Driving anywhere means you must take care of yourself, your car, passengers and others on the road. Paying attention to the road and keeping your car in prime working order are a couple of ways to do so. However, one of the most important safety mechanisms is effective car insurance. Its financial support can pay for damage to your vehicle, injuries as well as damage you cause others. No one should go without this protection.
Visiting an unfamiliar location only augments the reason you need coverage. That’s because if you don’t know the area, you might have a higher chance of making a mistake that leads to an accident. Driving to a foreign country, like from the U.S. to Mexico, increases your chances of having wrecks or other problems. Therefore, you must make sure you have Mexican car insurance.
The Basics of Mexican Car Insurance
Don’t believe that Mexican car insurance differs from American coverage in name only. It’s based on an entirely different market and regulations. Therefore, American drivers must thoroughly understand why they need this protection.
Mexican coverage works in conjunction with law to make sure you have protection. Because Mexican insurance law differs from its American counterpart, American auto policies become void when a driver enters Mexico. Nevertheless, Mexican law prohibits most drivers, including tourist drivers, from driving without insurance. Therefore, Americans must get a Mexican policy to cover them for the duration of their trip.
The process for getting coverage is often simple, however. Multiple Mexican insurance companies work with American agents to distribute policies to travelers. Usually, travelers can make these policies active only for the duration of their trip. Therefore, you won’t wind up paying more for a policy you’ll use only for a short period of time.
Setting Up Your Coverage
As you plan a trip to Mexico, one of your priorities should be to get a Mexican car insurance policy. In some cases, you can buy a policy at or near the border. If your carrier has a partnership with a Mexican insurer, they will likely be able to point you in the correct direction to get coverage. Talk to your insurance agent to find out how to get the best coverage.
Once you contact a Mexican insurance agent, the process will likely look familiar. They will ask you various questions about the value of your vehicle, as well as your driving habits. Like with American insurance, these statistics will help your agent set your premiums. They'll also help your agent determine how much protection you need.
In many cases, Mexican policies will very closely mirror American policies. However, each element of coverage will have different applications and interpretations. Some of the following elements of coverage you must carry. Other elements you will find optional.
- Liability Insurance: This coverage will help you pay for damage you might cause to others if you are at fault in an accident. Often, Mexican policies offer lump sums of liability coverage. This is different from American policies, which often divide liability coverage into bodily injury and property damage coverage.
- Legal Coverage: Remember, Mexican law differs from American law. One way is through how the authorities determine fault in accidents. The Mexican police might have the right to arrest you until they determine who was at fault. Furthermore, you might have to stay in custody until you prove you can pay the damages (with insurance). Your legal coverage might provide you with a lawyer, not to mention bail and other court bills.
- Medical Payments Insurance: This protection might cover some or all your medical bills.
- Uninsured/underinsured coverage: In case another at-fault driver does not have adequate insurance, this protection might cover your own damage.
- Collision coverage: Pays for damage to your vehicle that results in an accident.
- Theft and vandalism protection: Should your car get stolen, you can use this coverage to cover the damage or replace the car.
- U.S. repair costs: Following an accident, you might want to have your car repaired at a familiar place. This might require you to take the car back to the U.S. Your policy might provide the available funds.
- Travel assistance: Provides help with various hurdles, like arranging new travel following a wreck, or receiving embassy services.
If you experience a wreck or other problem in Mexico, your policy will prove instrumental. It’ll help you settle the issue in a much more convenient manner. Never get behind the wheel without having your insurance information in your car. If you ever get stopped by the police, or experience a wreck, you can provide the proof that you have coverage.
Never wait to call your insurer following an accident. You should get in touch with them right from the scene. So, you’ll have the appropriate protection and guidance throughout the process.