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Auto Insurance Mexico FAQ

Dave, my agent insists that I am covered for auto insurance in Mexico.

Great!

…Just to be sure, call the claims department and ask them about what they do with wrecks on their auto insurance in Mexico.

You know, even if you are covered by your insurance company, you’re not off the hook from buying Mexican insurance when you drive your car into Mexico, don’t you?

If you’re just going across the border to Tijuana and want to take the risk that’s one thing…

…but a 120 mile jaunt further south into Acapulco is something else…

Auto insurance Mexico is your ticket through the local police in case you’re stopped.

The police need to see an official–looking document in Spanish with the logo of Mexico, exactly what’s on auto insurance in Mexico, showing that you have the money to get yourself out of whatever jam you’re in.

You know it’s a felony if you do not carry the minimum liability…

Auto Insurance Mexico FAQ

…and a felony to be found guilty in a wreck.

And the bummer is that everyone will be incarcerated until they sort things out.

What if I get hit by a Mexican citizen? What assurance do I have of being covered?

According to AMIS (Mexican Association of Insurance Services), Mexico is the second largest insurance market in Latin America (Brazil is first).

Yet they have the lowest penetration for insurance.

Only 1.8 percent of the GNP is devoted to insurance, while Chile which is not as prosperous, claims 4 per cent. (The United States chimes in at 12 per cent).

What that means to you is the odds of running into someone who is uninsured are pretty dang good.

…Probably need to tack on the uninsured/under insured coverage.

What recourse do I have in Mexico?

You can try Profeco which is Mexico’s “Consumer Hotline”.

Profeco’s website states its mission as “receives complaints from tourists or foreign consumers that have had a problem with Mexican suppliers”.

It was established in 1976 and created through Mexico’s Consumer Protection Federal Law.

The Consumer Hotline is 1-800-8722.

OK, but what about their Department of Insurance like we have in California?

Are you familiar with how Mexico is organized?

Un poco…

Well, each of the 32 Mexican states is sovereign and autonomous. Each municipality within each state is sovereign and autonomous.

The Federal government, seated in Mexico City, does not oversee the states like our government does. They have a loosy-goosy arrangement among themselves that is more of a bureaucratic division of labour rather than an overall regulation of powers.

None of the states has a Department of Insurance.

Auto Insurance Mexico FAQ

There’s not a tremendous amount of insurance companies to regulate.

According to Buyusa.gov, “At the end of 2007, the insurance industry was comprised of 95 companies, six of which are part of larger financial groups and 46 foreign subsidiaries with authorization to operate in Mexico…Mexican-owned insurers have 41% of the market.”

Mexico’s Finance Ministry (Secretariìa de Hacienda y Creìdito Puìblico (SHCP), seated in Mexico City, oversees the Mexican financial system.

The Comision Nacional de Fianzas (CNSF), which operates within the SHCP and is also located in Mexico City, is the closest thing to a Department of Insurance that Mexico has.

Is there anything I need to watch out for when I buy Mexican insurance?

Make darn sure that it is recognized everywhere in Mexico, including rural areas.

If you’re planning on getting away from the tourist areas, look for any phrases that state your policy is good “only in the major cities of Mexico”.

Most of Mexico is rural.

I’d also buy from an agency that has offices in the United States and reports to the Better Business Bureau

…and keep your policy and other important papers with you in case your car is stolen.