Insurance Coverage in Mexico is available for tourist automobiles, R.V.'s, trailers, motorcycles, boats (on water and in tow), homes, aircraft, business and commercial risks, health insurance and medical evacuation. I'll do my best to explain the most pertinent parts here.
Where do I purchase Mexican Insurance?
Mexican insurance is required for all vehicles - including rental vehicles.
U.S. automobile liability insurance is not valid in Mexico, nor is most collision and comprehensive coverage issued by U.S. companies. Most rental car companies will roll the Mexican insurance into your rental bill - but be absolutely sure that they do so when you rent your vehicle.
Question: What's the first thing I should do before taking my vehicle into Mexico?
Answer: You need buy Mexican auto insurance. Say it with me: "I need to buy Mexican insurance".
And then you'll want to keep a copy in a safe place - namely, not in your car. An insurance policy is no good if it is still sitting in the glovebox of the car you just had stolen.
(And, hey, you don't have to take my word for it - see: 'Car insurance a must in Mexico' from the Arizona Republic)
Question: What's a 'vehicle'? Boats? RVs? Motorcycles? Jet skis? Airplanes?
Answer: Yes, yes, yes, and yes. If it moves and contains people, and can potentially collide with other objects and/or things that also move and/or contain other people, you must insure it. Thus: You should get insurance for cars, busses, RV's, SUV's, boats, jet-ski's, trailers, motorcycles, pickups, etc.
Question: Why? I already have insurance for my vehicle. Why do I need more? Can't my existing company just cover me?
Answer: Mexican law says that only companies licensed in Mexico can provide "civil liability" coverage that is recognized by the judicial system of Mexico. Although a few US insurance companies will go ahead and extend physical damage coverage (i.e. collision, comprehensive) while you are driving in Mexico, they cannot and do not provide Mexican liability insurance. You have to have a Mexican Company do this.
Question: What happens if I don't buy Mexican insurance?
Answer: If you're involved in an accident, you can be taken into custody until it can be determined what happened, who is liable, and whether you have the ability to pay any penalties.
If you do not have Mexican liability insurance, you may be prevented from departing the country - even if you require life-saving medical care, and you'll spend some time in jail until the police are satisfied that responsibility has been assigned and an adequate financial resolution is met. Drivers may also face criminal charges if injuries or damages are serious.
And while we're at it, vehicle insurance is considered invalid in Mexico if the driver is found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Got that? Good.
Question: What about theft and damage to my car while I'm in Penasco?
Answer: It is worth calling and checking, but I can almost guarantee you that your existing US-based insurance company will not cover theft and/or damage to your car if it is outside of the United States. Thus it is often cheaper and easier just to lump the coverage into a single temporary policy.
Besides minor fender benders, there's a whole host of things you'll want to think about before heading down to Puerto Penasco. Livestock on the highway. Stray dogs on the highway. Roads washing out. And there's a whole class of amazing accidents and mishaps I've seen that I'll just lump into the 'beach-versus-vehicle' category. (About 96% of the time, 'the beach' is the victor.)
So: YOU VERY MUCH WANT TO BUY EXTRA THEFT AND DAMAGE INSURANCE IF YOU ARE GOING TO PUERTO PENASCO.
Much like with vehicle insurance, you should review your health insurance policy before heading to Mexico. In some places, particularly at resorts, medical costs can be as high or higher than in the United States, and Medicare/Medicaid does not cover you when you are outside the United States.
Does your current company have out of country coverage? I don't know. Therefore: You should definitely call your health insurance company and find out before you head to Puerto Penasco.
One thing to check - many credit card companies have some form of coverage that includes medical insurance in foreign countries. Check with your credit card customer services.
If your insurance policy does not cover you in Mexico, it is strongly recommended that you purchase a policy that does. Again, much like with vehicle insurance, there are short-term health insurance policies designed specifically to do just this, and they aren't terribly expensive. Without this insurance, medical attention can easily run into the thousands of dollars for fairly trivial events.
Again, contact your company to see if you are covered. If you aren't, BUY SOME TEMPORARY COVERAGE.
Where do I purchase Mexican Insurance?
While it is true you can always pick up insurance at roadside gas station/taqueria/import/export houses before crossing into Mexico, you probably won't sit down and think your policy over and be sure you are totally covered. That, and - naturally - you're at their whim as far as pricing goes.
We suggest you do it online or on the phone or in person, with an agent, before you go. This way you can make sure you're as insured in Mexico as you are in the US, and you'll get a fair & competitive price.
We've partnered with Mexican Insurance Professionals/Mexpro.com to provide online quotes and policies via the web. Their policies can include nonstandard items like coverage for things like partial theft, vandalism, uninsured motorist, guaranteed US labor and repair, and fixed minimum deductibles.
See the banner below here? Click it, or just click here. You'll be taken to an Automobile Quote Request Form you can fill out to get a quote from the folks at mexpro.com! Mexpro can insure cars, buses, trailers, vans, RV's, boats, motorcycles - the whole spectrum. And if you need watercraft you can grab that too.