Is Insurance Required when Driving into Mexico from San Diego?
Yes, it is the law. But it is a recent law and many American and Canadian citizens aren’t aware of the change. It is now mandatory that all vehicles traveling on federal highways in Mexico have a third-party liability insurance policy
. This law is not to be taken lightly as accidents are handled differently in Mexico than the United States; for even a minor traffic accident, all parties involved must face a local judge. If you are determined to be at fault and don’t have Mexican insurance, you and/or your property could be detained until the other parties involved are compensated.
Will My San Diego Auto Insurance Cover Me in Mexico?The short answer is no
. And if it does, it might not be the type of coverage required by law to drive on Mexico’s federal highways. In the rare occasion your San Diego auto insurance policy covers you in Mexico, it is potentially only for theft or for a limited number of miles driven per day or similar. You must never make the assumption that the policy that covered you in San Diego covers you once you cross the border, or is a policy that a traffic judge in Mexico will recognize.
Can I Get Insurance After Crossing the Border from San Diego into Mexico?
Other than an obvious legal problem with driving your car from the border to a Mexican auto insurance broker, you will find few options. While Mexico auto insurance can easily be purchased online before crossing the border
, surprisingly there are only a handful of agents on the Mexico side. You may also run into a language barrier trying to buy Mexico car insurance in Mexico.
What Happens if I Get Pulled Over without Insurance in Mexico?
Legal matters are handled differently in Mexico than most Americans or Canadians are used to. In many cases, you may have the option to pay a fine on the spot - but fine amounts can vary wildly
, seemingly at the discretion of the officer who pulled you over. If the reason for getting pulled over is egregious enough, you could find yourself in front of a judge who might not look kindly on disobeying the laws of the land. Judges in Mexico have the flexibility to rule with less regard for standardization or legal precedent than those north of the border.
Do I Need Insurance to Drive a Rental Car in Mexico?
If you intend on renting a car in San Diego and driving it into Mexico, you will need to verify with the rental company that this is allowed. If it is allowed, it is likely you will need to buy an additional Mexican insurance policy. If the rental company allows their cars to be taken into Mexico, ask if you are allowed to buy your own Mexican auto insurance as it is likely to be less expensive than their in-house policy. You can purchase a Mexico auto insurance policy from amigomexinsurance.com using your mobile phone before leaving the rental office
Mexico auto insurance should be considered a requirement if you plan on driving south of the border, no different than car insurance to drive in San Diego. Not only is your American or Canadian car insurance unlikely to cover you in Mexico, a Mexican judge might not recognize the policy as legally valid. Mexico auto insurance is cheap and could be the difference between enjoying your vacation or trying to navigate a difficult legal system.
Fortunately, Mexican auto insurance is fast, convenient and inexpensive
. Whether an afternoon of surfing in Baja or a road trip down to Cabo San Lucas - Mexico auto insurance is just a few clicks away.