Many travelers wonder if they need Mexican auto insurance, and the simple answer is yes. Mexican law requires that out-of-country drivers must be financially liable for any physical damage or bodily injury they might cause. Unless you have Mexican auto insurance, the only way to prove this financial responsibility is to have a pre-arranged bond with a Mexican bank or cash on your person in an amount large enough to cover liabilities, which can be as high as $333,000 with the new death liability in Baja. The easiest and cheapest way to to meet the Mexican proof of liability is to purchase Mexican auto insurance through Discover Baja.
If you have an accident or are stopped by the police for a vehicle-related problem and you do not have Mexican auto insurance for your car or vehicle, you can be arrested, have your vehicle impounded and be heavily penalized for violating the law. This is in addition to being liable for any damages you may have caused in an accident. Mexican law considers all traffic accidents to be both civil and criminal offenses, unlike the U.S. where they are considered only civil offenses. In Mexico, you are guilty until proven innocent – you don’t want to spend your Baja vacation behind bars because you didn’t get Mexican auto insurance.
Even if your U.S. car insurance policy covers you in Mexico, you still need Mexican auto insurance for your vehicle. This is because Mexican law does not recognize U.S. or Canadian insurance, making your non-Mexican auto insurance virtually useless in Mexico. Even if your U.S. auto insurance policy provides coverage up to 50 or 75 miles into Mexico, this still DOES NOT fulfill the requirement of Mexican law for proof of liability underwritten by a Mexican company. That U.S. policy cannot pay damages that you would legally owe to others if you were in an accident and caused damage to another vehicle.
Because Mexican law requires that a driver be able to show proof of liability for any physical and bodily injuries caused by an accident, all drivers must have at least liability coverage from a Mexican insurance provider. Many U.S. and Canadian citizens, as well as their insurance agents, are not aware of the Mexican laws requiring Mexican auto insurance, causing much confusion about this issue. The law is very clear – in order to drive in Mexico, you must at least have Mexican liability coverage, underwritten by a Mexican carrier.
If you have an accident, even a fender-bender, the police will immediately ask to see your driver’s license, car registration and your Mexican auto insurance policy. You can be arrested, have your vehicle impounded and be heavily penalized if you do not have proof of at least Mexican liability coverage. If you are able to get your car back to the U.S., you may then make a claim with your U.S. insurance company for any damage done to your car. But while in Mexico, you need, as a minimum, to have a Mexican liability policy.
It’s always safer to cover all your bases by purchasing a full coverage Mexican policy for your vehicle. With the extremely low rates for Discover Baja’s exclusive 120-day tourist full-coverage policies, you can travel with the peace of mind of knowing that you are well-covered in the event of an accident.