Travel Mexico – Sonora

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Many people drive through Mexico annually. Sadly for most, Sonora is often considered a pass-through state on the way to their final destination. Sitting directly below Arizona, Sonora is Mexico’s second-biggest state after Chihuahua. For those looking to do more than pass through Sonora, the rewards are fantastic.

Most Mexicans think of Sonora as nothing but a desert. The same is true for Americans with Arizona. It’s easy to think this because the Sonoran Desert covers about half of the state. Just like in Arizona, half of Sonora is in high elevation. It’s not unusual for the eastern parts of Sonora to see snow in the winter months.

Unlike Arizona, Sonora features over 500 miles of coastline on the Sea of Cortez. Beach towns including Rocky Point (Puerto Peñasco), San Carlos, and Bahia de Kino are very popular with Mexicans and Americans, alike.

Nogales, south of Tucson, is Mexico’s biggest entry point into Sonora. Sonoyta, Agua Prieta, Sasabe, Naco, and San Luis make up the other entry points.

Nogales Sonora - Mexican Insurance Store


Unlike Tijuana and other major entry points, Nogales is a delightful city with lots of charm and flavor. Nogales doesn’t feel like a typical border town. Upon entry into Nogales from the downtown crossing, one’s senses are filled with the vibrant sights, smells, and sounds of Mexico.

If you’re stopping in Nogales, there are some excellent dining options to set you in the right mood. Sonora is well known for some of the best steaks and seafood in Mexico. Nogales is your first opportunity to experience this.

For Dining, some favorites among prosperous locals include El Marcos Restaurant and Mariscos Los Arbolitos. Both are across the street from the mall.

If you’re looking to stay the night, four great choices await. In the north, by the border, Hotel Fray Marcos de Niza is a great stay. Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott is adjacent to the Mall in the center of town. To the south, City Express and Hotel Plaza next door are comfortable stays.

Girls enjoying Rocky Point -
Visitors from Phoenix enjoying a weekend in Rocky Point

Rocky Point (Puerto Peñasco)

For those who live in Phoenix or Tucson, Rocky Point is the closest beach. Filled with miles of soft sand, calm warm seas, and hotels for every budget, Rocky Point is a sure winner.

Ordinarily, it would be appropriate to call it by it’s Spanish name, but this time, it’s really Rocky Point. Since 1826, the section was written in red, ‘Rocky Point’ on sea maps. In the late 1930’s the town was renamed Puerto Peñasco. Still, many Mexicans and nearly all visiting Americans call it Rocky Point.

Pro Tip: When traveling through Sonora, make sure to buy and carry extra water. staying hydrated is very important in the desert.

Rocky Point still serves local fishermen, but tourism dominates the economy. Great hotels, dining, and activities all await you in Rocky Point. A favorite among wealthier Mexican travelers is Playa Bonita just west of the main town.

At the top of el Cerro de la Campana -
American Motorcyclists at the top of El Cerro de la Campaña overlooking Hermosillo.


Hermosillo should not be missed when you drive through Mexico. Since Hermosillo is the capital of Sonora, it’s a prosperous city. Enjoy exquisite dining, shopping, and hotels throughout the city. Near the center of town, the tall peak with all the TV and radio towers is El Cerro de la Campaña. Take a drive up the cobblestone roadway to the top for a bird’s eye view of this remarkable city. Sunsets from here are also incredible.

Starbucks Coffee in Hermosillo - Mexican Insurance Store
Starbucks Coffee in Hermosillo adjacent to El Reloj de Gaston

Hermosillo has Sonora’s only Starbucks Coffee stores for those that need their addiction filled. Yes, you can get your “nonfat, iced skinny mocha with light ice, whipped cream, and chocolate drizzle” in Hermosillo. Sadly, prices equal and sometimes exceed what they are in the USA.

Dining in Sonora is a treat. If you’re looking for a fast authentic meal, there are several Taqueria ‘El Chino’ locations to serve you. These are an institution in Hermosillo and a local’s favorite. If seafood is your calling, Mariscos Las Palmas serves up fresh seafood in an upscale setting. For fine dining, Palominos and Sonora Steak must be on the top of your list.

Pro Tip: Please remember to slow way down in Hermosillo. Cops in the city like a peaceful town and are pretty strict with traffic enforcement.

Tetakawi overlooking San Carlos -
Tetakawi overlooking San Carlos

Guaymas – San Carlos

The cities of Guaymas and San Carlos are separate cities right next to each other. Guaymas is a nice Mexican port city. San Carlos is a resort-friendly town with the best beaches and beachfront hotels. San Carlos is also overshadowed by the magnificent Tetakawi mountain. The peak looks like a scorpion ready to strike.

Shopping and urban city amenities are widely available in Guaymas. Guaymas also features one of Sonora’s best steakhouses, El Oeste at the Armida Hotel.

El Oeste Steakhouse in Guaymas, Sonora - Mexican Insurance Store
Available ‘cortes’ or cuts on offer at El Oeste Steakhouse at the Hotel Armida in Guaymas, Sonora

San Carlos features Tortuga’s Restaurant near the Marina. Owned by a French Expat, this restaurant is a favorite among prosperous locals for the world-class dining and atmosphere.

Regardless of which town you stay in, you’re bound to have an excellent experience.

Be legal when you drive through Mexico. If you haven’t gotten your Temporary Vehicle Import Permit (TVIP), Empalme is your last chance. South of Empalme, you must have a TVIP to drive your non-Mexico plated vehicle in the country. Look for ‘Only Sonora’ on Google Maps,

Alamos Sonora Centro -
Alamos Sonora


Leaving Guaymas – San Carlos, you’ll next come to Ciudad Obregon. Because Obregon is an industrial town it takes a while to get through. It’s best circumvented with the new bypass road.

Continuing south Navajoa comes next. Navajoa is a decent place to stay, but if you can, head east to the historic town of Alamos. Alamos is one of Mexico’s 111 Pueblos Magicos and well worth a visit.

Once in the town center, it’s immediately apparent where this town gets its charm. Walk the plaza and enjoy the many restaurants, shops and street vendors of this town dating back to 1685.

The Hotel Álamos Bonito Resort Centro Historico is a wonderful place to dine or stay. Make sure to walk around and enjoy this historic town.

The next big town south is Los Mochis located just south of the state line in Sinaloa.

There are many other towns and pueblos worth visiting in Sonora. Bahia de Kino is Hermosillo’s beach due west of the city. Enjoy the oldest part of Sonora along the Rio Sonora. The trail offers breathtaking scenery including the former capital of Sonora, Arizpe. Banamichi is also notable. Banamichi features the wonderful Hotel Los Arcos de Sonora. To get there, veer east at Imuris toward Cananea and then south. Eventually, you’ll come back to Hermosillo.

When you drive through Mexico, don’t make it a bombing run. Take an extra day or two to discover the many unpretentious riches one can experience in Sonora.

The best part about Sonora is that it’s just an hour south of Tucson and yet, a world apart. Make sure you have your passports, Tourist visas, and top-rated car insurance for Mexico. Mexican Insurance Store has new lower rates starting February 2021.

2021 Travel in Mexico

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Is 2021 the best year to travel to Mexico? Find out below.

For most people who often travel, 2020 was an understandably difficult year. In the opening of 2021, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and Africa remain primarily closed to travel. Mexico has its act together, and warmly welcomes responsible visitors.

What does this mean?

Many parts of Mexico are open for business.  Now is the best time to make 2021 travel plans to Mexico. Mexico, like the USA, created health guidelines on a state by state basis.  Unlike many parts of the USA, Mexico’s health guidelines and policies are sensible, responsible, and present a logical means to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

While most risky activities are curtailed, there’s still quite a bit of beauty, fun, food, sun, and culture to enjoy in Mexico.

Great deals and no crowds make it an excellent time to visit right now!

Stay safe in 2021 while you travel in Mexico

For many, this is common sense and decency, yet some still don’t get it.  Remember, you are a visitor to their country.  It doesn’t matter what you believe, think, or support.  Please be a good traveler and follow their established safety protocol.  Simply put, Wear a face mask, wash your hands, use the hand sanitizer offered, and keep a safe distance from others.  Most importantly, don’t be an a**.

Best Mexican Destinations for 2021

Since there are many places in Mexico that are ready and able to safely handle visitors, we are highlighting some of the best. This is not an exhaustive list but rather a highlight of wonderful key destinations ready and open for your visit.

Ensenada, Baja California

About an hour’s drive south of San Diego, California is Ensenada.  Between its wine region to the north and amazing restaurants in and around the city, Ensenada is a phenomenal weekend destination.

Hussong’s Cantina Ensenada, BC

Ensenada has a wonderfully walkable downtown with many fun places to explore.  Whether it’s the legendary Hussong’s Cantina or delicious fish tacos at the fish market, downtown is awesome.  A few minutes north you’ll find exquisite dining at one of the many world-class wineries.

Where to stay in Ensenada.  Most regular visitors have their favorite destinations.  If you’re looking for something nice, consider the new Holiday Inn Express in Downtown Ensenada.  It’s quite luxurious, affordable, and puts you in the heart of all the action.

Where to eat in Ensenada.

If you’re hungry and love meat, there’s no better place than Pampa’s Brazilian Churrascaria.  It’s a few minutes walking, south of Downtown. 

Ensenada also boast some phenomenal breweries that rivals much of what we find in the USA.  AguaMala is a local’s secret that serves up some incredible beers and phenomenal appetizers to go with it.

Los Cabos/La Paz, Baja California Sur

Los Cabos (Cabo San Lucas) and La Paz are about 90 minutes apart. They are both easily reached with a 2 ½ hour flight from many US destinations into Los Cabos. Phoenix and Los Angeles are easy non-stop hubs. 

If sportfishing and resort weekends are your idea of relaxing vacations, Cabo is your destination.  While quite ‘gringofied’ in both price and amenities, right now is a time for steep bargains in hotel accommodations.

La Paz offers a more laid-back and authentic Mexican destination with phenomenal food, beaches, and unique activities including swimming with whale sharks.

Swim with Whale Sharks in La Paz, BCS

Because of the current situation, there are wonderful deals up for grabs in Los Cabos.  The resorts are offering deep discounts on their stays.  La Paz is less dependant on tourism. La Paz offers a more authentic destination for those wanting to spend time in this wonderful country.

ME Cabo is a wonderful destination for those traveling without kids.  If the whole family is coming, one of the best values in luxury is Tesoro Los Cabos.

You’ll find Downtown Cabo riddled with dining opportunities.  Simply enjoy a walk and decide on what suits your palate.

La Paz, BCS

In La Paz, you have many options.  In Downtown, One La Paz is an excellent value and location.  On the beach, the Hyatt Place La Paz is a perfect place to stay.  Both are offering huge discounts and offer top-notch amenities and comfort.

Dining in La Paz is a foodie’s treat.  Simply go downtown and you’ll find your tastebuds dancing with lively and delicious flavors from every corner of the world.

Most people fly into Los Cabos but it’s a phenomenally fun and safe road trip driving down from California.  Make 2021 the year of travel adventure and drive to your favorite destination in Mexico. Since travel takes longer than in the US, plan on 3-4 days from Tijuana, depending on your pace. Make sure to stop and experience the Gray whales in Guerrero Negro while you’re at it.

Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco

Puerto Vallarta is Mexico’s Pacific Crown Jewel.  Your 2021 Mexico travel plans should include this awesome destination. The city features something to satisfy nearly every taste.  There are the high-end resorts on the north end of the city.  Cross the river to the south and you’re in old-town Vallarta.  Both are drastically different yet equally delightful. 

Naturally, now is a sweet time to visit Vallarta.  The City was spared the worst of the health crisis and was the first to set up common-sense standards to keep guests and locals safe. 

Like Los Cabos, most people fly into Puerto Vallarta.  If you’re a bit adventurous and don’t mind spending a few extra days in Mexico, consider driving down from Tucson.  It’s about three days south of Tucson and enjoyable.  You’re only 90 minutes from Tequila, Jalisco and about three hours from Guadalajara. 

Vallarta has the most impressive Malecón (mal-eh-CONE) or boardwalk in all of Mexico.  It teems with local artists, sand sculputers, whimsical statues, and phenomenal restaurants and night entertainment.  Find live music at every turn, along with miles of exquisite beaches.

One of Puerto Vallarta’s best secrets for accommodations is Hacienda Alemana in the old section of town.  This lovely boutique hotel is perfect for couples and those looking for a Euro/Mexican hybrid experience.

Xel-Ha Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo

Riviera Maya (Cancun), Quintana Roo

Mexico’s so-called Riviera Maya is one of the best ways to experience the Caribbean Sea with the warmth and familiarity of Mexico.  From Cancun at the north to Tulum, this whole strip of Mexico is one amazing resort after another.  It’s hard to go wrong when choosing a place to stay.  Even now, many Americans are booking extended stays to ‘work’ from Cancun. Often these stays are for a month or more.  It sure beats the nonsense and weather back home.

Many wonderful resorts offer deep discounts all up and down the coast.  There’s something for everyone on offer.  Travel as a couple, family, or solo. Since the start of 2020, there’s never been a better time to score a great deal in this wonderful region.

What to do in the Riveria Maya

As for activities, there are nearly as many to enjoy as there are resorts.  Some favorites include Rio Secreto, a vast underground river with many stalactites and stalagmites to ponder.  Another fun all-day venture is Xel-Ha  (Shell-HA).  Because Xel-Ha is a naturally formed water park, it’s much more authentic.  There, guests enjoy cliff diving, snorkeling, tubing, and crystal blue waters of the Caribbean.  If fine dining is on your list, one must go to ALUX.  (uh-LOOSH) It’s an excellent restaurant set in a naturally formed cave over 10,000 years old. 

Of course, explore cenotes, (sey-NO-tays). Mayan ruins such as Chichen Itza, Coba, are also a ‘Must-See!’ Don’t forget the only Mayan seaside ruin, Tulum.

Because getting to Cancun or the Riviera Maya is normally done by flying into Cancun, airlines are also offering great prices.  Many Americans are discovering the joy of driving down over 4 days from Texas.  It’s best to take the inland route through Monterrey. Stay inland to past Veracruz.  Then head to Puebla, Merida, and Cancun. 

Since the Riviera Maya is a resort destination, there are some outstanding places to stay and enjoy.  Many of the regions best destinations are between Playa del Carmen and Tulum.  Find a property that matches your interests.  Whether it’s family friendly, adults-only, or even clothing-optional, it’s nearly impossible to go wrong in this region of the world.


Let’s begin 2021 with some incredible and respectful travel. Mexico remains open for business to responsible and cooperative travelers who adhere to health and social safety protocols.  Pack some extra patience and prepare to be rewarded with destinations guaranteed to leave a wonderful lasting impression.

If you choose to drive to your destination in Mexico, be sure to get your tourist visa and TVIP for your car, if outside of Baja.  Finally, make sure you check out the high quality Mexican auto insurance policies from Mexican Insurance Store .com.

Travel Mexico – Baja California (North)

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1 of 32 in a Series

Baja California (North) is one of the easiest and most rewarding Mexican states to visit. Consider it a ‘Win!’ for nearly any type of traveler. San Diego is the primary gateway to this wonderful part of the world. With all of Baja’s incredible destinations, you can enjoy an international getaway without ever boarding a plane.

Baja California boasts some of the best features of Mexico without being pretentious or overrun with holidaymakers.

On the beach in Mexico -
hanging out at the beach


If you’re looking for a weekend beach destination, look no further than Rosarito, Ensenada, or San Felipe.  For example, Ensenada offers you the same weather and ocean as San Diego at a fraction of the price. In addition San Felipe, located on the Sea of Cortez, delivers a warm and laid-back seaside. San Felipe is much more relaxed and offers a welcome escape to those who wish for tranquility. One should also consider Bahia de Los Angeles. It’s an excellent destination for many reasons, including fishing, tranquility, and exploration. It’s worthwhile, but it’s much further south.


It’s no secret many people travel to Mexico for medical tourism.  Popular procedures are dental work and cosmetic enhancement. Mexican doctors are often US-trained, offer top-quality services, and operate at a fraction of the cost of similar doctors in the USA.  For the cost of a procedure in the USA, you can have the same procedure in Baja California. The best part is that you get a vacation and still have money left over.

What about COVID?

Covid-19 – Baja California has a consistent and surprisingly comprehensive Covid-19 plan that is logical and reasonable.  All of Baja is open to healthy visitors who are not experiencing Covid-19 symptoms. Please practice the straightforward safety protocols of safe distancing, face coverings, and sanitation. Mexican Insurance Store travel policies include Medical Payments that can be used for hospital visits in case of an accident.

Tony Tang enjoys wine before dining at Viñedos de la Reina


Are you looking for exquisite and exotic food destinations? Look no further than Tijuana, Ensenada, and the Ruta del Vino or wine region around Valle de Guadaloupe.  Master chefs from elite culinary schools feature an international cuisine to satisfy the most epicurean palate.

Ensenada is one of the best-educated and wealthiest cities in Mexico. This means that there are ample amenities to serve a growing population that appreciates them. Regardless the city does a great job of serving cruise passengers while saving its heart for those who appreciate it.

Off-Road Adventures

We get it. You’re into adventure and overland travel. Because of this, few places offer the terrain, proximity, and freedom to have fun like Baja California.  The legendary Baja 1000 takes place each year across the peninsula. Nearly the whole region between San Felipe and La Paz is for off-road pleasure.  Popular destinations include Lazaro Cardenas (East of Ensenada), San Felipe, El Rosario (Home of Mama Espinoza’s), and Cataviña.

Mexico vacations are easy and affordable by car.  Mexican Insurance Store travel policies offer the best car insurance for Mexico coverage as well as the best value for cars, motorcycles, and RVs.

villas along pond -
Villas at El Cielo Winery and Resort.

Romantic Getaway

Even with the expansive definitions of ‘Romantic’ getaways, Baja California presents unique and affordable offerings.

For instance, does an ocean-front villa fill your notion of a romantic getaway? The coastline between Tijuana and La Bufadora offers countless locations.  Destinations featuring private pools, secluded beaches, and an in-house chef are awaiting your booking. 

Perhaps you desire a luxurious weekend at a winery. Because of the rich soil and ideal weather, Baja California wineries continue to gain prominence in the world. Many local Wineries, including Encuentro and El Cielo, feature exquisite overnight experiences.

Since desires and tastes vary, the region offers a diverse range of prices and amenities at each available property. Many of these villas are found on popular sites, including Airbnb, VRBO, and


The corporate news media relentlessly drives to keep people afraid and angry.  In other words, when people are fearful, anxious, and angry, they’re controllable. Those who profit from fear get little resistance to your complicity.  It’s one of the oldest schemes in history.  Create a problem and then offer your brand of a solution. Don’t believe it? Monitor your blood pressure for 15 minutes while watching any news channel.  Peace and contentment are the last things these organizations want you to experience. 

Now with that out of the way, Mexico, like most countries, has its problem areas.  Is it fair to damn all of Canada because Vancouver has high crime rates?

One blatant example of media manipulation is the reporting of violence in Tijuana.  The truth is that the Municipality of Tijuana has a high murder rate. The reality is that Municipalities in Mexico are like counties in the USA. The Tijuana Municipality is nearly 340 square miles.  The city itself only occupies a fraction of that space. The municipality covers the US border, to the north. It’s surrounded by the municipalities of Rosarito Beach, Ensenada, and Tecate to the south and east.  The violence is nearly exclusively outside of the city area and almost entirely among those carrying out criminal activities. Of course, the fear mongers and hate peddlers don’t bother to point this out.

So what’s the conclusion?

In other words, Tijuana (the city) is safer to travelers than Hollywood, Downtown Los Angeles, and Santa Monica.  The simple rule is to enjoy the beaches, fine dining, and perfect year-round weather without being an idiot. Avoid the temptation to do dumb things you would never do at home. Just remember, you need a Mexican Insurance Store travel policy in order to protect yourself financially in case of an accident.

That’s right, resist the urge to go out on night-time drives into the outskirts of the city. Don’t visit ATMs well into the night, be too curious, or try to play ‘James Bond.’ Do you do any of these daft things in your ‘safe’ community back home?

Wrongful deaths among tourists not engaged in criminal activities are practically nonexistent in this state.

best travel destinations

In conclusion, Baja California is an exciting destination for travelers.  It has a well-earned reputation for delivering value and satisfaction to visitors.  Whether you seek romance, adventure, solace, or culture it’s is a great place to visit.

Mexican Insurance Store Travel Ideas And Information Guide

Do I Really Need Mexican Auto Insurance?

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It’s hard to believe in 2020 that some people think you don’t need Mexican auto insurance when driving your car, motorcycle, or RV in Mexico.

Seriously, it’s an eye-roller when a proud ignoramus proclaims that you don’t need insurance and that, in all of their travels, they never had it. First off, they probably haven’t been to Mexico since 1989. Second, they tend to have loud contrarian opinions on a whole litany of topics from UFOs to conspiracy theories. Third, 9 times out of 10, they’ve been drinking rather heavily.

Occasionally, someone on a Mex Facebook Group will post up something the reads like this. “My friend’s uncle, who lives in Mexico, says Mexico car insurance is for stupid Gringos and you really don’t need it.” Peruse through the posts long enough and you’ll eventually see a post that looks like this. If you’re gullible enough to believe any story that begins with “My friend’s Uncle…” or something along this line, you really shouldn’t leave your home. The only stupid Gringos are the ones who think Mexico has no laws and that they are somehow immune from obeying them. These fine MENSA candidates invariably end up in jail, broke, and sometimes dead. It’s a sad but real truth. It’s not the ‘cartels’ who seemingly risk their multi-billion dollar operation to hassle a dumb tourist. Rather it’s the visitors’ own acute stupidity that led to their misfortune.

When it comes to driving in Mexico (or anywhere, for that matter) ignorance is not bliss.

Hopefully these people aren’t the ones you listen to about anything. Especially anything about our neighbors to the South.

Here is the reality spelled out.

If you are in a car accident South of the Border, it’s not like in the USA. Police show up and immediately assign fault. They estimate an amount for damages and detain the ‘responsible’ party until they pay the full amount.

Now, if you have (good) insurance, you call them with their local (non-toll free) number from your US Mobile phone and report a claim. Make sure you have Whatsapp installed on your phone. Many times you won’t know your location, but the agent on the phone will have Whatsapp. You can send your exact location using the app. Next, you wait until they or authorities arrive. If the police arrive first, tell them, “Tengo Seguro.” It means you have insurance.

From here, you will know why you were smart and bought the good coverage instead of listening to your dumb friend’s uncle. If you bought a Mexico car insurance policy from Mexican Insurance Store .com, it’s a great policy. There are no bad policies or insurers offered for sale at Mexican Insurance Store.

Your Insurance representative that shows up will verify your policy with you. Try to have a copy on paper. They can use also your phone or you can send it to their phone with Whatsapp. From here, 95% of all of your problems are taken care of. They will negotiate on your behalf and guarantee any damages assigned to you. Most importantly, you will not be detained or go to jail.

Concept of insurance man protective and car insurance policy examining

What happens if…

If you bought a cheap policy or were an imbecile and didn’t get insurance, start calling family and friends to get ready to wire money to you. La Policía will assign an amount in damages and you need to pay up, right then and there. If you don’t have the money, cops will take you, under detainment, to a bank or Western Union to get the money. Can’t get the money they assign as your damages? You’ll get to sit in a Mexican jail until you do.

If you don’t agree with the amount, you will be seen by a traffic judge within 24 hours. They will most likely side with the cop and probably make you pay even more. This is because the damages will, no doubt, increase in the hours after the collision.

If there’s one thing you learn from all of this, it’s that:

  1. Yes! You need Mexican auto insurance to bring your vehicle into Mexico.
  2. A well-backed policy from a reputable carrier will cover you completely and make sure you stay out of jail in the event of an accident.
  3. Cheap policies are just that. They can be nearly worthless at protecting you from the unpleasant aftermath of a collision. You might be able to use them for toilet paper in the jail cell.
  4. Nearly all policies purchased at the border kiosks appear cheap, but leave you quite vulnerable in a collision. Ultimately kiosks often cost you more, because significant fees are added to the total cost.
  5. Your dumb friend, the loud drunk guy, or the blustering fool on the Facebook group (who probably never actually went to Mexico) is an idiot. You probably shouldn’t be listening to idiots.

Here is an info-graphic we created to help you understand the process if you are involved in a collision South of the Border.

Mexican auto insurance - Mexican Insurance Store
Infographic of a Mexico Accident Timeline

Mexican Insurance – The Secret To Buying the Best Policy

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Is there really a secret for Mexican car insurance? With so many options and vendors offering Mexican car Insurance, it’s difficult to know what to get and how much coverage is necessary. Learn the secret from one of the nation’s largest Mexico Insurance brokers.

Secret #1 Mexico insurance policies do not offer the same coverage. There are NO standardized policies. They are all different. It’s like the Wild West out there.

Unlike in the USA, Canada, and the EU, insurance policy limits and the ability of insurers to pay are not heavily regulated in Mexico. High-quality insurers like CHUBB, Mapfre, and HDI are outstanding and on par with any top-rated insurer in the USA. Second and third rate insurers that are not rated or carry an AM Best rating of B or worse can leave the policyholder with Swiss cheese coverage. (i.e. TOO many holes or exclusions) In the event of an accident, many of these low-grade insurers leave you on the hook for normal repair costs. They cover incredibly low labor rates ($15/hr or less). They train their claims staff to offer you wholesale, rather than retail or private party values for your wrecked or stolen vehicle.

High-quality policies allow you to get your vehicle repaired in the USA. They also offer $1000 USD in towing which can get you to the border from most of Mexico. The best part is that they don’t necessarily cost you more.

Finally, high quality Mexico insurance policies pay claims quickly and efficiently. Often, claims are settled in weeks rather than months or years.

Secret #2 Get Full Coverage (unless your vehicle is over 20 years old)

By now, most drivers in the USA know that ‘Liability Only’ insurance is a bad way to go. Sure, it covers the other person, but you’re left with all the responsibility of towing, repairing, medical, and rental replacement vehicle. You may be thinking, “Well, if it’s the other person’s fault, they’ll have to pay.” That’s incredibly naive. First, if the other person doesn’t have insurance you’re left with nothing. If the other person takes off, you’re left with nothing. If you’re found at fault, you’re left with nothing.

The same is true in Mexico. The difference is that, right or wrong, unless you speak good Spanish and have compelling (video) evidence that the other person caused the accident, you’ll probably be found at fault in an accident. Bottom line, unless you’re willing to walk away from any vehicle you bring into Mexico and take care of any additional liability out of your own pocket, get full coverage.

Please understand, Full coverage insurance for tourists traveling in Mexico is only available to vehicles under 20 years old.

Secret #3 When buying Mexico Insurance policies, match the coverage you keep at home

This should be obvious, but many travelers try to pinch pennies when buying insurance. If nothing happens, you’re fine. When something does happen, you’ll be very glad you bought the good stuff.

If your policy is $100,000 at home, get at least that in Mexico. Own a nicer car or pricey RV? Buy at least $300,000 coverage.

Matching your home policy removes the guesswork on how much insurance to buy in Mexico. If it’s good enough for you at home, it’s probably good enough South of the Border.

Secret #4 When quoting a Mexican policy be sure of your choices

Buying a Mexican car insurance policy online is really straight forward, but there are a couple of check boxes you must get correct or it could render your policy null and void.

The most important checkbox to get correct is, “Do you carry collision and theft coverage on your US or Canadian car policy, and will you maintain this US/Canada ‘Full Coverage’ throughout the Mexican policy period?” If the answer is yes, please click yes, but if the answer is no, please select no. Your rate will be slightly more if you check no. If you check yes and don’t have or keep full coverage at home, your claim may be invalidated. If you do file a claim and have this checked, “Yes,” you’ll need to provide proof of coverage for the claim to be paid.

The second entry to make sure you get right is “Actual Cash Value”. Mexico Insurance companies use “Actual Cash Value” as a basis for valuing vehicles in the event of a total loss due to collision or theft. Overvaluing your vehicle only serves to increase your premium. Use industry benchmarks like Kelley Blue Book to determine the value of your vehicle.

Everybody thinks they have a good Mexican auto insurance policy until they need to use it. Don’t be left guessing if you’re properly covered.

Secret #5 If you are in an accident in Mexico, a good policy eliminates 95% of all potential problems

This is absolutely true. If you are in an accident, the first thing you must do is call your insurance company to report a claim and get an adjuster onsite. Know the non-800 number to call the insurance carrier from your mobile phone. We recommend putting it along with your policy number as a contact entry in your phone. Also save the policy PDF files on your phone, too.

A Mexican adjuster serves as your advocate and verifies to authorities that you have Mexican car insurance. From here on out, you get treated like royalty.

If you don’t have enough coverage, expect to be held in jail until you can make full restitution. The amount gets determined by the police officer on-site, or a traffic judge within 48 hours. HINT: You never want to be in a Mexican Jail.

Secret #6 Never buy Mexican auto insurance at one of the border kiosks

Those kiosks at the border are not a good value. Count on overpriced inferior quality policies. Moreover, many of them are liability only. Remember about liability-only policies.

In some cases, the policies at the border aren’t even worth the paper they’re printed on. Most of the time, the limits of coverage specified are ridiculously low like $2000 USD and often less.

Any liability limit less than $100,000 in most states is inadequate. $300,000 is needed in most states now due to recent increased fatality requirements.

Secret #7 Don’t be cheap!

As with all things in life, you get what you pay for.

Yes, South of the Border is a wonderful bargain destination for food, accommodations, and leisure activity. It’s one of the reasons Mexico remains a top worldwide tourist destination.

With all of that, it’s super important to not fall into the cheap trap. Many times, inferior products and services are offered to those who are only interested in being cheap, cheap, cheap. These policies is no exception. Mexicans aren’t stupid and know the meaning of value and quality. They simply want to accommodate all the different personalities who visit their country.

The smart traveler understands this in ways a news-hyped tourist never will. Don’t fall into that trap of being too cheap. In the end, the joke is always on you.


The best secret about buying coverage is to have it before you enter Mexico. Simply go to and Quote, Buy, and Print a great policy. Travel without fear because you bought the best coverage available at any price and it actually may cost less!

Enjoy Mexico (When you can’t be there because of COVID-19)

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During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many of us in the USA and Canada are desperate to enjoy traveling South of the Border. We’re suffering from significant withdrawals.

We long to travel and share in its many riches. From culture, community, and food we all desire to return.

What can we do now?

With travel restrictions in place, both locally and abroad, it’s difficult to plan a trip anywhere. Fortunately, there are many things we can do to enjoy “the Mexican experience” and be at our best when we can return.

Some of those stories end up here on our blog page. The big feature-length articles end up on our external page called, “Tips, Secrets, and Practical Advice for Traveling Mexico.”

On that site, we commissioned an award-winning story called, “Eight Ways to Experience Mexico When You Can’t Be in Mexico.”

mexican food
A photo of Mexican food, including tacos, guacamole, pico de gallo, nachos and others, shot from the top with ingredients on a dark rustic wooden background

There, you can discover the many ways you can enjoy the best South of the border Culture. Discover ways to have the best experience of your life, when you return.

Whether it’s an illness, injury, finances, or COVID-19, there are many ways to still enjoy your time.

Mexican Insurance Store is committed to providing real, honest, and authentic information about Mexico. We offer highest quality policies available in the marketplace. That’s why we hired the best travel writers to craft stories that are both entertaining and informative.

Use your new-found skills and cultural appreciation to make the next trip one of your best. Remember to get high quality protection from

Mexico’s Most Beautiful Roads

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Travel Smart and Safe with Mexico Insurance For Cars by Mexican Insurance Store.

Mexico Insurance For Cars
La Cascada de Basaseachi – Photo by Jim Foreman

Story by Seguros Mapfre (Translated and expanded by Jim Foreman)

While vising these spectacular roads in Mexico, it’s easy to agree with the saying, “The important thing is the trip, not the destination.”

Enjoying these amazing roads is easy. The trick is to fuel up, pack light, and include some water bottles and snacks. Above all, don’t forget your camera, because the views will captivate you.

Scenic Road Mex-1 Tijuana-Ensenada
Mex 1 Scenic Road Photo – Ensenada.Travel

Scenic Road Mex-1 Tijuana-Ensenada

Baja California makes both Americans and Mexicans fall in love with this beautiful coastline. For those who can’t make it up to California’s Big Sur, the Scenic Road will leave you equally wowed! The Rosarito viewpoint and the Todos Los Santos Bay are worthy stops. They feature views that will amaze and inspire you. Mex-1 deserves this proud distinction and you’ll see why, as you drive safely through the North of the country.

El Espinazo del Diablo – Photo by Jim Foreman

El Espinazo del Diablo – Mex 40 (Libre) Durango-Mazatlán

Stretching between Mazatlan and Durango, Mex-40 (Libre) is a must-travel road. Be sure not to confuse this road with the new parallel cuota road (Mex-40D). Mex 40 (Libre) offers you the spectacle of the Sierra Madre Occidental range. Enjoy breathtaking canyons, mountains, slopes, and the viewpoint of at the ‘Espinazo del Diablo’ (Pictured). Before you go, fill up with gas in Durango, El Salto, Villa Union, or Mazatlan. There aren’t any gas stations for a very long stretch. This road is not recommended for RVs. The narrow twists and turns will be maddening. It’s best on a motorcycle or sports car. There are those who even travel it by bicycle. Those exciting hours travel that connect Durango with Mazatlán will give you incredible views and wonderful memories.

Photo by: Miguel Rivera

CDMX-Toluca Mex-15 (Libre) Via La Marquesa

Anyone who has gone for a green or purple corn quesadilla knows exactly what we are talking about. This short-run features lush landscapes of leafy pine trees and light mist, even in summer. Both the Libre and the adjacent Cuota are very popular with motorcycles and sports cars. The roads are twisty, but the view is certainly worth it.

Of course, the most important thing is that you travel protected. In Mexico, it’s mandatory that you have at least auto liability insurance. Unless you only travel with liability only at home you probably want Full-Coverage Mexico insurance for cars. We offer multiple options to best suit your needs. Especially if you go out on road trips, a top pick is Mapfre Elite. This coverage includes road assistance, medical expenses for the occupants, legal assistance, and other advantages.

Whenever you go, wherever you go, travel smart and safe with Mexican Insurance Store.

Exposing Fake Travel Stories About Mexico

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When you need the best Mexican insurance for cars, you’ll find it here.

Instagram influencer’s fake travel pics revealed when followers notice the exact same cloud pattern in all of her snaps

By Jim Foreman

Let’s say someone types “Travel Mexico” into their favorite search engine.  Go ahead, try it.  A slew of stories and articles will come up. Now, try to determine which ones are accurate and genuine information from people who travel there.  That’s the thing.  Most people who are writing these stories don’t actually go to Mexico. Most of these stories are imagined, made up, or fake.

Bored Panda recently featured another story about fake influencers.

Allow me to let you in on a little secret.  Most ‘journalism’ you read is complete caca-del-toro.  One person will write a story about a topic that wasn’t covered in a while.  Then, seemingly overnight, over a dozen stories will pop up. Curiously, they all echo the same original story in that particular writer’s own words.  Is it any more accurate?  Nope!

Faking it is the currency of the social media world, it’s even how influencers get their start. -Bored Panda

What’s crazy is now there are twelve stories about Mexico travel all based on one account.  That original story writer hadn’t even been to Mexico.  He or she just happened to glom onto a local Mexican story on their social media feed.

The worst are the ones who fake their travel adventures. That Instagram influencer or Facebook wanderlust warrior isn’t what you think. They are probably clever people simply looking to make money. This is nothing new. Since the dawn of journalism, this practice has been ongoing.

Discover more about this young travel influencer in this story in the Sun.

The Argentinian travel blogger says she couldn’t understand why jokes and insults had been taken so far on social media Credit: tupisaravia/Instagram

You, however, see through this inadvertent deception and want to know what’s genuinely happening in Mexico from people who are there, boots on the ground.

We do too!

How can we combat all the false, inaccurate, ridiculous, and worthless information? Mexican Insurance Store commissioned a series of stories meant to de-bunk the mostly lousy and unreliable information out there.  Unlike most other sources, these stories and articles are real.

Explore for yourself accurate and straightforward information about traveling through Mexico. 

Go to our award-winning in-depth articles about travel in Mexico. Each story is written by a verified traveler and vetted by locals living in Mexico.

Discover the real deal about traveling by car, truck, RV, or motorcycle. When you need the best Mexican insurance for cars, you’ll find it here at Mexican Insurance Store.

Young girl capturing vacation memories of a beautiful golden sunrise by the beach at Riviera Maya in Cancun, Mexico, with her smartphone.

Mexico – So Much More Than Beaches

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Sponsored by Mexican Insurance Store’s A++ Rated Mexican Car Insurance.

Mexican Car Insurance

Really! There are amazing places in Mexico that are not beaches!

Story by Jim Foreman

When someone mentions Mexico, the first vision that comes to mind for most people is the incredible beaches. 

It’s true!  Mexico has some of the planet’s best and most idyllic beaches.  From the “Air-Conditioned” sand of Cancun to the perfect year-round weather of Ensenada, it takes no effort to imagine your favorite.

Hanging out on the beach in Cancun
hanging out at the beach in Cancun

Curiously, many travelers to Mexico don’t know much about the country beyond these desirable beach destinations.

So, you may ask, “OK, where else should I go in Mexico?”  The answer largely depends on what you like to do.

Off-Road Antics

Each year, more land in the USA is restricted for off highway use.  Misguided policies driven by feelings rather than facts or reality have led to closures of many popular US-based off highway trails. 

Fortunately, Baja California has many thousands of square miles of off-highway trails and places to roam.  Whether one is a casual explorer or a die hard rock crawler, the entire length of Baja, both north and south, is your playground. 

Off Road in Baja Mexico
A dirt road through the middle of Baja, Mexico.

You can follow the trail of either the Baja 1000 or Baja 500 or base yourself in a town for day-trips.  It doesn’t matter if you’re on a dirt bike, quad, SxS, adventure bike, 4×4 truck, or desert racer, there is something for you.

Some favorite destinations for off-road travel include San Felipe, San Quentin (Old Mill), El Rosario (Mama Espinoza’s), Cataviña, Camalu, San Ignacio, or any of the dozens of destinations that off-roaders call heaven.

If your idea of Off Road is hiking or mountain biking, “Parque Nacional Constitucion de 1857” due east of Ensenada is a wonderful destination.  A little further south “Parque Nacional Sierra de San Pedro Martir” offers stunning landscapes and spectacular vistas.

Regardless of how you adventure, Baja is safe, fun, pristine, and open.

Flexible, strong, and affordable A++ Rated Mexican car insurance for domestic Mexico travel.

Start your amazing adventure right! Quote, buy & print from anywhere in the world. Just like you want a reliable vehicle to take you on your Mexico road trip, you want reliable Mexican car insurance from Mexican Insurance Store because you never know when you may need it, and U.S. and Canadian car insurance is invalid in Mexico. We email your certificate along with important details about your coverage.

Visit New Spain’s Colonial Cities

Many people based out in the western United States think places dating back to the 1800s is old.  In Mexico, many cities date to the early 1600s and even earlier.  This is due to Spain colonizing Mexico.  Visiting one of these wonderfully preserved colonial cities is like taking a visit to Spain.

Cityscape of Guanajuato Mexico
Cityscape of Guanajuato city during the blue hour with the famous orange Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato, Mexico.

Founded in 1559, the city of Guanajuato was New Spain’s second most important city.  Today, it is notable for its beauty, history, universities, culture, and Don Quixote.  Though Miguel Cervantes never crossed the Atlantic to the new world, he would have felt right at home in Guanajuato.  Guanajuato is often and accurately compared to the city of Toledo in Spain.  Cervantes is widely celebrated in Guanajuato.  There is even a three-week Festival Internacional Cervantino celebrated throughout most of October.  Guanajuato is also Mexico’s most acclaimed artist, Diego Rivera’s birthplace. 

Guanajuato is very walkable with sights and history around every corner.  Spend several days in Guanajuato.  No matter how long you stay, it won’t be enough.


Another delightful city to visit is Zacatecas.  Capped with a natural feature called La Bufa, this historic mining town is delightful and fun-filled.  Zacatecas was a key silver mining city of New Spain.  Today, one should visit sections of the Roman-style aqueduct, and Mexico’s first bull-fighting ring.  Although it is no longer used to host bullfights, it still keeps is history and usefulness for important public and private functions.

Zacatecas and the incredible beaches.
Aerial view of Zacatecas with the Bullring and Viaduct

At the top of La Bufa is a spectacular view of the city along with a giant statue of Poncho Villa.  A convent sits at the top along with the boarding location for the Teleferrico.  The Teleferrico is a cable car that runs from the top of La Bufa to the city center and the mining museum.

Mexican Car Insurance, Zacatecas Callejoneadas - making its way through the Centro.
A Callenjoneadas making its way through the Zacatecas Centro. Photo by: Jim Foreman

Zacatecas also features a unique and wonderful celebration known as Callejoneadas.  Originated by students is a picturesque folk event, held in the streets by local students. The Callejoneadas are a walking parade during the evening lead by a loud and festive band.  People join in the parade with little clay cups to enjoy a shot of cheap mescal along the way. These parades end at different locations throughout the Centro.  Sometimes a private event, but more often it’s in one of the many plazas with music, food, and drinks on hand.  These traditional parades happen Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, every week. 

Queretaro City Viaduct at night - Mexican Insurance Store
Cityscape of Queretaro city at night with its famous Viaduct

Queretaro makes up a trifecta of spectacular colonial cities.  Most people unfamiliar with the pronunciation get the name wrong.  It’s pronounced Keh-REH-tarrow.  Always look for the accent mark. 

Queretaro is Mexico’s second richest city, following Monterrey.  Officially known as Santiago de Queretaro, the city serves as the gateway to the Sierra Gorda mountains.   It’s also home to many of the top universities in Mexico.  This means Queredtaro is loaded with culture, beauty, and history.  A favorite place for locals and visitors alike is the Plaza de Armas.  Many of the best restaurants and bars are located here.

During the day, a stroll through the many city gardens offers a safe tree-covered break from a day’s activities.

Mexico has dozens of awesome colonial cities.  Highlighted here are three of the best examples.

Pre-Historic Wonders

Chichen Itza - one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico
Chichen Itza, one of the most visited archaeological sites in Mexico.

Mexico is also home to many pre-colonial and pre-historic wonders.  Most people know that Mexico was the home to the mighty Aztec and Mayan peoples.  Beyond these two nations, hundreds of indigenous cultures thrived in Mexico.  We know this from the countless ruins left to us and those being discovered all the time. 

Mayan Archeology
Palenque - Temples of the Cross Group at Mayan ruins
Temples of the Cross Group at Mayan ruins of Palenque – Chiapas, Mexico

Forunately, many of these sights are easy and rewarding to experience.  Most visitors can quickly name the Mayan pyramid of Chichen Itza in Yucatan.  The peninsula is also home to many sites including Tulum, on the coast.  Lesser known sites including Coba, Palenque, Calakmul, Edzna, and Ek Balam also are worth visiting.  Many people wrongly believe Mayans to be wiped out.  Though the empire is long gone, there are over seven million people who live by the traditions and speak the Mayan language.  These sites can be easily reached by car or a tour group.  For the more popular sites, going on your own is much better than arriving in hordes with dozens of other coach buses full of visitors.

Pyramid of the Moon in Teotihuacan
Pyramid of the Moon in Teotihuacan, Mexico. Teotihuacan is the biggest pre-Columbian archaeological site in North America.
Aztec Archeology

If Aztec history is more to your liking, look no further than Mexico City.  The Capitol is built on top of the ruins that once formed part of the principal Aztec city, Tenochtitlan.  The ruins are easily accessible and must be visited.  Templo Mayor is found adjacent to the zocalo in the Capitol and is a notable visit.  Just outside of Mexico City you can experience Teotihuacan. It’s the largest pre-Columbian site in North America. Tenayuca, located in San Bartolo, also shouldn’t be missed.  Discovered in 1925, the name translates to Walled Place

Though much smaller, another important Aztec destination is Tepozteco, located in Morelos.  The site features a temple dedicated to the god of Pulque.  Pulque, you might ask, is an alcoholic drink made from the fermented sap of the maguey plant.  The drink features a milky unfiltered consistency with a taste of sour yeast and is making a surprising comeback in many parts of Mexico.

Guachimontones - Round pyramids in Teuchitlan Jalisco
Guachimontones – Round pyramids in Teuchitlan Jalisco Mexico

If you’re looking for a site off the beaten path, visit Los Guachimontones about 25 miles due east of Guadalajara.  These pyramids are unique as they are round.  Except for a small pyramid in Mexico City, these are the only known round pyramids in the world.  This site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has wonderful interpreters who offer insight and a glimpse into the life of those living here two thousand years ago.

Destinations Aplenty

Regardless of whether you choose an off-road, colonial, archeological, or a beach trip, Mexico remains a phenomenally rich destination.  It is very easy to travel on your own by driving, so long as you adhere to sensible safety guidelines and purchase quality Mexican car insurance.   Some simple rules include not traveling at night or straying off into unknown regions without an invitation or recommendation.  Travel with respect and an open mind.  Keep all this in mind, and you’re bound to have a rewarding and memorable experience. 

Sponsored by Mexican Insurance Store’s A++ Rated Mexican Car Insurance policies. All of these destinations are easily reachable with your car, truck, or motorcycle.  It’s easy and straightforward to drive your vehicle in Mexico.  Just don’t forget to review the many benefits of Mexican car insurance from Mexican Insurance

Rio Tampaon and Tamul waterfalls in the Huasteca Potosina, San Luis Potosí, Mexico
 Jim Foreman -

Jim Foreman is the owner and operator of Authentic Moto Travels. He leads groups of riders throughout all of Mexico on Motorcycles. Annually, Jim travels over 20,000Km throughout Mexico. Jim also writes travel articles for numerous magazines and online publications throughout the world.

Filing a Mexico Insurance Policy Claim When Things Go Wrong

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You’ve had an accident or collision. Now what?

How to best handle a collision and let your Mexico insurance policy help you.

Mexico insurance policyStory by Jim Foreman

“Everybody thinks they have great insurance until they file a claim.” –Anonymous

You are driving along in town on your way to the market. As you are stopped at a red light, a car slams into your rear bumper because the driver was texting instead of paying attention to the road.
What you do next will have a significant impact on how your day is going to go.

If your first reaction is to call 066 or 911 to summon the authorities, you are making a grave mistake. Your first call should be to your insurance company’s new claim phone number on your Mexico insurance policy to immediately send an adjuster to your location. Before you embark on your journey, you should add your Mexico insurance policy claim reporting phone number into your phone’s address book.  Also, cut out and keep the insurance ID card in your wallet. If you don’t have insurance, then you should consider getting an insurance quote before traveling.

Mexico has a different legal system than the USA or Canada. Unlike back home, the fault of an accident is assigned right then and there by a responding officer. Unless you have a video DVR that can be played back to the officer that shows up, you are likely going to be deemed at fault.

Fortunately, unless you bought your Mexico insurance policy through your home (US or Canadian) provider, all claim and incident details will remain in Mexico and will not result in a rate increase back home. If you did buy your coverage from your home auto insurance provider, you will likely see a rate increase, as it will be reported back to them.

Why will you be considered ‘At-Fault’? You ask. There are a couple of factors at play that you need to be aware of. The first is that, no matter what your financial situation, being a Gringo, you are automatically considered rich. Next, unless you or a passenger has a good command of Spanish, it may be the other person’s story of how you backed into her that is used to determine the fault.

Discover the 15 Biggest Rookie Mistakes Travelers Make in Mexico

Now, If you wisely called your insurance provider, an adjuster will arrive on site. About 95% of any hassle disappears immediately. They will listen to what you have to say and work with the authorities to get your side of the story, front, and center. Additionally, they will confirm to the authorities that you have an active policy and do not need to be placed in jail until you make full restitution.

THROWN IN JAIL??? WHAT? Yes, in Mexico if you are involved in a collision and deemed at fault, you will be forced to make immediate restitution based on an amount estimated by the authorities. If you do not have up to $300,000USD in cash with you, you will be jailed until you or your family pays the restitution to the assigned victim. Think of this when some idiot tries to say you don’t need a Mexico insurance policy.

If you disagree with the officer’s verdict, you will be placed in jail pending a hearing before a judge within about 24 hours. You will be able to plead your case and see if the verdict changes. Usually not.
With the adjuster on-site, you will be given automatic bail to not have to go to jail, and you will have an advocate on your side trying to look out for your and ultimately the insurance company’s interests.

Starting The Right Way

First things first, you have to buy a quality policy that will actually cover you in the event of a collision or damage to your vehicle. Not all insurance providers are the same. If you are shopping for the cheapest policy, you will inevitably get exactly what you pay for. Coverage will be minimal if any at all, and you will be screwed six ways until Sunday.

Chubb A++ CoverageWhen purchasing your coverage, a reputable broker will never offer or sell these near-worthless policies. Stick with a policy from Chubb, Mapfre, or HDI. Between them, it’s this writer’s opinion that Chubb is best and offers more useful benefits.

Buying a Mexico Insurance Policy

When entering the details for your quote and ultimately your policy, be entirely truthful. Indicate any lienholder, and make sure to accurately indicate if you have a full-coverage policy at home. Yes, it matters.

Surprisingly, people always ask if they should buy liability only or get full coverage. This is quickly answered by the policy one keeps at home. If your home policy is full coverage, then get full coverage in Mexico. This is especially true if you have a lienholder. If you have an older vehicle and are okay walking away from it if it’s totaled then purchase a liability only.

Next, use KBB or NADA Guides to determine the value of your car, truck, RV, or motorcycle. Whatever the highest retail amount is listed, that’s what you should enter as the value for your vehicle. This is the same scale that the insurer will use to determine the value of your vehicle if it needs to be totaled.

Look carefully at all the policy offerings. Unless you are staying in the country for an extended period such as winter or have a second home there, you will probably want to repair your vehicle back in the United States. Compare the towing coverage, and most importantly, the labor rate limits. Each program is different.  This can mean a considerable difference in possible out-of-pocket expenses.

Once you’ve determined the level of Mexico insurance policy coverage you are comfortable with, purchase the policy. When you do, print out two copies and save the .pdf file on your phone (iBooks or Documents Folder), and to open it you can use software like Soda PDF which is great for this. One hard copy should be kept in your glove compartment, the other should be held with you, probably folded in your luggage or with other important papers.

As mentioned earlier, enter the phone number to file a claim in your phone address book along with the policy number in the ‘notes’ section.

How to dial in Mexico

How to dial in Mexico

Dialing a number is a little different in Mexico so make sure you are familiar with this process. Try to call the number to report a claim, when you are in Mexico. It’s best to know you have it correctly when your calm and relaxed rather than when you’re in the middle of a crash scene and nervous.

Few people think of these things until they are in the middle of a difficult situation. Hopefully, you will never need to use the insurance, but if you do, your use of it will be a huge factor in the ease or frustration in getting help.

After the Incident

After the insurance adjuster confirms to the authorities you have proper insurance and the scene is cleared, you have the option to take your vehicle to a nearby repair facility, or to take your vehicle back to the United States. Your decision may be based on how far south you are.

$1000 USD tow coverage will pay to have your vehicle towed to the border from as far south as Mexico City or Guadalajara. It won’t be immediate, but it will eventually get there. There are many highly reputable body shops South of the Border. If you are near a big or capital city, consider using your policy to have your vehicle repaired there. If you are driving a unique vehicle, parts will take much longer to get. It may be best to transport it back to the states. This is something you can work out calmly with your insurance company.

If you elect to have the vehicle worked on in the USA, Chubb can handle the claim from Mexico, or you can opt for a Third Party Administrator (TPA) in the USA to finalize the claim and payouts. If you use Mapfre, your claim will be transitioned to the US-based office for handling. Be patient and work with them, much like you would when dealing with a US claim.

In most cases, the money for the repair will be quickly wired or sent out via check quite quickly. Usually, this happens within two to three weeks.

When Things Go Wrong - Filing a Claim

When Things Go Wrong – Filing a Claim

Additional Hints

If you have full coverage and have damage caused by vandalism or without another party such as sideswiping a wall or backing into a stationary pole, wait until you are in a bigger city to file a claim and have an adjuster come out.

For minor damage, it will go a lot faster and be much more pleasant if you can wait.  Call from a bigger city to have the adjuster come out, even if it’s a couple of days later.

In rural areas, it may take 4-6 hours for the adjuster to show up for your claim.  Collisions in bigger towns with multiple parties involved take priority.

When calling to file a claim, you may have to call a phone number with an automated menu in Spanish. Mapfre policies, in particular, do this. You may need to ask a native Spanish speaker for help or practice understanding which number to press to get to auto claims. If you understand the numbers 1-10 in Spanish, you should be mostly there. When someone does answer, kindly ask, “Habla usted Inglés?” Usually, they will have someone who can work with you and understand English. Spellings will be much more difficult.  Ask if you can email or use WhatsApp to send the names and spellings. Nearly all Mexicans use WhatsApp for communication as doing so doesn’t go against data usage with most Mexican mobile plans.

As mentioned earlier, the key to having a positive experience in a difficult situation is to have quality coverage from a reputable source. All of the providers offered up by Mexican Insurance Store are top rated and high quality (A to A++ Rated).

To see your options and compare coverage, start by clicking the orange “Get A Quote” button on the upper right of this page.

About the Author

Jim Foreman has traveled well over 75,000 miles in Mexico. Often, Jim goes by motorcycle but also travels extensively on four wheels.
Jim also runs a motorcycle travel company taking riders South of the Border.

Jim has filed personal claims with both Chubb and Mapfre for minor damage to his vehicles. Both were handled quickly and professionally. In most cases, with far less hassle than when filing a US-based claim.

Filing A Claim ©2018 Mexican Insurance Store.