When traveling to Mexico, you need Mexico auto insurance in order to drive beyond the free zone legally. Mexico does not take American car insurance, so it’s important to have the right amount of coverage. Driving outside of the free zone without Mexico car insurance could mean facing fines or jail time.
So how long does Mexico car insurance last?
In general, you can purchase a policy to last the length of your stay. Costs will also vary depending on the length of your stay as well as the time of year you are staying. Other factors that affect the cost of Mexico auto insurance include:
Certain areas are considered more high-risk than others for accidents and thefts, so if you plan on traveling to any of these areas, your Mexico car insurance may be higher. The cost of insurance can vary anywhere from $2 to $40 a day. For example, the average cost for a six-month policy at full coverage is around $2 a day, which is $378 total, while the average cost for a year at the same coverage for the same vehicle is around $1.20 a day at $445 total.
- Vehicle make and value
- Amount of coverage
- Driving record
- Intended travel distance
What Car Insurance Do I Need in Mexico?
To drive legally in Mexico, you must be able to provide proof of responsibility. This means proof that you can pay for any damages you cause. When it comes to car insurance, it means that you must carry at least $300,000 USD in Mexico liability insurance. Liability insurance provides compensation to the victim if you cause bodily injury or property damage while operating the insured vehicle. This is the only coverage required by law, but it’s recommended that you purchase higher limits of coverage to protect your vehicle. Keep in mind that your American car insurance policy likely won’t carry over. This leaves your vehicle open to damages that you’d have to pay for out of pocket.
Along with liability, Mexico car insurance can also cover:
There are many different coverages available, so be sure to speak with an insurance agent about fully covering your vehicle before your trip. You’ll want Mexico auto insurance for as long as you are in Mexico. Even a lapse in coverage on the last day could lead to disaster or a hefty fine. Fines for being caught driving without insurance can be anywhere between $250 and $1,000. If you cause an accident and cannot provide proof of responsibility, you may face arrest and possible jail time.
- Collision: Collision coverage provides compensation if your vehicle is damaged due to a collision with another vehicle or object.
- Uninsured Motorist: Uninsured motorist coverage provides compensation for damages that occur in an accident with an uninsured motorist.
- Theft and Vandalism
What if My American Car Insurance Has a Mexico Endorsement?
Some American insurance agencies offer a Mexico endorsement, which extends coverage for travel to Mexico. Even with this endorsement, the coverage is limited and does not include liability. Even if you have a Mexico endorsement on your policy, you’ll still need to purchase Mexico auto liability coverage. This endorsement also has limits depending on how far you drive and the length of your stay. Typically, a Mexico endorsement only covers a 10 day stay within 25 miles of the border. When driving to Mexico, you will also need a TIP, which is a temporary vehicle importation permit. This allows you to drive your vehicle beyond the border zone. Without it, your vehicle could be confiscated, and you could face jail time.