Mexican Car Insurance
Mexico does not recognize foreign insurance. When you drive into Mexico, Mexican auto insurance is at least as important as your passport. At the busier crossings, you can get it at insurance “drive-ins” just north of the border. The many Mexican auto insurance companies are government-regulated; their numbers keep prices and services competitive.
Sanborn’s Mexico Insurance (Sanborn’s Mexico, P.O. Box 310, McAllen, TX 78502, toll-free 800/222-0158, tel. 956/686-3601, www.sanbornsinsurance.com), one of the best-known agencies, certainly seems to be trying hardest. It offers a number of books and services, including the Recreational Guide to Mexico, a good road map, “smile-by-mile” Travelog guide to “every highway in Mexico,” hotel discounts, and more. Much of the above is available to members of Sanborn’s Sombrero Club.
Alternatively, look into Vagabundos del Mar (tel. 800/474-2252, www.vagabundos.com), an RV-oriented Mexico travel club offering memberships that include a newsletter, caravaning opportunites, discounts, insurance, and much more.
Mexican car insurance runs from a bare-bones rate of about $6 a day for minimal $10,000/$50,000 (property damage/medical payments) coverage to a more typical $12 a day for more complete $20,000/$100,000 coverage. On the same scale, insurance for a $50,000 RV and equipment runs about $30 a day. These daily rates decrease sharply for six-month or one-year policies, which run from about $200 for the minimum to $400–1,600 for complete, high-end coverage.
If you get broken glass, personal effects, and legal expenses coverage with these rates, you’re lucky. Mexican policies don’t usually cover them.
You should get something for your money, however. The deductibles should be no more than $300–500, the public liability per occurrence/medical payments per person/per occurrence should be about double the ($25,000/$25,000/$50,000) legal minimum, and you should be able to get your car fixed in the United States and receive payment in U.S. dollars for losses. If not, shop around.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Oaxaca, 5th edition