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Featured Articles - June 27, 2022
The Truth About Mexican Car Insurance: Why You Need It
If you're planning to drive in South of the Border, you need Mexican insurance coverage. Plain and simple. All foreign plated vehicles must be insured in Mexico according to Mexican Federal Liability Law. Mexican law requires it. US or Canadian liability coverage is invalid in Mexico, and it won't protect you.
Despite what some people may tell you, Mexico car insurance is not optional - it's required by law. If you get into an accident without it, you could be facing serious legal and financial penalties.
The local police will likely show up and both drivers will be required to show proof of financial responsibility from an authorized Mexican auto insurance company immediately.
If you have specific car insurance for travelers and have adequate liability limits with legal assistance and medical payments, you'll be covered for any bodily injury or property damage you caused and have proof to show local authorities. If not, you risk fines, imprisonment, and vehicle confiscation until fault is assessed and the bill is paid. You will have to go in front of a judge who will figure out who is at fault.
"Full Coverage" Versus "Liability-Only" Mexico Car Insurance Policies
"Full Coverage" Mexican auto insurance, as the name implies, offers broader protection than simply "Liability Only" coverage. A "Full Coverage" policy covers collision, comprehensive, and liability inside Mexico. A Standard policy includes damage to your car, theft, bail bond expenses, some medical expenses and roadside assistance. A more complete "Full Coverage" Mexican tourist auto insurance policy includes vandalism and partial theft as well as valuable low-cost add-ons.
It's worth noting that each Mexican auto insurance "Full Coverage" plan is unique to each insurer. There are many distinctions between the various programs. The border and in fact the entire country lacks a standard framework for car insurance policies. No two plans are identical. There are no two Mexico insurance policies that are alike.
As a result, just because you purchase "Full Coverage", you shouldn't assume you're protected against everything. Make sure to thoroughly examine your policy to ensure that you are adequately covered in all important areas. If a particular form of protection isn't stated on your policy as being covered, your insurer will probably not pay any claim on it.
There are also many other policy distinctions between insurers that aren't immediately obvious. Although liability only Mexican auto insurance could be more affordable in the short term, you may be allocating your money poorly, especially if you are making car payments, or have a new or newer vehicle.
Let's Learn How To Properly Assess 'Actual Cash Value' For Mexican Auto Insurance.
In 2022, this is a challenging scenario because vehicle values have significantly risen in recent months, sometimes exceeding their initial price.
OK, so let me explain. When buying a full-coverage Mexico car insurance policy, one of the most essential things to consider is 'Actual Cash Value', which is "Current Market Value" in layman's terms. It's important to get this right. Make the value too high and the policy will cost you a little more than it needs to. If you settle for too low a figure, it will cost you money in a total loss or theft, which could be used to purchase a replacement vehicle. The maximum amount any policy will payout is the value you enter for your vehicle.
So, how can you figure out what your automobile is really worth? The usual method is via Kelly Blue Book. Although this may be the case, many late-model used vehicles are currently selling for considerably more than KBB.
Now, before you purchase a policy, go to a website that lists used cars from well-known dealers. Next, go through the models and pick one with comparable pricing. Use the same year, make, model, mileage, condition, and accessories. If a reasonable person would believe that the vehicle for sale is quite comparable to your vehicle, your value should be as accurate as possible in a payout. There is one potential problem with this approach. Assume that your "Actual Cash Value" falls to normal levels during its duration after you purchased a policy. You may not receive the full amount of money covered by your Mexico auto insurance policy if your vehicle is destroyed or stolen.
Of course, if your policy is effective for a short period (less than 30 days), no worries! If you're purchasing a 1-year policy, you might think twice, but it appears car shortages will not ease until 2023 at the earliest, and higher values are projected to hold.
There is also one additional point. Quality Mexican car insurance companies pay a minimum of KBB Private Party - Retail. Sub-standard online insurers with less than "A"" ratings try to pay wholesale value regardless of the "Actual Cash Value" you enter, as do many local poorly-rated car insurers selling coverage at the border. As usual, you get what you pay for.
In 2022, to help narrow the gap in this situation, one A++ rated Mexico Insurance Company has increased its definition of a total loss to KBB dealer value, which is higher than retail. Good move!
What Documents Do I Need If I Have An Auto Accident In Mexico?
If you're involved in a vehicle accident in Mexico, you'll need the following items:
Mexican Car Insurance Certificate - U.S. or Canadian domestic policies are not valid in Mexico. Just like Mexico tourist auto insurance is invalid in the U.S or Canada.
Although certain insurers cover physical damage to your vehicle in the border zones, U.S. or Canadian coverage is not recognized or considered as
legitimate in Mexico. You must purchase liability coverage that is issued by an authorized insurer to show financial responsibility. Before you go across the border, get your policy online and keep an extra set of your papers in your personal items.
Passport - You must have your passport card or hard copy of your formal passport with you at all times.
Registration/Title - Bring your vehicle registration/title and Mexican auto insurance copies with you.
I.D. - For your Mexico auto insurance to be valid, you'll need a valid driver's license with a clear photo.
Letter of Permission - if you drive a car that you don't own, a note of written permission will be required from the owner. Permission is also needed for your owned vehicle if you have a lienholder and are traveling beyond the border zones.
Permits - if you want to drive outside the border zone in mainland Mexico, you'll need a vehicle permit. This isn't necessary for Baja. When you fill out the affidavit, a deposit is often required, and it will be returned to you after your departure from Mexico.
Credit card - It is strongly recommended to have a valid major credit card in your name in the event of a significant accident or other problem.
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