Why You Need Mexican Auto Insurance
US and Canadian auto insurance is not valid in Mexico.
- US and Canadian auto insurance is not recognized by Mexican authorities.
- If you do not have Mexican liability insurance, you may be prevented from departing the country even if you require lifesaving medical care, and you are almost certain to spend some time in jail.
- Your US or Canadian insurance does not cover theft or physical damage to your vehicle while in Mexico.
If you are driving a US or Canadian registered vehicle (US or Canadian license plates) into Mexico, you will need to purchase vehicle insurance for Mexico. US and Canadian auto insurance is not recognized by Mexican authorities. Mexican authorities only recognize auto insurance underwritten by a Mexican insurance company. If you do not have Mexican liability insurance, you may be prevented from departing the country even if you require lifesaving medical care, and you are almost certain to spend some time in jail until all parties are satisfied that responsibility has been assigned and adequate financial satisfaction received. The Liability coverage in your policy will demonstrate proof that you can respond to damages or injuries for which you may be responsible. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that you always purchase a Mexico auto insurance policy prior to entering Mexico with your vehicle.
Although some, not all, US/Canadian auto insurance may provide some level of physical damage and theft coverage for your vehicle if you stay within 10-50 miles of the US/Mexico border (check with your US/Canadian insurance carrier), absolutely no US/Canadian auto insurance can provide liability coverage that Mexican authorities will recognize. At the absolute minimum, you should always purchase Mexican liability coverage, and it is always a good idea to include 'Full Coverage' if you are concerned about protecting your own vehicle. Mexican insurance is extremely inexpensive, so you are 'loco' not to purchase a policy prior to entering Mexico! Get an instant Mexican insurance quote!
You can read more about Mexican insurance coverage descriptions.
An example horror story of driving uninsured in Mexico:
A young man from the US (San Diego) decided to take a quick weekend trip to Ensenada to visit some friends. It was Friday afternoon, and he didn't feel like taking the time to purchase a Mexican insurance policy (and he was only going to be in Mexico for three days). He had recently purchased a new 'pre-owned' Ford pickup truck for about $15,000, and he was excited to show it off to his friends. While driving down the Mexican highway towards Ensenada, he noticed that the engine was running a little hot. He quickly pulled over onto the shoulder of the highway and popped the hood. After some investigation, he realized that the radiator fluid level was low. Although this was a problem, help was not far off, because he could see a market just about a quarter mile up the road. He decided to walk to the market to get some water to fill his radiator.... and so he began walking....
The young man had been walking for just over a minute when... VROOOM-CRASH! He quickly turned around to find a Mexican public transportation bus scraping along the side of his new truck.... To make a long story short, the bus stopped, there was significant damage done to both vehicles, the police were called, the police asked for the young man's insurance..... He didn't have any, and it was determined that it was the young man's fault because he was parked too close to the highway.
The young man was detained at the Mexican police station, his truck was impounded, and both he and his truck were not released until friends could make arrangements to pay (a few thousand dollars) for the damages to the bus. (And the damages to the young man's truck were not covered either).
Cost for 3 days of Mexican Liability Insurance: $30.00
Cost for 3 days of Mexican Full Coverage Insurance ($15k vehicle value): $41.06
Time needed to purchase & print a Mexican insurance policy online form your own computer at www.mexadventure.com: 4 minutes
Over the years there have been many occurrences that have been much worse (including accidents involving injuries and fatalities). Although every auto incident is a tragedy, the situation is made considerably more tragic and damaging if the vehicles involved are not insured with a Mexico auto insurance policy.
Moral of the story: Get insurance before you enter Mexico.