Why do I need coverage?
Mexico has traffic laws that are very similar to those in the United States. It is the application of these laws, however, that accounts for the major differences, and is the reason that you need insurance from a provider The law in Mexico is based on the Napoleonic Code, where guilt prevails over the presumption of innocence, whereas in the U.S., the law is based on the English Common Law, where innocence prevails over the presumption of guilt.
Mexico does not make automobile insurance compulsory; however, thanks to the Internet, there is now this opportunity to purchase online insurance quickly and easily. The basic difference between Mexico's and the United State’s financial responsibility law is that anyone involved in an accident in Mexico must have the means to respond to damages or injuries for which they may be responsible. In Mexico, this would be in the form of either cash or a Mexico auto insurance policy.
IMPORTANT BAJA UPDATE: Effective January 1, 2012, auto liability insurance is MANDATORY throughout Baja California. Until now, acquiring Mexican auto insurance was strongly advisable if you intended on driving in Baja….as of 1/1/12, it’s a MANDATORY REQUIREMENT. Article 18 of the vehicle code establishes that all cars in Baja must have liability insurance, even foreign plated vehicles.
What does insurance cost?
Proudly representing Qualitas Compania de Seguros, Mexico's leading Tourist Auto Insurance carrier, we offer Quick Quote on this Home page (above) for a simple and easy calculation of our low rates.
IMPORTANT: Be advised, at or about 25 days of coverage a 6 MONTH or ANNUAL policy makes far greater economic sense. The way Qualitas rates are structured, a policy term in excess of 25 days or so will be more cost effective with a 6 MONTH or ANNUAL policy. Our Quick Quote is designed to give you the daily quote but also automatically programmed to reflect the 6 MONTH and ANNUAL quote, enabling you to see all your options in one easy glance.
What if I did not buy an adequate number of days of insurance?
If after your policy transaction is completed you realize you made an error and need additional time of coverage, you have two options: 1) acquire another policy for the additional day(s), and make certain it starts at the exact hour and day your first policy ends, so there is no lapse in coverage; OR 2) buy another policy for the entire adequate period of coverage and call 800-466-7227 to authorize our cancellation (and refund) of your first policy.
Is it necessary to name every conceivable driver on the policy?
No, however, it is suggested you, at least, name the registered owner. Also, if the registered owner will not be accompanying the vehicle to Mexico, it is important to name at least the primary driver, or anyone who will likely always be with the vehicle. Our policy enrollment provides space to name two individuals. Again though, it is not necessary to name every conceivable driver.
Can I buy the insurance in Mexico?
Coverage is available in Mexico, but it is risky to purchase it after you have crossed the border. First of all, you must drive your vehicle to the insurance office, and until you reach the office, you are obviously driving without insurance. Second of all, in the case of a dispute with your claim or your agent’s conduct, you have no formal recourse against the agent in Mexico, as you would against the agent in the U.S. (customarily through state regulatory agency, such as Department of Insurance).
Will I go to jail if I have an accident?
If serious injury has not occurred, a insurance policy might help reduce the red tape and allow the motorist to be on his or her way sooner rather than later. However, the policy should not be construed as your “ticket out of jail”.
Some visitors to Mexico are unable to understand why motorists are temporarily incarcerated in Mexico following an automobile accident where injuries or deaths occurred. In the first place, serious injuries or deaths have been committed against innocent persons due to someone's negligence. It is up to the Mexican authorities to determine who the negligent person was. While that investigation is in progress, all drivers involved in the accident must be detained.
Any person involved in the commission of a crime in Mexico (and I have stated that an automobile accident in Mexico is regarded as a penal offense) must be detained in a secure place to prevent their escape. The only secure place is a holding cell and, therefore, the motorist might find himself or herself detained, as he or she awaits the investigation of his or her involvement. A visitor, if allowed to remain free, may very well flee across the border. This is Mexican law, and foreign citizenship offers no special rights in Mexico.
What are some other important things to know?
The policy is null and void if the driver responsible for the accident was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The policy is null and void if the driver does not have a valid drivers license.
A towed vehicle must be described on the policy; otherwise it voids all coverage in case of an accident.
Should a claim be presented, the insured must declare the existence of any other insurance with another company covering the same risk.
All claims must be reported in Mexico before insured returns to U.S. Failing to do so subjects the claim to a denial by the company.
In case of total theft of the vehicle, the owner of the vehicle or the person who had possession of the vehicle must file an Auto Theft report in person with Mexican authorities.
In case of an impounded vehicle, the registered owner of the vehicle is the only one authorized to sign for its release, and it must be done in person.