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Auto - Frequently Asked Questions

In our 50 years of motoring to Mexico we've encountered more questions than there is space for here. The following are a brief review of the most frequently asked.

01. Why do I need Mexican insurance?
02. Can my U.S. insurance help me?
03. What's covered on a Mexican auto insurance policy?
04. How do I get insurance on my rental car?
05. What does Mexican insurance cost?
06. What if I don't buy an adequate number of days of insurance?
07. Is it necessary to name every conceivable driver on the policy?
08. Can I buy the insurance in Mexico?
09. Will I go to jail if I have an accident?
10. What's NOT covered on a Mexican auto insurance policy?
11 Are claims paid in dollars?
12. What are some other important things to know?

01. Why do I need Mexico insurance?
Mexico has traffic laws very similar to the U.S. 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 now has mandatory automobile insurance requirements. 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.

02. Can my U.S. Insurance help me?
Before leaving home, you should inquire if your U.S. insurance policy will cover damage suffered by your vehicle in Mexico. If so, ask if the policy has restrictions or limitations in this regard, such as miles from the border, or number of days in Mexico. Once you've familiarized yourself with your own auto policy and the extent of its coverage in Mexico you can then proceed to make a more qualified decision towards your Mexican insurance needs.

Important Note: Whether or not U.S. insurance policy extends coverage into Mexico for the damage of your own vehicle, the LIABILITY coverage on a Mexican insurance policy should always be purchased. Authorities in Mexico do not recognize the Liability coverage on your U.S., or any other non-Mexican insurance policy. Only a Mexican automobile liability policy is acceptable evidence of financial responsibility.

03. What's covered on a Mexican auto insurance policy?
Contrary to the more broad coverage 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.

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

Some Mexican Insurance companies are developing a product that can be purchased for additional premium that will cover other expanded coverages. These should be evaluated on an individual basis.

04. How do I get insurance on my rental car?
Once your rental contract is in hand you have three options:

1) Go online to and buy/print your policy.

2) Call 1-800-293-2560 and order your policy by telephone and pick it up on your way through.

3) Or stop by our office at our convenient office located right off highway 85 right next to the Chevron; we are called Ajo Insurance Center at milepost 40.2.

05. What does Mexican insurance cost?
We offer the quick and easy convenience of free quotes just call us at 1-800-293-2560.

06. What if I did not buy an adequate number of days of insurance?
If following your completed policy transaction you realize you have made an error and need additional time of coverage you have two options ...

  1. Simply buy another policy for the additional term of coverage, making certain it starts at the exact hour and day your first policy ends so there is no lapse in coverage

  2. Buy another policy for the entire adequate period of coverage and call 800-293-2560 to authorize our cancellation (and cost refund) of your first policy.

IMPORTANT: These adjustments must be made prior to the first policy taking effect. As a reminder, minimum term of coverage is 24 hours. A policy for "a few hours" is not available.

07. Is it necessary to name every conceivable driver on the policy?
No. It is, first of all, absolutely necessary to name the registered owner, and if the registered owner will not be accompanying the vehicle to Mexico it is important to name at least the primary driver, or anyone who will likely always be with the vehicle. But it is not necessary to name every conceivable driver on the policy.

08. 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).

09. 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 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, 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. What are some other important things to know?

  1. The policy is null and void if driver responsible for the accident was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

  2. Policy is null and void if driver does not have a valid driver's license

  3. A towed vehicle must be described on the policy; otherwise it voids all coverage in case of an accident.

  4. Theft of parts or accessories to the vehicle is not covered, unless the theft of those parts or accessories was the outcome of a total theft of the vehicle.

  5. Should a claim be presented, the insured must declare the existence of any other insurance with another company covering the same risk.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.