Auto Insurance Coverage in Mexico: Does your Insurance Policy Travel With You From the U.S.?
You may be among the many United States residents who travel to Mexico whether for business, pleasure, or a combination of the two. One frequently asked question is, Does my auto insurance cover me in Mexico? The answer to that varies depending on your state and your insurance carrier.
Most auto insurance policies do not provide coverage when traveling to Mexico. If they do, the coverage may extend only a few miles past the U.S. border into our neighbor to the south. If they do offer this insurance, it is important to be aware that once past the specified number of miles, coverage will no longer apply.
Is your car financed?
Be aware that if a bank or other lending institution has financed your vehicle, usually, in order to cross over to Mexico, a permit from the finance company needs to be presented at the Mexican border. The vehicle owner will need Mexican auto insurance in order to take his or her financed car out of the U.S. The reason for the requirement is to protect the vehicle in which the finance company has a financial interest, in case of a loss or accident during travel.
You must request a permit from your finance company to take the car across the border. Contact your finance company’s customer service department and ask them what information is required for the permit to take the vehicle to Mexico. Usually, you will need to write them a letter and include:
• Travel Dates - departure and return
• Destination - phone numbers and address
• Fax number or address of where you want the permit sent
• A copy of a Mexican auto insurance policy
Purchasing Mexican auto insurance
Some American insurance companies sell Mexican auto insurance separately, some will add it on to your existing policy, and some do not carry it at all. You can purchase a policy online and even receive instant proof of coverage depending on the carrier.
The prices for Mexican auto insurance vary, but are based on a few factors:
• How long you are going to be in Mexico;
• What part of Mexico you are traveling to;
• Year, make and model of the vehicle you are taking;
• Whether you are pulling anything such as a trailer;
• Names of those driving and their information, (age, driving history, etc);
• What coverage you are requesting.
Be sure to take care of these details well in advance of your trip so you are not scrambling at the last minute to get all of your documents together. The border crossing will go more smoothly. You’ll travel worry-free and enjoy your trip to Mexico.
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