As we previously discussed, there’s certainly more to Mexico than meets the eye. This country is packed with unique and diverse attractions scattered throughout the country, from the beaches along the Pacific Coast to the Mayan ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula. If you’re a tourist or business traveler on a tight schedule, driving gives you more freedom and flexibility. Though Mexican roads have a less-than-stellar reputation, it’s not as bad as pop culture makes it seem. You not only cover more ground in less time, but you can drive to “off the beaten path” destinations that can’t otherwise be reached. And let’s face it, what better way to enjoy the coastlines of Cancun, Los Cabos, and Tulum then by car? While driving in Mexico is quite straightforward, there’s a catch: Mexican car insurance is not only necessary but mandatory.
But don’t let that deter you from driving in Mexico! Simply keep calm and read on to arm yourself and learn more about Mexican auto insurance and why you need it.
Why You Need Mexican Car Insurance
Before you start thinking this is some money-grabbing scheme targeting foreigners, all drivers are required to have liability insurance. Unfortunately, the Mexican legal system is much less lenient if an accident occurs. When it comes to driving, Murphy’s Law is a very real threat, no matter how carefully you drive. If you get into a car accident while in Mexico, there may be trouble even if authorities can’t determine who’s at fault. Mexican authorities can legally arrest you and impound your car.
If you’re at fault, you’ll be detained until money matters are settled. Herein comes the car protection plans, which ensures that there’s a proper way to pay the damages. Therefore, mandatory car insurance is simply “proof of financial responsibility” to ensure that damages during an accident can be paid. Without insurance, paying for the damages will take longer to resolve and certainly put a damper on your vacation.
Renting a Car in Mexico? You need car rental coverage
For those that live north of the border, you’ll find that renting a car in Mexico is no different than renting a car in the US. Same as in the US, you need to arm yourself with a valid credit card, driver’s license, and passport. You can also book in advance online or through the App to get a better rate. The only difference is the mandatory car rental insurance in Mexico.
Mandatory: Third Party Insurance (TI)
When you rent a car with Sixt in Mexico, we offer a Third-Party Insurance at check-out. This is basic personal liability insurance that will satisfy the mandatory insurance requirement. In case of an accident, this covers personal injury claims or material damages you cause to the other driver. However, it does not cover injuries you may suffer or damage done to the rental car. If you decide to rent with another car rental provider, review the terms and conditions before booking. Oftentimes, this is automatically included during bookings, but if in doubt, check it.
Protection coverage for the vehicle rented includes Third Party Liability with a maximum cover for personal injuries and material damages.
Excluded from the protection is the use of the vehicle for the transport of dangerous goods. All protection as part of the rental contract will become void, in particular, if an unauthorized driver has used the vehicle or if the driver of the vehicle does not possess the required driver’s license at the time of the event giving rise to claim.
Additional Peace of Mind Options
In case you need some extra protection, you can also opt for additional protection options. These are not mandatory, so you are free to add them for your own peace of mind while driving through Mexico.
- Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI): This is additional liability insurance that protects the renter against claims made by a third party for -bodily injury- and/or property damages sustained due to an accident while the renter is operating a -rental vehicle-.
- Loss Damage Waiver (LDW): Does not hold the driver accountable in case of damage or theft. Some major credit card companies or your auto policy insurance can cover rentals in Mexico. However, before you decline this, be sure to double-check it.
- Personal Accident Protection: This is monetary compensation in the event of invalidity or death of the driver. If your health insurance doesn’t include ambulance, doctors, and hospital, you might find this useful.
Driving to Mexico? You Still Need Insurance
Unfortunately, regardless of how comprehensive your US insurance policy is, it won’t cover you while driving in Mexico. Therefore, you must buy a separate insurance cover if you cross the border in your own car. This liability insurance must be purchased from a company that is licensed in Mexico. Please note that it must be specifically for foreign-plated cars.
Luckily, this coverage can be purchased online through a trusted car insurance company before your trip. If you’re insured by one of the big car insurance players, they usually have partnerships with Mexican insurance companies that specialize in international car insurance policies. If you’re making a spontaneous trip, you can also purchase it at the border, but at a more expensive rate.
As you can see, while car insurance in Mexico is mandatory, there’s nothing to stress about. Of course, it’s easier to simply rent a car that includes this legally required liability coverage rather than insuring your own vehicle. If that’s the case, you’re free to choose from one of our many branches across Mexico and take to the roads to discover everything this country has to offer.