance companies, and the American companies which sell their policies to US drivers. Policies are typically sold either on an annual, bi-annual, or per diem basis
Crossing the border into Mexico and then renting a car is a very similar process to what you had experience renting a car in the US. In fact, the more respectable rental companies in Mexico will offer a rental insurance policy upfront, the way you would expect any company in the US to do.
Unfortunately, also like car rental insurance in the US, this can be is the most expensive coverage option.
You can (and should) still contact your credit card company for information on whether or not they can provide Mexican car insurance to you at a more affordable price.
Two Wheels or Four, You’ll Still Need Mexican Car Insurance
That’s right, you’re going to need motorcycle insurance also if you plan to cross the border on only two wheels. But finding an adequate policy will be difficult, especially if you take the more cautious route and look for something closer to full coverage than liability only.
Unfortunately, no matter how hard you look, neither of these policy options will include any sort of medical cost coverage.
To make sure your medical bills are covered if you get injured while riding your motorcycle in Mexico, you should double-check with your health insurance provider and see if they provide coverage in foreign countries, or if they can connect you with a health insurance company that can sell you temporary travel health insurance.
More than anything, though, you should compare auto insurance rates between different US companies before you make any final decisions on your Mexico auto insurance.
While it’s not always the case, the lowest quote you get from a company near you will most likely offer the best price on Mexico car insurance also.
But even if they don’t, we can find you quotes from affordable providers who will. And if you let us know which is the zip code to live in, we can do all of this for you in a matter of minutes!