The Differences Between Mexican and U.S. Auto Insurance

The Differences Between Mexican and U.S. Auto Insurance

Mexican auto insurance is legally required if you’re going to be driving across the border, even if you’re using a rental vehicle. But enrolling in a foreign plan can be confusing and intimidating if you don’t know what to expect. To help you navigate the cultural changes, we outlined some of the main differences between Mexican and U.S. auto insurance.  

Liability

Unlike in the States, Mexican auto insurance liability doesn’t cover injuries per person and per accident. Instead, all liability charges are lumped together and are determined by the Mexican state. If an accident results in a death, the Mexican state in which the accident occurred will set both the criminal and civil liability charges. These often include funeral expenses for the deceased and a high rate of compensation for their family. Depending on the state, a judge may determine the final amount.

You should also keep in mind that liability coverage isn’t automatically included in Mexican insurance plans like it is in the U.S. As such, you should always make sure to add liability coverage to your plan.

Policy coverage

Instead of looking into the risk factors of each driver—such as a history of accidents or DUIs—Mexican auto insurance links policy coverage to the vehicle itself. As such, if you’re driving a model that has a higher risk of being stolen according to Mexico’s data, your premium will likely be higher. Furthermore, because coverage doesn’t pertain to the driver, you can’t receive any safe driver discounts. If you’re renting a car, you also won’t be able to change vehicles during your time in Mexico, as you’ll only be covered for the specific car that you registered through your insurance company.

Mexico insurance policies are also far less broad than U.S. plans. Rather than providing umbrella coverage for all risks, the insurance company will list in its policy the specific risks it covers. If the risk isn’t listed, it won’t be covered.

Pricing

In the United States, prices and standards for auto insurance companies are regulated by certain laws. However, these regulations are much looser in Mexico, so prices on policies can range radically depending on a variety of factors. To protect yourself from getting scammed by an unreliable insurance company with attractively low rates, it’s important to do your research on the company ahead of time.

If you’re planning on traveling south of the border, registering for auto insurance is now easier than ever. With Lewis and Lewis Insurance Agency, you can effortlessly register for Mexican car insurance online today.

7 of the Most Important Safety Tips for Driving in Mexico

Driving in any foreign land can be dangerous. Each country has its own unique legal processes, road conditions, and safety rules, and Mexico isn’t any different. As such, it is important to take the time to learn Mexico’s rules of the road and general safety guidelines that may differ from your own country. If you don’t, you could end up in serious legal, financial, or even medical trouble. These safety tips for driving in Mexico will help you reduce your chance of having an accident as well as prepare you for what to expect if one occurs.

Take toll roads

In Mexico, there are two main types of highways—the toll or “cuota” roads and the free or “libre” roads. While driving on toll roads in Mexico may be more expensive, they are much safer than the free roads. Free roads often wind through towns, where there is a lot more traffic, which can increase your chance of getting into a dangerous collision. Furthermore, free roads are often riddled potholes and, occasionally, wandering livestock. Toll roads are wider and kept in better condition. Plus, the Green Angles monitor the toll roads. Similar to the AAA in the U.S., the Green Angles are a bilingual group that patrols major highways in Mexico and provides help to drivers who need assistance. As such, it is much safer to stick to toll roads when driving in Mexico, especially at night with reduced visibility.

Avoid driving at night

Driving at night in Mexico can be dangerous. According to Trip Savvy, “road fatalities are far higher at night in Mexico than by day.” Due to the decreased visibility, it can be hard to see tire-popping potholes, sharp turns, or even livestock that wander onto the road—a relatively common occurrence in Mexico. Plus, the cover of nightfall provides a prime opportunity for criminals such as robbers or kidnappers to strike. If you have an issue with your car that requires you to pull over on the side of the road, you become a sitting target. To reduce the risk of these potential dangers, it is much safer to drive during the daytime.

Watch out for speed bumps and potholes

Unexpected bumps or holes in the road can wreak havoc on your vehicle. Unfortunately, these are very common on roads in Mexico unless you are driving on a toll highway. Since the government doesn’t regulate many roads in Mexico, potholes can reach incredible sizes—some the size of half a car. If you aren’t paying attention, these holes could put your vehicle out of commission. Additionally, it is important to keep an eye out for speed bumps. Known as topes, Mexican speed bumps are far larger than U.S. speed bumps and are much harder to spot. Sometimes, warning signs with an image of two black bumps on them indicate their location; however, many are often left unmarked. As such, it is important to keep an eye out for them, especially when entering or leaving towns.

Familiarize yourself with Mexican road notifications

While driving laws in Mexico and the U.S. aren’t that different, they do have a few dissimilarities worth noting. One of the main differences that drivers should acknowledge is that speed limits and distance markers in Mexico follow the metric system rather than the imperials system. In addition, the majority of road signs in Mexico read Spanish. As such, it is important to familiarize yourself with the appearance of Mexican traffic signs so that you don’t miss any important road notifications.

Get insured

When driving in an unfamiliar country, your risk of having an accident goes up. Thus, it is important—and legally required—to have Mexican automobile insurance. In the case of an accident, failure to provide proof of valid insurance could result in hefty fines that you have to pay out-of-pocket; officers may even detain you in jail until you settle your case. Even if you have U.S. insurance, it is important to note that most companies don’t provide coverage in Mexico, and those that do often have strict limitations and restrictions. Furthermore, unless you are able to prove your coverage or have a local insurance representative, your insurance may not be honored by the Mexican authorities.

As such, the safest option is to enroll in an insurance plan through a licensed Mexican insurance company such as Lewis and Lewis Insurance Agency. For a great price, our plans provide a wide range of coverage for various tourist vehicles throughout the entire Republic of Mexico.

Carry proper documentation and contact information

In the case of an accident, it is important to be prepared. When driving, you should always keep your passport, driver’s license, visas, proof of insurance, and other relevant documents in your vehicle. You should also have important contact information written down, such as Mexico’s emergency number—066—and the number of your insurance agency. This way, you are able to promptly receive the assistance that you need. Another useful phone number to know is the Green Angel contact line. In the case of an emergency, call 078, and the Green Angels will provide free mechanical, towing, and first aid assistance on Mexican toll roads.

Know what to do in case of an accident

When an accident occurs, there is a specific reporting process that all drivers should follow. After ensuring that everyone involved in the accident is safe and taken care of, you should then move your vehicle out of the line of oncoming traffic. Then, exit your vehicle and call the police as well as your Mexican insurance company’s 800 number so that you can leave your information. Your insurance agency will likely send a claims adjuster immediately to document the claim at the scene and arrange for a towing service if you need one. While waiting for the police and your insurance agent to arrive, never leave the scene of the accident or your vehicle unattended. Once they arrive, you can complete an accident report and file your claim. Regardless of the size of your accident, you should always file a report before leaving the country.

When driving in a foreign country, it is important to be prepared. By following these safety tips for driving in Mexico, you can reduce your risk of getting into a traffic altercation abroad and avoid legal and financial trouble if one occurs.

4 of the Main Benefits of Boat Insurance

4 of the Main Benefits of Boat Insurance

Boat owners are not always legally required to carry boating insurance, but there are many reasons why having coverage is beneficial. Much like auto insurance, boating insurance is tailored to the specific needs of the owner. Coverage can help protect you from financial loss in the event of theft, vandalism, or an unexpected accident that causes damage to you, your boat, or others. If you’re still questioning whether to get coverage or not, check out these main benefits of boat insurance.

Investment protection

Purchasing a boat is often a large investment, so it’s important to have financial protection in case an accident, such as a storm, crash, or fire, causes damage to people or your boat. Some homeowner’s insurance policies can provide protection for boats, but most plans generally only extend coverage to boats under 16 feet that are often valued at just $1,000. The more your boat is worth, the more important it is to invest in an “all risk” insurance policy that covers a broad range of potential misfortunes.

Medical coverage

Thousands of boating accidents occur each year, many of which result in injuries. The cost of medical bills to treat such wounds quickly adds up, especially if multiple people are harmed. One of the main benefits of boating insurance is that it can help you cover hospital bills for watercraft-related injuries.

Protection from lawsuits

If you’re at fault for a boating accident that injures a passenger, a swimmer, or damages another boat, you could find yourself in the middle of a costly lawsuit. Boating accidents can be very expensive, so it’s always worth investing in boating insurance to help cover medical, legal, and property damage costs.

Emergency assistance and towing

If your engine gives out, or you run out of gas, you may need to call a professional towing service to get you. These services don’t come cheap, though, so it’s important to invest in a quality boat insurance policy that will help cover these costs.

To start receiving Mexican boat insurance, you can get a free quote from Lewis and Lewis Insurance Agency today.