Getting a little chilly? For some, cold winter weather is a welcome treat after months of heat. For others, winter can’t disappear fast enough. If you’re one of those who wants that winter weather gone, make like a goose and go south for the winter! For many, that means a trip south of the border. But before you embark for a little R-and-R in Mexico, there are a few things to prepare for if you’re driving while you’re there. Whether you’re going to see family or friends, or just getting away for a vacation, here’s what you need to know about traveling by car in Mexico and purchasing an insurance policy for your travel in the country.
The Basics About Mexico Car Insurance
The first thing you need to know is that a U.S. auto insurance policy won’t cover you in Mexico. Plus, most U.S. insurance providers won’t cover a Comprehensive and Collision claim that happens in Mexico. This means you’ll need to take special measures before you depart so that you (and your vehicle) remain protected with auto insurance when you travel in Mexico.
Fortunately, there are plenty of reputable insurance providers that offer short-term Mexico Auto Insurance policies. These policies are often available for a variety of lengths of time (anywhere from 24 hours to an entire year). If you’re flying into Mexico instead of driving, you may choose to use a rental car to get around. If that’s the case, know that having rental car insurance in Mexico is just as necessary as having liability insurance for your own car.
Coverage options to consider include:
- Civil Liability Insurance
- Comprehensive and Collision
- Legal, bond, and bail assistance
- Medical expense
- Total theft protection
- 24-hour Roadside assistance
If you opt for Civil Liability Insurance know that liability limits vary, but it’s best to choose the highest limit you can afford. (The typical limit recommended is $300,000.)
Getting into a Car Accident in Mexico: What to Do
Getting into an accident in Mexico can get serious pretty quickly. According to the U.S. State Department, if you are part of a car accident in Mexico, “you may be taken into police custody until it can be determined who is liable and whether you have the ability to pay any penalty.” You’re likely to remain in jail until all parties have resolved the issue of assigning responsibility, both legal and financial. Worse, if you get into an accident and you don’t have Mexican liability insurance, you may be prevented from leaving the country. This may even include instances in which you need life-saving medical care.
If you do get into an accident, take the necessary steps to make sure the issue is resolved as efficiently as possible. Contact the local police, and then contact your insurance provider’s claims department to report the incident. When reporting, you will need to provide the same kind of information you would for a vehicle accident in the U.S., including the policyholder’s name and driver’s license information; the policy number; and the location and a description of the accident. You will need to show your proof of insurance and driver’s license to the police as well. (For more tips, check out information from the UCSB about driving in Mexico.)
More About Motoring in Mexico
Want even more information about driving in Mexico? Check out Direct Auto’s Tips for Traveling through Mexico by Car. You can also ask us your questions or share your own tips in the comments below.