Does U.S. Car Insurance Work in Mexico?

Fran Majidi
December 13, 2019

It used to be the case that you could easily cross the border into Mexico without any special type of insurance. That’s no longer the case. Mexican authorities now require proof of financial responsibility in case you have an accident during your stay in Mexico. You’ll need to buy international car insurance, even to cross the border to Mexico, carrying at least the minimum liability coverage.

U.S. liability insurance is not a valid form of insurance that is recognized by Mexican law. Some U.S. insurers partner with local insurance carriers in Mexico and offer the coverage you should buy before you embark on your trip. If your insurer does not offer Mexican insurance, find the right agent because coverage is only more expensive if you buy it en route to Mexico.

Do I Need Mexico Car Insurance for an RV?

Yes, you need Mexico Car Insurance for all types of vehicles. RV insurance is especially expensive to insure in Mexico because the cost of collision and comprehensive is based on the value of the RV.

If you’re hitching a trailer to your car, you need to insure the trailer as well. If you are towing a vehicle, you’ll need Mexico's vehicle insurance on it in addition to the RV as well.

What’s the Minimum Insurance Requirement to drive in Mexico?

Liability insurance is the minimum you have to buy to cross the border into Mexico. Liability Mexico insurance is offered at a flat rate. It’s very expensive at the kiosks along the way to the border, so you’re much better off buying your Mexican insurance policies from a U.S insurer.

Take into consideration that most U.S insurers will not cover theft or physical damage that occurs while you’re traveling in Mexico.

What if I Go into Mexico Without Mexican Insurance?

If you try to drive into Mexico without the proper insurance, your vehicle may be confiscated. You may also end up in jail or detention, especially if you’re involved in an accident.

What Should I Look for in Mexican Insurance Coverage?

First, make sure that you have adequate liability limits, like $300,000 to $500,000 combined single limit. Beware of split limits that do not provide adequate coverage.

Do I Need Mexico Motorcycle Insurance?

You are only required to carry liability insurance for a motorcycle in Mexico. Just as with car insurance, you’re looking at paying more if you buy from a kiosk along the way to Mexico. You’re better off buying Mexico motorcycle insurance in the states.

Mexico Car Insurance Cost

Prices on Mexico insurance policies range widely. A policy can cost $2 a day or $40 a day, maybe even more. It all depends on where you buy the insurance, first and foremost, and then the value of your vehicle and the coverage you choose.

How Do I Buy Mexico Insurance?

After you compare car insurance quotes to make sure you’re not paying too much for U.S. car insurance, ask your agent if he or she sells Mexico insurance. The following is the information you need to get a quote for Mexico insurance:

  • Personal information (name, address, phone, email)
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • License plate number
  • U.S. insurance policy information

Aside from Cost, Why Should I Buy Mexico Insurance in the U.S?

For one thing, if you do have an accident and a suit is brought against you in the U.S for an accident in Mexico, a Mexican auto insurance company will not respond to the claims. All liability claims under Mexican auto insurance must be brought to Mexico for coverage to respond.

Many insurers, including Progressive and Geico, have partners in Mexican insurance. It may be worthwhile to buy your policy here if only to have representation if you do find yourself in a bind after an accident.

How Do I File a Claim with Mexico Insurance?

You would be filing with the Mexican insurer. Your American representative will guide you, but they are not the insurer. After you purchase Mexico insurance online, you will be given a few phone numbers. These numbers are there in case you have an accident and need to file a claim.

After you call in a claim, the Mexican insurance company will send an adjuster to the scene to assess the damage. You also need to file a report with the police, whether you are at fault or not. If you are not satisfied with the customer service, your American insurer may or may not be able to intercede.

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