- What does Mexican insurance cover?
Once you cross the border into Mexico, your U.S. or Canadian insurance cannot legally help you prove your financial responsibility in Mexico. Mexican insurance will instantly show authorities that you are able to pay damages to third parties. Policies may also include physical damage to your vehicle, total theft of your vehicle, medical payments for the driver and passengers, legal aid, bail bond and roadside assistance. Partial theft (of vehicle parts) and vandalism are available with the HDI Premier
and ACE Platinum
- What do the California and Arizona Departments of Insurance mention about Mexican insurance?
The California Department of Insurance
has an online publication to help consumers learn about automobile insurance called Automobile Insurance 101
. Under the title "What Else Should I Keep in Mind?" is information about Mexican auto insurance. The Department states the following: "Review the territorial provisions of your policy with respect to driving in Canada and Mexico. Generally, Mexico does not recognize liability insurance issued in California. If you are involved in an accident in Mexico, you are subject to Mexican legal requirements. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that Mexican insurance be purchased prior to entering that country. Some California issued policies do extend limited physical damage (comprehensive and collision) coverage on vehicles for a limited distance while operating in Mexico."
The Arizona Department of Insurance
has an online publication called "Personal Automobile Insurance FAQs
." This publication states the following about Mexican insurance: "Mexican law requires that you purchase separate liability coverage from a Mexican insurer before operating your vehicle in Mexico. Your Arizona personal auto policy may provide some limited coverage on a limited basis (within 25-50 miles of the Mexican border), but this coverage does not meet the insurance requirements of the Republic of Mexico. Failure to purchase proper Mexican liability insurance may result in many hours in a Mexican jail or a heavy fine if you are involved in an accident while operating your vehicle in Mexico."
- What is Mexico's legal requirement for financial responsibility?
In case of an accident in Mexico, you are required to prove your financial responsibility at the scene. Mexico's legal requirement for liability in case you are at fault varies by state or sometimes municipality. A new Federal Law in Mexico
states that in case of fatalities to third parties, beneficiaries may be paid approximately U.S. $25,000 minimum. Each state may then enforce this law along with their state laws. Most U.S. and Canadian citizens feel more comfortable with higher limits especially if they own homes and/or businesses. We offer policies from U.S. $50,000 to $800,000 and limits in between.
- My U.S. insurance company covers me in Mexico. Do I still need Mexican insurance?
Yes. Your U.S. insurance company may be able to cover only the damages or theft to your vehicle within a small mileage range into Mexico. They cannot pay damages you legally owe to others in case you are at fault in an accident (liability coverage). If your U.S. insurance company tells you your vehicle damage or theft is covered in Mexico, be sure to get this in writing from your agent or the company to avoid misunderstandings. If they tell you there is liability coverage in Mexico, be wary because this may be misleading. Mexican authorities cannot recognize U.S./Canadian policies which means you do not have coverage according to their legal system.
- What types of vehicles do you cover?
We offer coverage for cars, pickups, SUV's, vans, motorcycles, RVs, and towed items like trailers, boats, ATVs and campers. We also offer watercraft liability
for coverage on the water. Policies for those vehicles may be issued from our website. Learn more about our Mexican insurance policies.
If you are looking to insure a bus, box truck, only a trailer or other vehicle, please call our office for assistance. We offer coverage for buses and box trucks that are going to Mexico for non-commercial use, like for mission trips.
What are some situations that are not covered?
Generally, we cannot cover:
- Vehicles from Mexico (or rental vehicles from Mexico)
- Drivers with Mexican drivers licenses
- Full coverage on vehicles over 15 years old (call us for more information)
- Full coverage on RVs over 20 years old (call us for more information)
- Vehicles while involved in a race or off-roading
- Vehicles not on municipal roads, ie. on the beach
- Commercial use
May my vehicle be repaired in the U.S. or Canada?
In many cases your vehicle will be able to be repaired in the U.S. or Canada. Keep in mind that if the vehicle is not driveable or far from the border, this may not be possible. Each policy has maximum towing limits offered.
- What is a liability-only policy?
A liability-only policy will cover damages you cause to third parties. Unlike a full coverage policy, liability-only does not cover physical damage or total theft of your vehicle. Our liability-only policies also include medical payments for occupants of your vehicle (except for motorcycles), legal aid and bail bond, and roadside assistance (for most vehicles). Keep in mind the majority of drivers in Mexico do not have insurance. If you purchase a liability-only policy and are hit by an uninsured driver, the policy will not cover damages to your vehicle.
- What is a full coverage policy?
A full coverage policy covers physical damage and total theft (deductibles apply) of your vehicle. If you purchase a full coverage ACE Platinum or HDI Premier policy,the coverage is extended to include partial theft and vandalism (deductibles apply). A full coverage policy also includes a liability limit to cover damages you may cause to third parties, medical payments for occupants of your vehicle (except for motorcycles), legal aid and bail bond, and roadside assistance (for most vehicles). Our full coverage policies are considered "no fault" coverage. In case an at fault uninsured motorist hits you, our policies cover damage to your vehicle.
- How does the deductible work?
All of our policies have stated deductibles. The minimum deductible we offer is $500 for physical damage and $1000 for total theft. If you have a physical damage loss (collision), the deductible amount is the amount you will be responsible for paying when the repair is made. If your vehicle was stolen, the deductible is the amount the insurance company will deduct from the vehicle value before paying you and/or your vehicle's finance company.
- What is partial theft and vandalism coverage?
Partial theft coverage will pay for parts and accessories that were permanently attached to a vehicle before being stolen. Sound and other electronic equipment may not be covered unless originally installed by the vehicle manufacturer. This coverage does not cover personal items inside the vehicle. Personal items may be covered under your homeowner's or renter's policy. The deductible is $1000 for this coverage and it is only available with the HDI Premier
and ACE Platinum
Vandalism coverage will pay for willful and malicious damages to the vehicle. The minimum deductible is $500 for this coverage and it is only available with the HDI Premier and ACE Platinum policies.
- What is a driver's license policy?
A driver's license policy is a liability-only policy that insures up to 5 drivers. This type of policy is convenient for drivers who have more than one vehicle that they regularly drive. This allows them to have one policy, yet have the flexibility to drive different eligible vehicles. It is important to keep in mind this policy will not cover any damages or theft of the vehicle. We offer policies with and without medical payments for passengers of your vehicle. This type of policy is only available as an annual policy. Learn more...
- What benefits do the policies offer?
Most policies include roadside assistance which is available 24/7 by calling the number listed on the front of your policy. This coverage includes towing, lockout service, jump start service, fuel service, and flat tire service. Legal aid and bail bond is available 24/7 by calling the number listed on the front of your policy. Legal aid includes legal defense.
Other benefits offered by the policies may include medical assistance, medical references, land medical transportation, air medical transportation, trip continuation assistance, tourist information.
- How are claims paid?
The claims process is similar to the process in the U.S. After you file the claim, all the relevant information will be gathered and the amount of the loss will be determined. If the vehicle needs to be repaired, a repair shop will be chosen and the repairs will begin. If the vehicle is a total loss, the company will value the vehicle according to pricing guides like the Kelley Blue Book and Nada Guide. Claims must be filed in Mexico before returning to the U.S. Call the number on the face of your policy.
- Are claims paid in U.S. dollars and at U.S. repair rates?
Our underwriters, HDI Seguros, ACE Seguros, and Mapfre Seguros pay claims in U.S. dollars and at U.S. repair rates when possible. Why is this important? Some underwriters pay out based on Mexican pesos and Mexican repair rates which means the full cost of the repair will be covered only if your vehicle is repaired in Mexico. With some other underwriters, if you want to repair your vehicle in the U.S. because it is more convenient, you will end up paying the difference because the repair rate in Mexico is much lower than that of the U.S. Generally the payout from some other underwriters only covers one third of the value of the repair if you decide to get the vehicle fixed in the U.S. It is important to know your underwriters and how they pay a claim before purchasing their product.
- Can you cover rental cars?
Maybe. If your rental vehicle is from Mexico, we cannot cover the vehicle because it has Mexican license plates. If your rental is from the U.S., it depends upon the policies of the rental agency. Many agencies offer Mexican insurance and those agencies do not allow us to issue policies for their vehicles. If the agency does not offer Mexican insurance, we can offer coverage, but you must have permission from the rental agency to take the vehicle into Mexico. Our online form has a question regarding whether or not you will insure a rental vehicle. Select "Yes."
- Can I drive a borrowed vehicle into Baja?
Yes, but the Secretary of Tourism of Baja California recommends driving your own vehicle. If you do go to Baja in a borrowed vehicle, it is highly recommended to carry a notarized letter of permission from the owner of the vehicle stating that the vehicle may be driven in Mexico by the borrower. This letter may be handy in case Mexican authorities question you about the vehicle being in Mexico. A letter is especially important when the owner of the vehicle is not in Mexico, or the owner is a business or non-profit group.
- I am making payments to a finance company. Can I take the vehicle into Mexico?
Maybe. If you have a loan or are leasing your vehicle it is recommended to read your contract or contact the finance company to see if you may take your vehicle out of the U.S. Generally finance companies do allow this and will issue a letter of permission. The letter of permission is for your records and is sometimes necessary in case you need a vehicle permit (Baja does not require a vehicle permit). Read more...
- Will you cover a vehicle with a salvage title?
Yes. If you have a vehicle with a salvage title and would like full coverage, you may value the vehicle by reducing the current market value (the value from Kelley Blue Book or NADA Guide) to 50% of the value of a similar vehicle without a salvage title. Use the reduced value when quoting coverage.
- Do you offer coverage for boats?
We offer two different types of boat coverage, coverage while the boat is being towed behind your primary vehicle and coverage while the boat is on the water - watercraft liability.
While being towed, you may cover your boat for liability-only or full coverage. Once the boat has been disconnected from the trailer, the coverage ceases.
The watercraft liability coverage is for recreational sailboats, yachts, powerboats and personal watercraft. It does not cover any damage or theft to your boat since it is a liability-only policy. This policy fulfills the requirements of Mexican marinas. Get a quote.
- I would like to take my vehicles off-road, does the policy cover me?
There is no coverage for vehicles involved in off-roading or racing. However in Mexico there are many dirt roads that are considered municipal roads if they are normally transited and on these types of roads we can offer coverage. There is no coverage on roads that are impassable.
- Are other drivers covered under my policy?
If you have a policy with a specific vehicle listed, then other drivers are covered as long as they have a valid driver's license on their person. You do not need to list additional drivers.
If you have a driver's license policy where specific drivers are listed, no other drivers are covered on the policy.
- Can a Mexican citizen drive my vehicle across the border into Mexico?
Not unless the Mexican citizen is driving with a U.S. citizen in the vehicle. If not, you risk permanent confiscation by Mexican customs officials who view the vehicle in this situation to be contraband. Read more.
- Am I able to change my policy after it has been issued?
Yes. You may change your policy online until the policy begins. Log into your account.
The policy information will be in the center of your account homepage. Next to the policy you would like to change, there is an "Edit" button. Click "Edit" and make any necessary changes. If the policy has already begun, please call our office toll free 888.552.2252 Monday-Friday 9am - 5pm Pacific time for assistance.
- May I cancel my policy?
If your policy has not yet begun, you may cancel your policy anytime online by logging into your account
and clicking on "Cancel" on the menu to the right of your policy. The entire policy premium will be refunded.
If your policy has already begun, you may or may not be able to get a refund depending upon how much time has passed. The refund is calculated according to the premium earned on the number of days used. Premiums are fully earned by the insurer within the first 20-30 days they are active. We cannot cancel any policies when a claim has been filed. If you need to cancel a policy or change a vehicle, please call our office toll free 1.888.552.2252 Monday-Friday 9am - 5pm Pacific time.
- What if an uninsured motorist hits me in Mexico, am I covered?
If you purchase a full coverage policy (covers physical damage and theft) and an at-fault uninsured motorist hits you, your policy will cover damages to your vehicle and medical payments for you and your passengers up to the stated limits on the policy. A liability-only policy will not cover any damages to your vehicle, but you will have the stated limits of medical payments for you and your passengers.
- Do you offer coverage for motorcycles?
Yes. If you are looking for full coverage (physical damage and theft coverage) for your motorcycle, we are able to offer coverage for street legal (registered and plated) motorcycles. If your motorcycle is not street legal, you may purchase liability only (does not cover physical damage or theft). Medical payments for drivers and passengers are not covered.
Keep in mind that the coverage is only valid on municipal roads, not in off-roading situations.
- Does the insurance cover personal items inside my vehicle?
No. Personal items may be covered by your homeowner's or renter's insurance policy. Generally these types of policies offer worldwide coverage. Contact your carrier for details.
- The toll road fee covers insurance, so why do I need more insurance?
The insurance that comes with the toll offers only limited coverage which includes repairing damage to the toll road and/or to your vehicle if the road is at fault for damage. It will not cover you once you leave the toll road. Read more
- What information is needed to complete a policy?
To fill out the online form quickly, we recommend having your driver's license, registration, U.S. or Canadian insurance company name, and a credit card handy.