Car Insurance South of the Border
Published: Thursday, December 11, 2014
According to data published by the US Department for Transport, over 60 million personal vehicles cross the border between the US and Mexico each year, a statistic that provides an insight to the colossal volume of road traffic that moves back-and-fro across the US-Mexico border.
Some people cross the border by road into Mexico for short periods—to work, do business, or to shop—while others will travel further into the country, crossing the 35km ‘free zone’. Regardless of whether you stay in the free zone or travel further into the Mexican interior, any coverage your US or Canadian insurance policy provides will be, at best, very limited.
Most US and Canadian insurance policies for personal vehicles provide damage cover to your own vehicle; however none of them provide the coverage you really need—liability to third parties. They don’t because by law, they can’t: foreign insurance policies hold no legal jurisdiction in Mexico.
As a result, a brisk trade exists in the provision of specialized insurance policies to cover drivers, their vehicles, passengers, and property while the vehicle is in Mexico. These insurance policies are crafted in association with Mexican insurance companies, so the policy is presented in English, sold to customers with vehicles registered in the USA or Canada, and sold by insurance brokers who are licensed north of the border—but the insurance policy is underwritten by a licensed Mexican insurer—and thus valid in Mexico.
Driving uninsured in Mexico can lead to problematic situations arising in the event of a mishap. In the event of a serious car accident, the drivers involved will be arrested pending investigations, even those not at fault. A complex legal process will thus ensue, and if you are not adequately insured, you will have to raise your own bail bond; and if you are judged to be at fault, you will be personally liable to third parties, including payment for any damaged road infrastructure. Having an adequate insurance policy in place will settle your third party liabilities, and better policies will also provide legal counsel and bail bond payment as part of the coverages.
The process of choosing an insurance policy for driving in Mexico that suits your needs is made simple and straightforward by online quotation systems which capture key information about your vehicle and requirements, and provide a live price quote. Insurance cover can be arranged instantly online and, in the event you need to make a claim, you will be able to dial a toll-free number and talk with English-speaking staff.
The most important consideration when choosing your policy is not the brokerage firm that supplies it, or the fees; it is the insurance company that underwrites your cover. Less expensive policies might appear good value for money on the surface—but in the event of a claim, a cheaper policy could reveal its limitations. The key is to strike a balance, finding a policy that serves your personal needs, and which is backed by a solid underwriter. Good insurance brokers will offer policies underwritten by reputable and established insurers.
For full details about how to be properly covered on your next road trip to Mexico, connect to our Mexico Auto Insurance Guide, from which you can also link to instant online quotes and arrange your cover online.