Does Your Car Insurance Cover You in Mexico?

Road trip at sunset

With nonessential travel to Mexico reopening at the end of 2021, you may be planning a road trip south of the border. Before you go, take steps to make sure you don't end up fined or worse for violating car insurance laws as a tourist driving in Mexico.

Mexico has strict car insurance policies that tourists need to meet when driving there. Mexico requires third-party liability for all drivers within the country provided by an insurance company licensed to sell insurance in Mexico. Recommended coverage minimums fall around $300,000. Read on to find out what car insurance you need to drive your car in Mexico.

Does My Car Insurance Policy Cover Mexico?

More than likely, your regular car insurance will not cover you in Mexico. That's because insurance providers must be licensed to supply insurance coverage that meets Mexico's requirements for tourists. However, your insurance company may be able to connect you with partners that are licensed to provide insurance there.

Your car insurance policy may note that you have some limited coverage in Mexico. But this is not likely the third-party liability that Mexico requires. Instead, it's probably an extension of your collision and comprehensive coverage that applies while you are in Mexico, often for a limited number of miles. You will still need to add a satisfactory tourist liability policy for your trip.

Which Insurance Companies Offer Mexico Policies?

You don't have to get your Mexican tourist auto policy from the same company as your regular auto insurance, but it may simplify the process or offer you connections to partners licensed in Mexico. Alternatively, go directly through a broker that specializes in selling car insurance to cover tourists in Mexico.

Some insurance providers that can help you get coverage in Mexico include:

Allstate

Partnering with Mexican insurance companies, Allstate can help travelers set up tourist insurance for a trip over the Mexican border for customizable lengths of time. In addition to required third-party liability coverage, Allstate recommends their clients look for policies that include:

  • Bodily injury
  • Medical payments
  • Legal assistance
  • Roadside assistance
  • Medical evacuation
  • Loan or lease payoff

Many of the recommendations encompass issues that can arise from getting into an accident in a foreign country. If affordable, getting coverage for legal assistance after an accident or roadside assistance in an unfamiliar place may be wise.

Progressive

Progressive can help you get auto insurance for Mexico through its partner MexPro, which offers basic, standard or extended coverage for driving in Mexico:

Basic:

  • Third-party liability
  • Travel assistance
  • Medical payments
  • Legal assistance

Standard (in addition to Basic):

  • Collision
  • Theft

Extended (in addition to Basic and Standard):

  • Vandalism
  • Partial theft
  • United States repair
  • Fixed deductibles

Progressive suggests basing your coverage choice on the amount of time you plan to be in Mexico as well as the age of your vehicle. Newer cars or cars that will spend several months in Mexico may do better with Extended coverage. For cars over 20 years old, only liability insurance is available.

Liberty Mutual

Also partnering with broker MexPro, Liberty Mutual offers coverage for tourists to Mexico in a customizable format that lets drivers pick their coverage based on the insurance plan. To get a quote from Liberty Mutual, drivers should have the following information ready:

  • Dates of travel
  • Vehicle make, model and year
  • Vehicle value
  • Tow-behind item information

Liberty Mutual suggests that its customers purchase at least $300,000 in third-party liability and up to $500,000 if possible. This is due to a change it says has increased the average death liability in Mexico from around $50,000 to about $300,000.

Coverage can be had within the same day and proof of insurance printed at home.

Geico

You can add a short- or extended-term tourist car insurance policy from Geico to cover your car when visiting Mexico. These policies can cover you on a day-to-day basis or for months at a time, depending on your needs. Coverage options include:

  • Physical damage
  • Liability
  • Vandalism
  • Partial theft
  • Medical payments
  • Roadside assistance

When getting a quote from Geico for Mexico tourist coverage, be ready to provide your current U.S. auto policy information as well as the dates and destination of your trip. The company will also need to know your license plate number, make and model of your car, vehicle identification number and valuation on your car.

How to Get Insurance for Traveling in Mexico

Whether you work with your existing car insurance provider or go through another company or broker to get car insurance for visiting Mexico, you'll need to sign up for a specific policy just like your existing car insurance. The policy will be based on the minimum required insurance in Mexico—third-party liability—for the amount of time you plan to spend in the country.

There may be a few additional considerations, depending on the situation you need car insurance for, however:

  • Do you still owe on your car? There may be some extra hoops to jump through if you're still subject to your car's financing agreement. You'll likely need an affidavit from the lienholder saying that it's OK for you to bring the car to Mexico. Likewise, if you're leasing your vehicle, bring a copy of your lease.
  • Are you getting a rental car in Mexico? If you plan to leave your car at home and rent a car once you arrive, make sure you purchase the required third-party liability insurance through the rental company. Rental companies may try to package it with other types of coverage—such as a loss damage waiver—which are typically optional.

If you hope to use rental car insurance provided by your travel credit card, be warned: It will likely not apply to rentals in Mexico, as they need insurance from Mexico-licensed providers. But a travel credit card may provide other perks that make it worth bringing along on your trip, such as extra rewards earning on your flight, hotel or car rental purchases. You can learn more by checking out Experian's best travel credit cards.

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