Mexico has unique car insurance requirements for travelers. Your American insurance policy will not be enough to cover your vehicle if you choose to drive into Mexico. Instead, you’ll need to purchase Mexico auto insurance. But what coverage do you actually need in Mexico?
The base requirement for Mexico is $300,000 USD in civil liability coverage (5,823,757 pesos). This is the insurance you need to drive legally outside of the hassle-free zone in Mexico, but this isn’t the only coverage you may need. Even if you have comprehensive car insurance from the U.S., this coverage won’t cover damages that occur in Mexico.
Coverages available in Mexico auto insurance that you may consider include:
- Comprehensive Coverage: Comprehensive coverage covers damage to your car due to fire, wind, hail, theft, vandalism and other incidents not involving collision.
- Collision Coverage: Collision coverage covers damage to your vehicle due to a collision with another vehicle or object.
- Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist: This coverage provides compensation if a driver not carrying insurance crashes into the insured vehicle.
- Medical Expense Coverage: Medical expense coverage, also known as personal injury protection or PIP, helps with the medical expenses of the driver and their passengers after an accident, no matter who is at fault. This typically covers $20,000 per person and $100,000 for all people involved. Towing: Towing coverage can help tow your vehicle if you break down.
You can even purchase insurance for motorcycles, ATVs and Golf Carts.
Keep in mind that some of these coverages hinge on your American insurance policy. For example, if you don’t have comprehensive or collision insurance on your American car insurance policy, you cannot purchase it in Mexico car insurance.
When you’re vacationing in a foreign country, the last thing you want is to find your vehicle stolen or damaged with no way to pay for the repairs.
Consequences of Driving Without Insurance in Mexico
If you are caught driving in Mexico without appropriate Mexico auto insurance, you could be facing heavy fines or even jail time, if you can’t provide proof of financial responsibility after an accident. If you cause an accident while driving your personal vehicle in Mexico, you must be able to prove you have enough money to pay for the damages—typically through having proof of insurance. Without this, you may be held liable by Mexico law.
This is only for liability insurance required by Mexico, of course. Driving without insurance to protect your vehicle against outside damages can leave you with hundreds or even thousands of dollars in repairs to pay out of pocket. If your vehicle is stolen, for example, you may not be able to replace or retrieve it without adding theft and vandalism coverage.
In general, it’s important to consider the threats that face your vehicle. Just like anywhere in the U.S., Mexico has its fair share of dangers that may cause damage or loss to your vehicles or its contents.
Do American Insurance Companies Cover Mexico Auto Insurance?
Some American auto insurance policies do come with limited Mexico auto insurance coverage. This is far from comprehensive, however, and typically has limits on how far you can travel and still be covered. If your policy does have a Mexico endorsement, speak with your insurance agent about its limitations. Chances are, you will want to purchase a Mexico auto insurance policy separately to guarantee that you are covered while traveling. Thankfully, Mexico auto insurance is relatively cheap. Depending on your vehicle and other factors, you could pay as little as $2 a day for the duration of your trip.